There are a lot of things in life that are just going to happen. It doesn’t matter how solid your ten year plan is, how prepared you are when making decisions, or the amount of money in your bank account. No one is exempt from life happening.
The beauty in life is there is one thing we have control over: how we respond to it.
It is normal to feel disappointed, angry, hurt, and devastated when someone you care about makes a decision that leaves you feeling blindsided. You can have your whole future planned out perfectly and in one split second, everything can change.
We are here to tell you that you don’t have to give up your own happiness just because life changed and you were not expecting it.
We have both had our fair share of pain: a husband who cheated, a friend who chose another side, a future being torn apart by a man who had a gun, a supervisor with a vendetta to end a career, and a family who doesn’t understand.
We know what it feels like to be handcuffed by someone else’s behaviors or feelings.
We also know what it feels like to break free.
Right now you may be feeling like there is no hope, these are the cards you were dealt. And you’re right. As long as you continue to allow that mentality to control you, you will be handcuffed to whoever hurt you, whatever decision put you in this position, or whatever happened in your life to throw you off course.
In order to free yourself from pain and forgive, you have to change your mindset and you are the only person who has the power to do that. You have to decide that you are worthy of moving forward with your life and take control back.
Here are seven tips on how to free yourself from pain and forgive.
Accept that you cannot turn back time.
There will always be, “if only’s”. If only you had approached it differently, if only he didn’t lie to you, if only you were more aware, if only she had listened to you, if only he could get his priorities straight. Learning from the things you look back on is important, but you have to understand that those lessons are to benefit your future, not to re-write your past.
Understand that decisions are made based on circumstance.
We are all guilty of making the wrong decision. When other people make decisions that affect you, it is important to understand that their decisions are not a reflection of you. You have to let go of the need to understand the why, and find confidence in the reality that it’s not about you.
Do not ignore your feelings.
Sometimes we forget that we are human and give into the pressure from society to always “have it all together”. The more you try to bury your feelings, the more angry and bitter you will become. You have to allow yourself to feel, to mourn, and to grieve your feelings in order to make space to move on and move forward.
Control what you can control.
It is a tough life lesson to understand that we cannot control other people’s behaviors and that the only person we have control over is ourselves. This is your time to get in line with what truly makes you happy and learn how to prioritize from there. You have the choice every morning when you wake up to let what happened hold you back or to take control of your day.
Reevaluate your circle.
In order to free yourself from pain and forgive you must surround yourself with people who motivate, inspire, and lift you up. Consider your dinner table: you’re not going to slave in the kitchen all day, bring out your best china, and offer a glass of your favorite wine to just anyone. Space should be limited and the seats at your table should only be filled with those who add value to your life.
Learn to live for today.
Most people spend their life living in the past or living for the future. The problem with living for either is that it blinds you from the opportunities of today and prevents you from enjoying the blessings right in front of you. There will always be distractions and things that get in your way, don’t let those be excuses. Use those things to fuel your passion to make every moment count.
Forgiving the people who have hurt you may be one of the hardest things you do, but it comes with an incredible reward: freedom. Forgiveness is not something that has to be earned, and not something that is for anyone else. Forgiveness is for you. At some point you just have to make a decision: continue to allow what has happened to you steal your joy and keep you handcuffed, or release the pain from your heart, forgive and set yourself free.
The strength to move on and move forward is already inside of you, it is up to you to unleash it.
photo cred: livingbydevinedesign.com