January 14, 2020 Stacey Mendelson 0 Comments

Should you forgive your ex or anyone who has wronged you? Keep reading to learn the truth.

Emotional adulthood

Can somebody actually hurt you? If they physically beat you up, then yes, they definitely can cause injury. But let’s discuss emotional injury. Who is responsible for that?

I predict that you may not like my answer: you are responsible for all of your feelings. It is called emotional adulthood.

Until you have a thought about someone else’s behaviour, it is just a neutral circumstance. Your thought is what gives it the power to affect your feelings. In other words, your thoughts about how someone behaves is what generates your feelings of hurt.

Think about it. If your neighbour yells at her husband, do you feel something? It is just an event that occurred. You may have some thoughts or judgements about it that will create a feeling about your neighbour.

Committing to being an emotional adult means no longer blaming others for how you feel. This is good news because it takes you out of the victim role. Why would you want to hand the power of your emotional regulation to your ex?

Should you drop your resentment to your ex?

Before we discuss the how, let’s discuss the why. Why would you want to drop your angry feelings toward someone who has behaved badly in your direction?  Notice I did not say “someone who has hurt you” because we have now established that people cannot hurt you.

The only reason to do this is if these feelings – hurt, anger, resentment – are causing you pain. Those feelings keep you in an emotional prison.

How can you forgive?

Let’s establish that forgiveness is a feeling, not an action. To generate the feeing of forgiveness, you must evolve your thoughts about what someone else said or did. You don’t even have to have a conversation with that person. Just change how you are feeling with your thoughts. This is all occurs inside of your brain.

You still do not have to talk to that person if you don’t want to. You can drop the hurt, anger and resentment, and still never see them again.

Is forgiveness condoning their behaviour?

Definitely not. Forgiving does not absolve them of what they did You can forgive and still have boundaries. The other person may not know that they are forgiven. This is done strictly for you –  to release you from the emotional prison of anger and resentment and bring you to peace.

Bringing it all together

Here’s the thing, people get to behave however they want. We have no control over them. I wish we did! Sometimes they do things that we interpret as hurtful. That is okay. Just own that you are causing the pain with your thought about what they did. They don’t have the power to hurt us, and that is the best news I have for you.

Learning to think differently about the past is the only way that you can change it.