What to do… when you’ve been hurt

Relationships can get ugly. This series is about the underbelly that people don’t like to talk about.

“What three words are more powerful than I love you? I forgive you.”

Sometimes it takes the simple and the mundane to truly make you see life for what it is. I have been writing for over 15+ years from poetry to research to other creative works and even fiction. Sometimes with all the words in the English language, there is nothing more that can be said about the things that happen to us some so inexplicably horrible I dare not mention them. With all that said, I begin on this journey.

Many times we as people get caught up in the things that happen to us and the things that others or even just life does to us that the energy, the negative energy, gets trapped in our aura and becomes this area of negativity. Subsequently, every thing after that negative event that happens to us adds to that negative energy for many to the point where it become overwhelming to us as individuals.

I’m sure you’re wondering what I am trying to say. Obviously from the first line of the article you know that I am talking about forgiveness, but in spite of all the self help books out there, I sincerely think people underestimate the power that forgiveness has on a person. No, I’m not sharing a “how to forgive in 10 easy steps” diagram, but I share here what I have re-discovered (because obviously I am not the originator of this):

• Forgiveness is not just for the perpetrator of the act; it is also for the person who is injured.
This is first and foremost the, in my opinion, the single most important part of forgiving and being forgiven. Many people forget that often times the serious, deep, soul wrenching pain cause by others is not intentional and that person may or may not seek forgiveness but he or she has to come to terms with that on their own. The person injured has to find closure for him or herself and that can begin through being able to forgive. They can begin to release the pain and hopefully heal the scars that often time go unlooked because they cannot be seen.

• It can not, will not, and does not happen over night.
I don’t know what anyone else has told you but true forgiveness is a process that occurs over time. While being hurt can happen in a moment, healing, true healing, can take years and it doesn’t mean that it is forgotten or that it will never hurt again, it just means that the person can finally be free of the negative energy that comes with being hurt.

• Time doesn’t heal all wounds.
Sincerely, whoever coined that phrase can hide under a rock. Everything in life comes with work, including healing and forgiveness. You have to be active in you desire to heal or it is like covering a land mine with dirt. Someone may step on it later and it may or may not go off depending on the amount of pressure applied. You can’t expect to forget it and it just to go away. If it hurts, take the time to deal with the pain and eventually heal the hurt.

• Sometimes the hardest person to forgive is you.
That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. Generally speaking, people are hardest on themselves because of the expectations that they make and have. Because of those expectations, you make demands mentally, physically, and/or emotionally that we can’t always fulfill. Learning to forgive yourself for your shortcomings is the best way to practice and perfect the art of forgiving someone else. No one deserves forgiveness more than you.

While I could sit here and write a long list of things that I feel are important to learning to forgive, its not about me. Forgiveness is about you learning to deal with your pain and hurt in a positive manner. Find out what works for you. Some ways I have found helpful for me and people around me are:

• therapy
• meditation
• talking to a spiritual leader (like a pastor, guru, etc)
• exercising or some other hobby
• Google support groups in your area
• or any positive way to channel energy…

By that I mean, doing something that helps you to focus and strengthen yourself mind, body, and soul to be able to move past your pain. When you break your leg, many times you go through physical therapy to help you regain your strength, flexibility and mobility back. It is the same with forgiveness. Do what you can, what you must, to regain your emotional strength, flexibility and mobility back. It will change your life.

For local assistance regarding some of the suggested activities you can try:
• YMCA of Central Maryland (www.ymcamd.org) – great mind and body exercises and classes
• Baltimore Meditation Center – excellent resource for spiritual and meditation classes
• National Alliance for Mental Illness – not just a resource for those with mental illness but also great resources on grieving, depression, and learning to find a therapist
• 311 – for help try dialing 311 from any mobile phone and see what resources they have for you to try

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