There is no rescue, no salvation, no absolution.
The only place we’ll have a hope of finding those things is in this moment right now and doing what each of us can to help ourselves live a more peaceful and contented life.
Letting go of the past is no easy feat, though.
Most people will tell you that you have to figure out a way to forgive the other person as well as forgiving yourself.
I’ve tried this technique but it only got me so far. In working through letting go of pain from the past, the technique I’ve found helpful is to appreciate myself–and even to thank myself.
This might seem like a crazy idea–thanking myself for getting hurt, appreciating myself because someone else took advantage of me and played me for a fool?? That doesn’t seem to make sense to be glad about this.
I’m certainly not happy or glad about the pain, embarrassment, or humiliation. These are the things on the surface, though. What I’m talking about is digging a little deeper and appreciating myself for being the type of person who, for instance, is apt to give people the benefit of the doubt. I don’t want to ever become they type of person who distrusts others and is bitter and cynical. I want to believe that the majority of people are trying their best to be good and helpful people.
Perhaps I’ll run across people who don’t deserve the grace of being given the benefit of the doubt and, as a result, I’ll get hurt. But, to me, the pain of being taken advantage of is less than the pain I’d feel if I didn’t give the benefit of the doubt to a person who truly deserved it. I mean, we all have bad days. We all have days where we behave badly…and we all regret it deeply. And, you just never know the grueling battles and the horrors people are facing in their lives. So, I’d rather err on the side of cutting them some slack rather than being judgmental and distrustful.
So, that’s what I mean by looking below the surface of the emotions that are linking you to the past–the pain, humiliation, embarrassment, anger…whatever the emotion happens to be. Ask yourself why you’re feeling that. Why did that incident cause that reaction in you? What is going on below your surface?
Answering these questions will help you see the goodness and the big heart that you have. And you can be thankful and happy about those qualities!
Once you begin to see the good qualities you have and be thankful that you have them, you’ll see that forgiveness and letting go will naturally happen.
Give it a try! Let me know in the comments below how this technique works for you.
Please pass this post along to a friend–thanks!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,