Learn to Forgive: What Are you Holding Onto?

It’s easy to be angry. Thinking about all of the ways different people in your life — past and present — have wronged you, betrayed you, broke your trust. Shutting yourself off from making new friendships and loving the few people you feebly keep in touch with. Hiding. Anger is really just hiding the fact that you’re hurt. You may think that you are teaching those people a lesson by staying angry with them, shutting them out from you, and thinking about the ways they make you angry, but you’re dead wrong.

By being angry, you are keeping yourself unhealthy and depressed. Anger eats away at the soul, and causes physical anxiety, depression, and negative effects of stress. When you are first angry at something or someone, it is a natural process in separating yourself from the situation and establishing your feelings — “yes, I was hurt, and I don’t want that to happen again.” But there comes a time where you must learn to forgive — for your own good.

What have you been angry about for too long, that is eating away at you? Do you feel like it is time to stop being angry, and begin the forgiveness process? Are you scared of what to do next? Maybe you don’t know how NOT to be angry.

Begin the process today with just a pen and paper.

Write a letter addressed to the person you are angry at. If it’s not a person, write it addressed to the situation that you remember. Write out all of your feelings, your memories of what happened. Don’t censor yourself, or edit yourself while writing. Just get it out. If doing this stirs up tears or feelings of anger or anxiety, let it come out. Make sure you include what happened, why you are angry, and what you don’t want to happen again and why. Include how it makes you feel — at that moment, and right now.

When you are done, crumble it up. Rip it into pieces. Shred it. Burn it (in a safe place). Destroy it.

Let this be a symbolic method for you letting go of those negative feelings. You don’t have to forget about it, but you must forgive. It is time.

If your goal is to contact the person again and remedy the relationship, write an email or call up the person and ask them if they have some free time to talk to you about something important. Let them know how you feel, and that you are ready to move forward in time and wish to remedy the relationship. If they are ready as well, the both of you can start the process towards moving forward with your lives and letting go of the negative feelings associated with the event in the past.

Forgiving someone is not about forgetting the event, or saying it was okay or unimportant. It is about freeing yourself from staying angry and learning to come to terms with what has happened. So what are you holding onto?

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