The weekend ended with a toxic exchange of texting borne out of anger and blame. Needless to say, I did not handle it well and it left me feeling beat up and struggling to breathe. The who doesn’t matter but how I allowed it to affect me does.
Unfortunately, I felt incredibly upset and consequently, words said left me feeling beat up and questioning my self-worth. Of course, I was defensive, reactive and fired back. My ego managed to flex its muscles and jumped in only to make me feel worse.
Luckily, I was on my way to Denver and as a result, was able to talk through my feelings with a wise friend. My first reaction was to fight back. I wanted to get even and besides this was not my fault. Second – I had a deep need to let them know how hurt I felt and to get them to understand I didn’t deserve to be treated this way.
My heart ached, I felt discarded and sadly, I felt like I didn’t matter. Ouch. I tried to be rational and I tried to dig deep for some sense of empathy.
Thank god for my friend. We talked about the importance of walking away and taking the high ground. Resentment and anger will drag you down and in the end, it serves no one. I was choosing to give all the power to someone else and sadly, they were winning.
My friend’s advice? Apologize, walk away and wish them well. Be happy and live in peace.
But why would I do that? My ego was hyperventilating and in short, wanted nothing to do with namaste and all of that bull-shit.
I have always believed in the importance of forgiving yet I found myself struggling to let this go. There is great power in forgiving others and it is equally important to forgive ourselves. Yet it is one of the most difficult things for humans to do.
My anger and hurt were overriding my ability to think clearly and in truth, I didn’t want to forgive this. But I knew in my heart that an inability to let it go would keep me stuck in negativity and a place I did not want to be. My friend was right.
So how does a person forgive, let go, walk away and wish someone well when feeling hurt or angry? Unfortunately, there is not a magic answer and in fact, it can be really hard. But it can be done and I promise it will make a difference in your life.
Here are a few thoughts to tuck into your back pocket when you find yourself feeling hurt, angry, resentful and struggling to walk away…
FORGIVENESS IS A GIFT FOR YOU
People often struggle to forgive because they think it gives “a pass” for what has happened. Somehow we as human beings feel like we are saying it is okay when we forgive. Remember, forgiveness does not have to be for the other person nor does it mean things are completely forgotten or okay. In the end, forgiveness is a gift for you. Letting go and forgiving will give you the freedom to heal and move forward in your life. There is great power in forgiveness and it will help you to find peace in your heart.
YOU ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHTS
Unfortunately, human beings experience so much unnecessary pain because we allow our thoughts to control us. People would be amazed at how powerful their thoughts are and sadly, far too many thoughts are negative. Negative self-talk can bring even the strongest to their knees and sadly, if allowed will run the show. It is critical that you remember that you are not your thoughts. Pay attention to your thoughts and be aware of the negativity that is weaving in and out of your brain. It is impossible to change something if you are not aware of it.
The ego plays trick on all of us every day and can hold you prisoner. Your true self resides in your heart and in essence your soul. Make an effort to tune into your feelings, be positive and seek joy. You may not always be able to control every thought that comes in and out of your brain but you can control how you react to it.
DO THE NEXT RIGHT THING
Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone. DO NOT FORGET THAT. We all have regrets and yes, skeletons in our closets. That is a part of the human condition. Good people sometimes do bad things. We live in a world that can be incredibly judgmental and in turn, words and stones thrown in judgement can be very hurtful and it can tear others down. Remember this: mistakes do not have to define who you are and in truth, mistakes can hold great lessons and wisdom. Learn from your mistakes, own them, forgive yourself, forgive others, don’t judge and fight to be the best version of yourself today.
Each day is a new opportunity to make changes and to be the best person you can be. Stop wasting time on tearing others down (including those that have hurt you) and focus on building yourself up. It is when you can go to bed at night knowing you made good choices, lived true to your heart and did the next right thing that you will fall asleep in peace.
Stop chasing perfection and chase being the best you can be. It is a lifelong process but it will help you to live your best life moving forward.
YOUR OPINION IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS
I love this line. It is simple and it is true. However, this is easier said than done. We, as humans tend to worry about what others think and sadly, it is an epidemic. I am guilty as charged and in fact I have spent most of my life sacrificing my soul because I am so afraid of not being liked or not being good enough. People pleasing is something that I continue to struggle with and sadly, I worry incessantly about what others think of me. If you are carrying this weight around every day – please be aware of it and take measures to lighten your load. It is a weight that is holding you back and dragging you down.
Remember – you cannot control the thoughts of others nor can you force others to like you or love you. However, you can control your thoughts and you can constantly work on learning to love ALL of who you are. Shine, live true to your heart and if someone doesn’t like it…..TOO BAD.
BE KIND (AND YES THAT INCLUDES THOSE THAT HAVE HURT YOU)
Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
I love this quote and frankly, I try really hard to live my life according to these wise words. Being kind to someone who has hurt you can be a tough thing to do and again, it is human to feel angry and bitter. But – remember this. Anger, revenge, blame, resentment and hate will only hurt you in the end. It is through feeling love, forgiveness and empathy that we find peace and happiness.
The toxic emotions you are feeling in your heart are not necessarily hurting the other person and in fact, they may not care. The only person that is stuck and feeling hurt is YOU. There is great power in being kind and taking the high road. Be the bigger person and don’t lower yourself to standards that are lower than who you want to be. Don’t settle for that. You deserve better.
NAMASTE’ ALL DAY LONG
Namaste’ is a salutation of respect and reverence that literally translates to “I bow to you”. Perception is everything and some may feel like this is a bit extreme when someone has upset or hurt you. I like to think of this as a way to let go, that we are all one in this human condition and to wish them well. In short, it is a mindset. For me, it is a way to stay calm, balanced, positive and to try to live from a place of compassion, understanding and empathy. That is where I find my peace and in the end, it holds far more power than anger and hate. Words are incredibly powerful and it is important to remember that you can lift a person up with one word or tear them down. Choose your words carefully.
LIVE IN GRATITUDE
I am human and I have struggles, demons to manage and hard days just like everyone else. Negativity still finds its way into my world more often than I would like. With that being said, I have come to learn that gratitude is one of the most powerful things on the planet. It is when we can live from a place of gratitude that we can fight a good battle against all of the negative and hard things we encounter in this world. Even on the darkest days there is something to be grateful for. Strive to live in the moment and appreciate every day you are blessed to take another breath. Don’t let others steal that from you but instead think of something to be grateful for every day and hold onto it. Live in this moment right now. In the end – that is what matters most.
So I have shared a few thoughts on how to try to retain peace and joy in your life regardless of when words or actions have hurt your heart. I do not minimize how difficult this can be and if I am honest, I am having to work really hard to do that right now. But – I have seen the power of letting go and forgiving work magic too many times to count and it is in this space that you will live your best life.
If you are struggling with anger, hate, resentment and hurt I urge you to dig deep and find the courage to let go. You are stronger than you think and this is the path to feeling better and falling asleep with peace in your heart. It may not happen overnight and it may need to be done in small steps over time. That is okay. One step is all it takes to point you in the right direction and to start on a path to healing, peace and joy.
Take that first step. The beautiful thing is the choice is yours.