We were recently asked how to get over being hurt by someone close to us. How can we forgive and move on? Parts of this article are based on our response to that email.
It is always sad when someone hurts us. I’ve been hurt myself and I have heard countless stories. It always breaks my heart.
I am also hopeful, however, because I know that there is something better on the other side of situations.
I am not talking about meeting someone better, although that will also probably happen. I am talking about the type of person you can grow into.
The Person You Can Be
Let me just explain the type of person that I know you and everyone else CAN be:
You know you will always grow as a person. You work towards achieving your dreams, but you also enjoy the present moment. You take steps every day to become more comfortable with who you are.
You view every good experience with other people as a bonus on top of the wonderful being that you are. You view any bad experience with other people as something to grow from. You know that things will always happen to you, but that you control how you react to these things.
You have clear boundaries for what you accept into your life, because you have a deep self-worth. When others hurt you, you forgive them. Not because you’re nice to them, but because you’re nice to you. You know that being angry and bitter only hurts you. You let go of the anger and the people that hurt you, and meet new and fantastic people.
You’re able to grieve and be sad, but you don’t let it consume you. You know that being sad and experiencing being hurt is a part of life. You don’t want it in the moment, but you realize that life without hurt is impossible. You cherish what it teaches you. You step into the unknown with courage, not because you know you won’t get hurt, but because you want to live life to the fullest. And living life to the fullest includes being hurt.
The twist is that the fun does not lie in finally becoming that person. All the fun lies on the journey to becoming that person. This is the true value you can get in life: to grow and evolve. Not meeting perfect people or always being happy.
When you get to this point you will effortlessly attract better people into your life. But you won’t need them, because you are complete in yourself.
There are two paths you can choose. One leads to the person I just described. The other leads to suffering.
The Path of Suffering
When others do things that hurt you can take the path of blame and suffering. You can take the stance that what was done reflects badly on you. You can come to the conclusion that you are unlovable, that something is wrong with you or that you have this or that fault. You give the other person the power to take your worth away.
You see no possible healing of the wound so you seek to inflict a wound on the other person. The obvious way of trying to inflict a wound on the other is not forgiving. You can stay angry with that person. You can do vengeful acts. You can talk behind his or her back. You can send hurtful messages. You can try hurting the person by telling the story of how hurt you are.
On the path of suffering you either blame your own permanent qualities or you can blame the other person’s qualities.
But there are no permanent qualities. The only thing that is constant is change.
The Path of Growth and Abundance: Forgiveness
Your life will be filled with events. Things happen to you and for you. This is the universe throwing you curve balls. It is giving you what you need to grow and come closer to Source. You can’t control an event. The event has already occurred. You can only control your present reaction. Your present reaction is what is always happening and it is always within your control.
If you want to take a right turn and step onto the path of abundance, you have to start exercising this control. This is also the path of forgiveness.
Realize that you do not forgive for the other person. You forgive for you. You are the one who is hurt the most by not forgiving. Feel inside you if your reaction to what has happened is taking you forward or keeping you down. Take small steps in your thoughts that take you towards a more harmonious vibration. Try a small change in your thoughts. Does it make you feel better? If yes, keep going. If no, let it go.
To have the courage to walk on the path of abundance you need to believe that you will grow. When you view yourself as someone that grows and evolves – the most fundamental human ability – you seek to understand, forgive and move on. You cherish the lessons you get from being hurt. You learn more about who is right for you. You learn more about life.
Again, realize that forgiveness is not a kind act towards the one who wronged you. It is a kind act towards you. The one who wronged you has already wronged him- or herself.
To Understand All Is to Forgive All
The French have a saying:
“Tout comprendre, c’est tout pardonner.”
To understand all is to forgive all.
We struggle with forgiveness because we do not understand. We do not understand why the other person did what he or she did. We do not yet understand that nothing good comes from resentment. We do not yet understand that we get what we need. We do not yet understand gratitude. We do not yet understand that we are all one.
When we understand we forgive.
Forgiveness is easier said than done for many people, even though it is the key to achieving a peaceful and happy life. Holding on to things that upset you creates a blockage inside. You may not feel it at first, but it will keep surfacing, upsetting you again and again, until you release it. You will not be free until you open up to acceptance and forgiveness.
So how can you forgive?
The first step, as with most things, is to take action.
Make the decision to forgive. If you can’t do it yet, set the intention to do your best, and forgive when you are ready. Do it for your own sake. Decide not to let your own well-being or freedom suffer because you hold on to negative emotions.
Identify what is bothering you, in this moment. Feel into it without taking any sides. Don’t judge yourself or others, just sit with the feeling.
Do your best not to react as you have done until now.
If you are able to do this fully, you are already there. You open up and let all thoughts about the situation flow through you. You let go. Total freedom.
This is what you would do in meditation. To attain total freedom in this way may take some practice. Implementing this in every moment of your life will make it easier and easier to remain a witness to the energies that are constantly arising. As this awareness, you are always and already free.
