Deal, drop, or leave it

We all have old hurts. Someone devalued us, treated us poorly, hurt our feelings, ignored us, insulted us, etc.

Likely we have a number, perhaps a goodly number, of instances like this that we can recall. We may even keep them fresh in memory, ruminating over them and re-experiencing the hurt all over again.

And yes, we were hurt. This isn’t to trivialize what happened to us. But when we repeatedly delve into the pain, we also hurt ourselves. We cause ourselves to feel bad all over again.

So, how do we stop being stuck in the pain? First and foremost, we can deal with it. We acknowledge our feelings and work through them. We may wish to get professional assistance if the wound runs deep.

Or we can choose to forgive the individual who hurt us and decide to let the issue go. Forgiveness doesn’t mean we forget what happened or that we exonerate the offending individual. It simply means that we release the experience so we can feel better.

As a more intense measure, we can leave the situation. This usually implies some sort of a separation—leaving a job, dropping a friendship, quitting a relationship. This is a tactic of last resort, when the painful treatment is ongoing and can’t be dealt with by any other means.

Today’s message reminds me that only I can allow the past to hurt me. When I stop reliving old hurts, I free myself to be happier and freer.

Please reflect and share. What old painful experience is it time to leave behind?