This is often a tough one for people, but holding on to resentment, old stories and anger will only make you sick, and it’s the worst kind of sickness, too. It’s the kind that depletes your energy and blocks your ability to love as fully and deeply as you could. It’s the kind that has a grip on you, that sometimes makes it hard to breathe. The uncomfortable truth is that you’re the one holding on, if you’re full of resentment and pain over something in your past.
Sometimes people feel if they forgive it’s like saying whatever happened is okay, but that isn’t true. There’s some desire to keep score, to hold that tally card and make sure it’s marked correctly, in permanent ink. But nothing in this life is forever, and nothing is certain, either. Forgiving people and eventually wishing them well is not the same as saying whatever happened is okay with you. It just means your commitment to your own peace and happiness is greater than your determination to file away another person’s transgression in the library of your soul. In order to keep those feelings of anger or pain alive, you have to feed them, you have to stoke the flame every so often. Retell the story to a new friend, or re-boil yourself over it on a dark day. It takes a lot of energy to carry heavy stories around with you everywhere. But if you get more interested in your own healing, you won’t want to tell that old story anymore, or keep it alive in your heart.Forgiving someone means you are unhooking your journey from theirs. You are saying, in effect, that you are not letting your past dictate your future, you are not going to drag old feelings into new situations, you are not going to allow yourself to be defined by things that have happened to you. You are taking responsibility for your own happiness. And that unhooking is also a detaching. I don’t believe it’s possible to detach without doing the work to heal first, without leaning into your pain and acknowledging it, without having compassion for yourself. But when you’ve given yourself the time, space and respect to move through all those feelings, I believe you can let it go. Liberate yourself. Open yourself up to new stories, new experiences with more knowledge and understanding about yourself. And when you detach and remove the charge from the situation, there’s really no reason not to wish someone well, to hope that they’ll heal. I fully realize this is where the “we are all one” conversation becomes extraordinarily challenging. But if you really believe that, as I do, then you have to want everyone to heal–to grow, to open, to move toward love. Because the more healed and loving people we have walking around on this planet, the better it is for everyone.
Commit to your own well-being. Take charge of your story and start to co-create it in a way that feels good to you. Forgive life if you need to, with the understanding that is isn’t fair, and that sometimes unbelievably painful losses fall upon the best people. The ride of life does not take place on a level field, after all. Become more interested in your own potential to feel the limitless love you have within you. Don’t let anyone or anything rob you of that; that’s your light. People will do and say all kinds of incomprehensible things in this life, the work is to see the pain beneath their words or actions. That doesn’t mean you have to want to hang out with them. It just means you take your power back, because life is short. I don’t believe there’s any time to make yourself sick with resentment. There’s controversy over the origin of this quote, but it’s a good one, whoever said it: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” Don’t burn yourself anymore if you have been. Love yourself. Heal yourself. Free yourself. And shine. Sending you so much love, as I always am, Ally Hamilton