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Hanging on to hurt

By May 18, 2012July 21st, 2023Divorce

Sometimes after divorce, I think it’s easy to fall back on old emotions. To encounter those who have hurt us or wronged us or made us feel smaller or lesser and to react with bitterness and anger, to lash out and inflict just a little of the pain we feel was inflicted on us. But as I get older and (hopefully) wiser, I think there is one tremendous flaw in that pattern- when we lash out in pain it’s because we’re still in pain. When we react with anger it’s because we still hold that anger inside. When we are bitter towards others outside of ourselves, it’s because we feel the bitterness inside our soul, we can still taste it on our tongue. And these painful emotions we carry inside, those feelings that we harbor, cause us just as much pain as what we provide to others. So maybe it’s time to tell these feelings that there is no longer safe harbor inside ourselves. Maybe it’s time to let go of what doesn’t serve us, to end the bitterness and replace it with what replenishes us and fortifies us. To taste the sweetness and the joy instead of those old and tired feelings.

Instead of continuing to mull over the past and how difficult it was, maybe it’s time to close that door and seal it with a blessing. To turn away from those in our past, not in fear and not in pain, but in acceptance and resolve. To offer those who hurt us release from the past.  Because in releasing them we release ourselves. In letting go we free ourselves. In saying goodbye we open ourselves up.

It is not easy to do, but when we feel the tension creeping up in our throat or along our shoulders, why don’t we instead sigh with relief. That the past is done. That we don’t have to carry this burden any longer. That we can nod and smile gently and walk away, with a whisper and a prayer, “I release you.” Release that attachment. Release those clenched fists. Release the furrow in your brow. Bow your head, honor your past, say goodbye with a blessing, and in all of that you will move forward to what will hopefully be, a path to a better life.


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