Let your old hurts also be part of the past
Life is too short why do we want to carry the burdens of the past everywhere we go? By having inside of our hearts our old hurts, our wounds, and the people that we think hurt us, we are opening the front door of our home to people we would never allow inside.
We would never open the door of our homes to certain people, but we let them live inside of our hearts? Just pause for a minute and think; why do we carry that pain inside of us? day and night without even taking a break sometimes, always attached to the hurt, the old wound. I know it is not easy , that probably we have suffered a lot, that maybe we have been hurt really bad; we can feel it at every level. We think about it -a lot- , we feel emotionally hurt, and we feel the pain physically. Each of us feel physical pain caused by emotional pain in different ways.
Now stop again and close your eyes and just picture yourself without this baggage; just give yourself permission to get rid of this heavy piece of baggage you have been carrying around for so long. How do you feel now? What are the reasons that keep you attached to that baggage? Can you imagine yourself waking up and using that energy in a different way? Just think about how much time and energy you spend everyday dwelling in whatever happened in the past, and the hurt you experienced. Does that make it better?
If someone tells you that you DO have the choice to use that energy in a way that serves you and your health , would you do it?
If you are ready to free yourself from that baggage and start the New Year with less baggage I invite you to do a simple exercise: You only need a pen, a notepad, and willingness to start 2011 feeling lighter.
- Take some time for yourself; take a couple of deep breaths and write down a list of people who you feel hurt you and you can't forgive.
- When you are done write down a list of the people you think you have hurt and you need to apologize.
- Acknowledge the offense. Understand that forgiving does not mean forgetting or condemning. It doesn't even mean to continue with the relationship either.
- It is not about right or wrong . It is about freedom.
- Now write down the reason you cannot or you don't want to let that go. Would those reasons matter in 5 years from now? Would those reasons matter if this were your last day on earth?
- List your "gains" if you don't forgive; list your "gains" if you forgive.
- Even though it is good to apologize and recognize your own faults. Forgiveness is an inner process. When you forgive others including yourself you are cutting the chains that kept you prisoner.
- Once you have pondered your "gains" and "losses" in this process be ready to let that go.
- By attaching yourself to "the story" of what happened you are not changing the fact that happened. By forgiving and letting it go you are changing your present and future.
- Write some letters, emails or make some phone calls and offer your sincere apology if you feel you need to do it.
- Finally imagine yourself putting all the judgments you have made, the anger , the hurt into a big box, or a huge balloon, and let that go; just cut the cord that maintained it attached to your heart. (At the same time shred or burn the notes; let that energy dissolve).
- Feel the feeling of freedom that comes when you "detach" yourself from the hurt.
- Finally enjoy the feeling and acknowledge yourself for the huge step you have taken towards your own liberation.
"You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well"-Lewis B. Smedes