Holding a resentment against someone ties you to them, it forms an attachment to them, it connects you cosmically. And when you are angry with someone, and dare I say, hate someone, do you really want to be tied to them? There’s a saying that a resentment is like drinking poison and then waiting for the other person to die. They won’t. But you might. What good does harboring a wrong or your anger really do? It does nothing except keep punishing you for someone else’s actions. You may be holding someone in a cell, but you as the jailer are also a prisoner, and, you are your own prisoner! So, how do we learn to let go, and, possibly, forgive, those who have wronged us?
The reason why you should find a way to move on and forgive is simple, for you. It’s not about letting someone get away with it or letting them off the hook, it’s about setting yourself free. We as SLAYERS are not pushovers, but we don’t continue to harm ourselves with our own actions, the healthier choice, the stronger, more self-loving choice, is to find forgiveness and let them go. At the end of the day, our own peace of mind far outweighs some grudge we have against someone else, or some plot to find revenge, that behavior does not serve us, it only brings us down to a lower level, a level that brings with it more anger, more hate, and more negative energy.
Finding forgiveness doesn’t mean we are pardoning or excusing the other person’s actions. It doesn’t mean that we need to tell the other person they’ve been forgiven. It also doesn’t mean we are not entitled to have feelings about the situation or person. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t further work to be done if we choose to continue a relationship with that person, we’re not giving them a free pass, we’re not forgetting the actions took place. Forgiveness is not something we’re doing for the other person, it’s something that we are doing for us. It is a loving action that allows us to move on and be free of what happened. So, how do we do this?
First, it takes time. Allow yourself to find some peace with it gradually, and some take longer than others, but it’s also about not letting yourself wallow in it too long, which also doesn’t serve us, nor does letting it become your identity. You are not a victim, you are a SLAYER! To start with, you have to be willing to forgive. I’ve talked about willingness in a previous blog post, and without willingness, you’re not going to get too far. Even if it’s small to start, willingness will open the door to forgiveness, even if it’s just a crack to start. From there we go to:
1) Accept – accept that the incident happened. Accept the facts of the circumstances, how you felt, and how you reacted. In order to forgive you have to find acceptance around it, and focus on the facts rather than the feelings it has brought up, as our feelings may be attached to other things, and other incidents from our past.
2) Find The Growth – what did you learn from the incident? Was there something you could have done differently that could have prevented it or lessened it? Did you ignore warning signs that you now know to pay attention to? What did the incident teach out about boundaries? Could you have been clearer. Not placing the blame solely on ourselves, but typically it does take two to tango, so as a SLAYER, are there ways you could have protected yourself from the incident giving you more strength and power? Use this as an opportunity to grow and learn for next time, turning it into something positive for yourself.
3) Perspective – try to look at the situation or incident from the other person’s perspective. We all have bad days, is it possible the person did not mean to hurt you but his/her perspective was off, or skewed, blurring their judgment? Again, we’re not giving them a free pass here, just trying to see the incident from a different angle. Was there a misunderstanding? Or were the person’s motives to deceive, hurt, or always had malicious intent? We as human beings are all flawed, many times it is those flaws that cause us to hurt or clash with others, perhaps it could have been one of those times.
4) Take Stock – does it serve you to hold on, to not let go of the resentment? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say no, in every case no. There are certainly varying degrees of forgiveness, from flat-out letting it go and moving on to finding as much forgiveness as you can so you can move forward, and revisiting it later when you have some distance from it. But, ask yourself how it benefits you to hold on to the past? It doesn’t. It only holds you back.
5) Letting Go – letting go can come in many forms. Perhaps it is telling the person you forgive them in person. Maybe you write them a letter. Maybe you send that letter, maybe you don’t. Maybe you write it and then burn it to let it go. And maybe you just make a living amends to yourself, to do things differently, to set more boundaries, to ask more questions, to make different choices to you don’t get caught in the same situation again. Finding a way to turn a negative into a positive. You can. You have that power.
Stop drinking the poison and let it go. Forgiving someone is a beautiful way to honor yourself, and to break the tie that holds you to someone or something that hurt you, it also affirms to the universe that you deserve the good, and deserve to be happy. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you hold resentments or grudges instead of moving on? Why? How does this benefit you? How does it hurt you? What can you do let go of the resentments in your life? How can you turn those incidents from negative to positive for you? Write out a list of resentments you currently have, using the points above go through each one and find ways to take away some positive actions from them, and, maybe even find some forgiveness for those people, and yourself.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you