I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain. ~James Arthur Baldwin
As painful as it might be, feeling the feelings that come up for you are important. There's an expression: "Let it flow, then let it go." There are processes that ask you to follow your feelings, name them, then just see what comes up next, and when you do that, eventually you come to a place that is clear of the negative emotions. When you allow for the feelings, you'll be in a better position it let them go.
While forgiving is a process that is for you and not even for the other person, it may be true that some things are unforgivable. So then what? The idea is can you set yourself free? Can you?
My father taught me one way he used to relax himself to sleep at night. He would go through the muscles of his body, tense a group of muscles, then release. Eventually he would fall asleep. When I am stressed one of my most effective exercises is listing what I am grateful for, from the tiniest to the biggest (if you're a regular here, you must know this by now!). Sometimes when I am so upset, I just write and write about the upset, or I rant and rave privately (so no one else can hear me). It's kind of like puking (yes, vomiting!). You don't feel great to begin with but you sure feel better to have the poison out.
Feeling hate has a price to pay and the longer you hold on to it, the more you stew in it, the more damage it will cause (this is NOT about revenge, do you hear me?!).
OK, so we're all human, I am not asking you to stuff the feelings. I am suggesting that you can put your focus and attention to the things in life that will BUILD you. Break the cycle and set yourself free!
Freedom involves the abandonment of hate,
because hate is the abdication of freedom.
It is the projection of our conflicts onto an external force
whom we can then blame,
but only at the cost of denying responsibility.
~Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks
Thanks to Morguefile.com and Anita Peppers for the photo
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I was out shopping and heard crying. I turned to look. What I saw was a little family walking: a mom, a dad, a little boy crying, and a baby in a stroller. The mom and dad were not alarmed, the baby was peaceful, the boy was upset. Did he want something that his parents didn't give him? Was it time for his nap? Something upset him, but in the scheme of things, what ever he was bummed about didn't seem to be alarming to anyone around.
Now, his feelings were real to him. He (and everyone for that matter) deserved to be related to with sensitivity and kindness. And, at the same time, nothing tragic was really going on.
For me, it was the perfect reflection of my life that day. I wasn't feeling well when I saw that scene. I wasn't actually crying on the outside, but I felt like I could have been. Still, from a wider perspective, the "not feeling well" of that moment was OK. Especially considering that just two days before I was in terrible pain with food poisoning. So on a pain scale, the pain I was feeling wasn't that high. Truth is, I have a great life and I have a LOT to be grateful about. Still, I get to have my feelings. The cool thing is that I also have a choice about how quickly or slowly I want to move through the little challenges. (Hooray for options and choices.)
Understanding all of this didn't make me feel physically any better. But it did help me get perspective. That was helpful.
So maybe this story will help you get perspective too. When you're sad and crying, consider the big picture of your life and you may find that things are not as bad as you thought.
Live the extraordinary life you deserve.
Aunt Laya inspires and encourages you to live the life you want for yourself! She'll tell you the truth, even when it's not always so easy to hear so that you can learn to handle the hard stuff of life and be your best, happiest self. Always with love and caring.