We all have instances in our lives in which we’re hurt by someone we care about. Even if they occurred long ago (even sometimes as far back as childhood!), these occurrences can impact our present, wreaking havoc on our happiness and our relationships. This ruminating on the past isn’t healthy, but I see so many women struggle with how to handle these emotions so that they can forgive, and most importantly, let go!
There are plenty of people walking around today who appear to have it all together, who are functioning very well in society, even “climbing up the ladder” towards career success. But if we look closer into their hearts, you’d see that even they have some kind of constant hurt and pain playing on a loop again and again. Does that sound like you? It likely does; it fits everyone at some point! But to truly live a life of joy and peace, these hurts MUST be finally banished to the past, where they have no power over you.
So the question becomes, “How can I move past this and leave it behind?” I know it sounds daunting. Maybe you’ve even tried and decided you weren’t up for it just yet. But please give yourself some credit – you’re stronger than you think! Here are some steps you can take to lessen the impact of those past slings and arrows:
- Stop wondering why you were the target of the hurt. You likely may never know the reason, especially if the person is no longer in your life. Instead of rehashing these old questions with no answers, use that time to make NEW memories and experiences – happier ones that can be concrete reminders that you’re in a different and better place now.
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- Don’t take things personally. Sometimes – most times! – it isn’t even about you. As I said before, we ALL have painful baggage. Sometimes we just find ourselves in the crosshairs of someone else’s pain, nothing but a convenient target for harmful words or betrayals to be unleashed. No, it doesn’t feel good! But reminding yourself that the act that caused you pain reflects more on the person who caused it than it does on you, can help a lot.
- Let go of the victim mentality. Continually remembering yourself in victim mode only steals your strength and gives it right back to the person who caused you the pain. You may have been knocked down, but it’s just a part of your life tapestry. You’ve also gotten back up! Be proud of that and remember that you are stronger than you may think.
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- Forgive. I know, this is a toughie. I’ve been there myself many, many times! Please believe me though, forgiveness not only allows you to finally move on, it is a self-protection mechanism. When you don’t forgive, the anger and resentment eats away at YOUR peace. It’s like swallowing poison yourself then and asking the other person to die! Forgiveness doesn’t excuse or justify the bad behavior, but it releases us from the toxicity of the wound.
This isn’t easy work, but it’s absolutely vital if you want to call in a new relationship and grow it from clean and pure ground!
Forgiving the past sends a powerful message to the universe that you have made space to receive a bright and beautiful future!
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