"Sometimes the Universe just conspires to make you grow". When my brother said these words to me it was the last thing I wanted to hear. My husband of twenty years had moved out, moved on from me and all I felt was hurt and fear.
Now, four years later I can see the lessons, embrace them even, but it's been a long time and lots of work to get here. I'm not particularly special , I'm just like everyone else who experiences great loss - it's what we decide to do after the initial pain and shock that separates us.
We've all known people that don't let go of old wounds, they carry them with them all the time. I knew from the beginning that I didn't want that to be me. I refused to leave my spirit back in 1996, even though there were times that it seemed a very comfortable choice to make.
In the beginning it is a struggle to let go. In some strange way the hurt feels powerful, it can be a club to beat the person who hurt you with, it's an easy out when things feel too overwhelming. We think that we have this powerful wound that makes people feel sorry for you, that "you poor thing" sympathy which can be so seductive. What I began to see though that it was really quite the opposite - the more you hold on to this hurt the more stuck and weak you become. You completely give away your power.
I believe it takes as long as it takes to let go and move on from a hurt, but one has to be an active participant in the process. It won't just happen. I have worked long and hard in the beginning with a counselor, on my own, and with a personal coach. These have all been steps on my journey that has helped me to heal and let go.
Our culture erroneously confuses forgiveness with forgetting and we don't let go of hurts because of ego and pride. What we don't understand is that forgiveness is something you do for yourself, it frees you to let go and move on. If you can't completely forgive take it slowly, one step at a time, it doesn't happen overnight. You don't need to embrace the person who hurt you and say "all is forgiven!". You can do it quietly in your heart.
A great step you can take in moving on after the initial period of venting and sharing your hurt with those close to you is to stop talking about it. Stop giving it your energy and attention. Take your power back. Most of the time the person who hurt you has moved on with their life, by holding on you are not allowing yourself to move forward.
Forgiveness is the greatest gift you can give yourself. What steps can you take today to let go of an old hurt that's holding you back?
Submitted by: Candace Hammond *
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