Let Go of Past Hurts
June 30, 2015
Filed In: Philosophy
I'm a grudge-holder. I don't do it for all things, but when a particular relational infraction occurs, if it's offensive enough, I'll hold on to it for a very long time. It's not the best system in the world and it certainly adds stress to my life because grudges keep coming up in my mind resulting in me reliving the offending action. The problem with holding on to past hurts is not just that we can't do anything about them today, but also that it makes us a prisoner of the past.
We all get hurt. Whether it be by our own actions or by those of someone else, we all have to face the pain and suffering that relational discord brings. Sometimes it's temporary discomfort and other times it's a hard break, but the fact that we're social beings means that we all face this painful reality at one point or another. The thing is, when we avoid dealing with the issues and leave them unresolved, we become hostages. We obsess and just can't seem to move on. Sometimes we might direct anger at the wrong person years later because we haven't fully dealt with our past.
The best way to resolve past hurts is through a process of reconciliation. Depending on your situation, you may reconcile with the person face-to-face or you may just have to reconcile with the situation. If you're able to reconcile with the person directly, it can be helpful if you consider what fault was yours, admit it, and ask for forgiveness. If significant time has passed, you can both acknowledge that you used to be dumb and that was part of the problem. If you're unable to reconcile face-to-face, you will just have to reconcile with the facts. Still admit your role, but also understand that there's nothing to be done about it now and that holding on is causing other problems. Work through it and then put it out to pasture.
Unresolved past hurts can become a limiting factor in your life. Your future is bright and you can start making changes for the better today. By keeping one foot in the past and one in the present, you miss out on the opportunity for joy and happiness that today offers while wallowing in the misery of a yesterday long since past.