Letting Go of Our Hurt—Reclaiming Our Joy
I often take “walking meditations” through the field near my house. On one of these recent walks, I reflected on a topic that’s so important … one that we all have experience with … one that is often hard to embrace.
Most days feel really good to me. Then there are those that are gloomy and sad. This particular day was one of those days. There was no particular reason for it—the weather was a bit dreary, and I’d listened to some sad music. But I decided that this was a day for reflection, so I went with the feeling, rather than try to fight it off.
As I took my forgiveness meditation walk, I thought about the people who have wronged me, and the few who have hurt my heart in very deep ways. They’ve left scars on me. They’ve made me doubt life at times. They’ve occasionally made me doubt love.
I don’t claim to understand these people or their actions. But I do know this: The more I carry their words and actions inside of me, the more I keep myself from feeling my own joy.
And that’s just not worth it.
So as I walked, I focused on one particular person that I need to forgive. (There’s a long list!) I have put up major walls between myself and this person, and I’ll probably never let myself love her fully—my heart can only take so much, after all.
But I worked hard to see this person’s own brokenness, and I sent her the love she needs (and deserves) to feel from her own life. In the end, no matter how much we try to break a connection, all of us are internally connected through the human spirit.
And that’s the thing: We’re all human. I’m constantly amazed at the capacity human beings have to be so hard on each other. To choose isolation and removal over love, connection, and forgiveness.
True, forgiveness is hard. But for me, I know I must work to process my hurt feelings, so I can reach a point where I don’t feel that negativity inside of me—and choose instead to allow more joy into my life.
I could feel myself healing during my walk. And I also felt myself coming to accept something about myself: that I, too, have hurt people. I’m imperfect. I’ve made poor decisions.
So as I continued my walk, I asked forgiveness for MYSELF and sent my love and apologies to one particular person. I let my thoughts travel through the Universe, hopeful they’d reach this person.
And then I let myself cry. I let myself feel. I let myself begin to heal.
Forgiveness is so difficult. Logically, we know it doesn’t help us to hold on to that poison, yet we are so afraid to let it go. Consider this your invitation to embrace forgiveness and let go of the hurts.
My scars are slowly changing into wings. Yours can, too.
Question: How has forgiveness played a part in your life? How did you offer or accept forgiveness? And how did it make you feel?
As a preservice teacher, I’ve been working on not taking things so personally. I recently read someone explain it as seeing people’s interactions as their way of expressing love or their way of expressing fear. Because ultimately, how someone treats you is more a reflection of themselves than of anything about you. Knowing that I generally come from a place of love and pure intention, it’s easier to forgive others because I know that the same spark of energy that lives inside me also lives inside them. Some condition of their life has hardened them in a way, and they are in their own unique place in their own unique healing journey. Of course, this is not to say that I’m perfect – I too am human. I make mistakes and play my own roles in conflicts. So the sooner I am able to acknowledge my wrongdoings and forgive myself, the less I will be holding out for some external confirmation of my worthiness, and the sooner I can move on with my life. It’s interesting how this becomes a cyclical process of both external and internal forgiveness, leading us to a deeper, stronger, more whole place each time we encounter it. Thanks for sharing, I really needed this reflection today!
WOW! This is a wonderful comment and so thought-provoking. Thanks for sharing your story. It helps us all.