On Monday I wrote that you should not forgive and forget when others habitually disregard your needs and disrespect your boundaries. I said you should remember
their actions and their false promises and ask for the changes you need.
It’s important to set the limits you need and own your power to take care of yourself. That doesn’t mean that you should never forgive and forget. When you hold on to negative things that happened in your past, whether of your own doing or another’s, you’re fighting with yourself and fighting against reality.
No amount of holding on is ever going to change history.
Letting go of those negative things doesn’t mean you do nothing. In fact it means you take three deliberate steps:
- Acknowledge what happened, how you feel about it and your role in it.
- Accept it, in the form of forgiving yourself, then forgiving the other person.
- Take action to move forward from it by forgetting it, in the form of letting go the pain and leaving it in the past where it belongs.
Just Let Go
Holding on to what has happened in the past or to a certain outcome in the future is an attempt to control something you can’t control.
Do you know what happens when you surrender to what was and let go of it? Letting go of the past feels a lot like relief and the absence of pain you might not have even realized you were feeling.
Do you know what happens when you surrender to what will be instead of trying to control it? Letting go of a particular outcome feels a lot like freedom.
Letting go of control means letting go of those painful things that hurt you in the past and letting go of the fear of not being able to handle whatever it is that’s in front of you. You can only hold one big thing at a time. That big thing can be your fear, or it can be your power. The choice is yours.
When you choose to forgive and forget what has happened to you in the past that you couldn’t control, and you choose to stop trying to control a future you can’t control and use your inner power to accept life, you’re free to experience your life as it is meant to be lived.
That’s when you’re really living.
“If you hold on to the handle, she said,
it’s easier to maintain the illusion of control.
But it’s more fun if you just let the wind carry you.”
American writer, painter, sculptor and publisher
Life Is Honest, Open and True: Holding on to past hurts only causes you more pain. Trying to control the future so that only what you want to have happen happens keeps you from living the life you’re meant to live. Forgive and forget about your past, and claim your power to handle whatever life throws at you.
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