Jenny Copeland, Drive-Thru Success
10th April 2019
“I will never forgive you!”
“For as long I live you are dead to me!”
“I just can’t let go of the hurt.”
It saddens me greatly to admit that as I write these statements I have both issued them and received them. The act of typing them brings up feelings of hurt, pain, sadness and regret. My temperature has gone up. My face is florid. I want to cry, hide, be alone and weep. My hands have become sweaty. Just look at that list of words. How bitter and destructive. My body is giving more than just biofeedback it is screaming “LET IT GO!”
There are so many modern metaphors for the damage that holding onto to anger, hurt and bitterness does to us. Some of my favourites are:
“It’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die!”
“It’s like holding onto a burning coal and blaming others for the burn.”
“It’s like being a prisoner of your own thinking and having the key but refusing to use it.”
The common feature of all of this is simple. We are both our judge and jury. We are our jailor and persecutor. We are our liberator and salvation. Our healer and hope. Our forgiveness and freedom.
So why don’t we choose the options that will make us feel so much better and possibly save or lengthen our lives?
The answer is that it depends on how attached we are to our story. What does playing the victim in the story give us? Who would we be without our story?
Very few people are aware of the concept that our “truth” is nothing more than a story fabricated by our minds to enable us to be us. We use our story to explain our pain or actions. To defend the indefensible. To keep us right and as I have experienced, to keep us righteous.
We hold onto our thoughts, feelings and behaviours and continue to seek evidence that we are right. Often repeating the pattern that creates even more of the same negativity in our lives.
We may also wait a very long time for an apology that we will never receive. This is assuming that the person we are holding our resentment for, even knows they have hurt or harmed us in any way at all.
They may know but clearly not care or be aware of the impact of their actions. If they were worthy of the label friend and you valued them enough in the past to invest in them, then maybe there has been a grave misunderstanding and they may too be wondering why you have let them down?
One thing is for certain you either need to obtain positive closure, which can either be through disclosure, or you can just let it go.
Spring is a wonderful time for clearing up and clearing out. It is a fabulous time for noticing the new all around us and for embarking on rejuvenating projects. We have become a disposable society. If it is damaged or broken we either dump it or hoard it in a garage, shed or loft. In the spring we get to review the discarded and make decisions as to whether we will endeavour to repair, repurpose or throw out.
How about doing the same with tired or stuffed away feelings, relationships or hurts?
Take time to review your relationships and consider what do you need to do to refresh, repair and rejuvenate worthwhile relationships. Reflect on how you would describe a relationship to a stranger. Does it bleed you or feed you? Is it balanced? Do you feel safe and valued?
Having reflected you can then go through the process of evaluation and consider if the effort required to repair the relationship is disproportionate to the benefit it will bring to your life.
If you do decide to move on or away from a worn out or dysfunctional relationship you can do this with a quiet dignity. You don’t need to create any drama. I am amused by relationships where I have pulled back and the other person has not even noticed! Even though I may have spent months agonising over how I can withdraw.
Once again the story I was telling myself was flawed.
I read a meme recently that said “Don’t feel guilty for outgrowing a relationship. The other person had the same opportunity as you to grow.”
In life we are either growing, developing and flourishing, or stagnating or even decaying.
Spring is a time for hope and growth, for regeneration and for bursting forth to express the very wonderful people that we were born to be