Ok. If you’re reading this then chances are that you are angry with someone somewhere on this mother earth planet of ours more specifically, your ex.
And maybe it’s not just your ex, there could be his/her family and friends too. I once knew a man who was not only angry with his ex but his children too. So irate he was with them that he swore never to speak with them again!
Now take a couple of minutes and just ask yourself, now that I have this anger and resentment in me towards this person, what is it doing to me? How am I gaining from it?
And even more importantly, how is it hurting that person right now or ever? Do they care that I have not forgiven them, that I am burning with anger towards them? Or are they expecting it?
Now take another couple of minutes and ask yourself – “If I were to forgive them what would happen?” “How would I feel?” “How would it affect them?”
Very often we think that if we forgive then the “perpetrator” or the person that has caused you offence then he/she has gotten away with whatever it is that they did to you.
We have sooooo often heard, “I can forgive but I won’t forget.” But those are just words strung together to make a kind of pretty sentence – they doesn’t mean much.
But the question is “do you have emotional closure?”
And when you do remember whatever it is that the person did to you, because you will, how do you feel? Does anger still rise up in you? Most likely. If so, do you still think you have forgiven?
Right now, you are probably thinking that you are justified to hate that ex spouse or partner. And you probably are – but for how long?
And who is the hate, anger and resentment affecting? Does the other person lose ANY sleep knowing that you hate them and the you will not forgive them. I don’t think so. They most likely don’t care at all – to put it mildly.
Truth is hate, anger and resentment, change you. They change who you are.
They change your heart and your mind to such an extent that if you stepped out and looked at yourself from another angle, you might not recognise yourself or the person that you have become.
When you harbour anger, hatred and resentment, your body’s chemical balance is dramatically disrupted. Your “flight or fight” responses stay aroused twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. That means that hatred, anger and resentment are absolutely incompatible with your peace, joy and relaxation.” Dr Phil
Apart from these emotions affecting you physically, emotionally and mentally then keep in mind, if you can, that because you are full of these negative and toxic emotions, then your behaviour will be affected so anyone you meet from here on, meets the angry, resentful person.
You can mask it all as much as you please but it will still come through in your actions and words, however subtle.
Ok, if you don’t believe me, how can you really truly give what you don’t have? If someone you really cared about came over to you and asked, “Gosh I need a holiday. Would you book one full-paid for me please?” Most likely not, not because you don’t want to necessarily but because you don’t have the money to do it.
So, do think about it. Why forgive and forget? Because by doing so you give yourself a new path to follow when you let go off the resentment, anger and hate. Stop holding yourself hostage to the past by starting to forgive.
It is easier to start forgiving what happens today than what happened yesterday or a few years ago.
If someone cuts in front of you at the lights or something, let it go. Tell him or her to go have their accident elsewhere.
Start forgiving what happens today, this very moment and what happened yesterday will start falling away too.
Soila is the founder of The Divorce Magazine and creator of the online course – Helping Children Cope with Divorce
She is known for taking away the pain of trauma and loss in children, adolescents and their families and is the author of “When Love is Broken. A read-together book for children and parents going through divorce and separation.
Soila holds an MSc in Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology from UCL (University College London), is an accredited Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) practitioner and a trained Family Mediator.
Soila is Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society.
You can contact her on 07850 85 60 66 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org