If you have been hurt by someone that you want to keep spending time with, you need to reach out to them. Talk to them and have them say their side of the story. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Try to see their perspective, even if it seems that they are not honest with themselves about what their perspective is. A mutual understanding is important. Tell them how you feel.
Take responsibility for your contribution to the conflict and apologize. Most people have a lot of emotional baggage and conditioning – a filter that they see the world through. It is likely that they have a completely different perception of reality than you. They might have taken things the wrong way, and created problems out of nothing. By apologizing you show that you take responsibility. Chances are, they will shift their perspective and do the same.
If you need to forgive someone that you cannot reach out to (e.g. someone who passed away) or don’t want to reach out to, you can write them a letter. You don’t need to send it. Just write a letter telling them how they made you feel. Allow yourself to feel all the negative feelings. Don’t close up or run away.
Afterwards, you can write their response in your own words. Write a letter to yourself, from the person who hurt you, saying exactly what you would want them to say.
Writing about it allows you to make sense of your feelings.
Full disclosure of your innermost feelings through writing can change your life. 20 minutes of writing about a traumatic experience, for four consecutive days, will do wonders for your health.
A study  showed that people who did this went to the hospital or doctor fewer times the following year than a control group (who wrote about every day-topics). This only worked when people made progress and gained a deeper insight into the consequences and causes of their traumatic event.
 Pennebaker, Jamie. Writing to Heal. https://www.utexas.edu/features/archive/2005/writing.html
Change Your Point of View
You are probably holding strong beliefs about the hurtful situation. Chances are that this perspective is not doing you any good.
Also, you are making assumptions about what the situation “means”.
You create stories that you hold on to and give meaning to. Realize that nothing means anything until you agree that it does.
Being able to see from as many points of view as possible is a sign of great wisdom. Being able to accept them all is a sign of great love. Balance love and wisdom by seeing and accepting all perspectives available to you.
Do Not Take Anything Personally
Everybody lives inside their own world. The moment you take someone else’s negativity and agree to it, you feel bad. The poison they have in them wants to spread. Their ego grows with drama. Don’t take it personally and the negativity stays with them. You remaining open and unaffected may even help them let go of their own negativity. Nothing anybody does to hurt you can put a dent in who you are.
On the person-inside-a-world level, the human level, the ego level, you will hurt if you believe the meaning you give to it. On a deeper level, as Awareness, you are by definition unaffected.
See the Basic Goodness in All Beings
When we are able to see beyond all our ideas and stories – beyond physical appearance, labels and roles – we see the true nature of all things. We see that there is an underlying field of free Awareness, observing all appearances, as One.
See the goodness in all appearances.
All experiences have a story side with unique labels and definitions. They also have a side that is unaffected and constant. Every experience is contained by Awareness – it consists of Awareness. Notice that something is aware of your eyes and brain reading and processing this text. That is Awareness. That is who you are on a deeper level than “a person in a world”. It is who we all are.
To embrace ourselves and others with unconditional love, compassion, acceptance and forgiveness; we must see past the roles, stories and behaviors that distort our true nature.
Seeing the fundamental goodness in all beings takes courage.
It takes bravery to refuse to give up on anyone or anything.
This can be especially hard when we are trying to see the goodness in a child molester, a terrorist or the CEO of a corporation that pollutes the planet. Forgiving and loving does not mean to overlook harmful behavior in ourselves and others, but to clearly see the full truth of it.
“There is only one heroism in the world: to see the world as it is, and to love it.”
– Romaine Rolland
We do not have to let our collection of assumptions be the filter we view another through. When we stop and ask “who are you really?” we are led to a deeper understanding. We see basic goodness and we respond with love.
Forgiveness is an important aspect of dealing with adversity. Having a desire to let go and move on, and acting on that desire, is essential.
Forgiveness is a continuous process. Past hurt can come back to test us several times before we are completely free.
Time can help you heal, or make things worse, depending on your reaction to this.
Time passes and the event bothers you less. You seem to have made progress. All of a sudden a situation arises that brings back some of the hurtful feelings and resentment. This is especially common during heated discussions with the person that hurt you. This means that you haven’t fully processed your feelings and still have some work to do. This is completely normal.
Here you have two choices. Let go or hold on. Be free or be imprisoned. Choose the path of suffering or the path of growth and abundance.
To let go it is important to feel your hurt, and not to run away from it.
Monitor your thoughts and feelings as much as you can. Open up to them and let them flow through you. Let go. It gets easier the more you try. With some practice you’ll be completely free and always at ease. On the other side of letting go, there is peace.
You will see the basic goodness in all appearances. They come and go while you, as Awareness, remain unaffected.
When you glimpse the true depth of who you are you will open your heart and be able to let appearances flow through it. Everything is already forgiven.
I wrote down the process that went down in my mind during my morning meditation a few days ago. Read it, feel it – let it fill you with compassion, love and forgiveness.
Cleansing Through Forgiveness
I ask for forgiveness from everyone I have caused suffering. I include everyone I remember specifically and everyone else who I am not aware that I have hurt. I sincerely apologize with love in my heart.
I set the intention to forgive myself for everything that I have done that have hurt others. I forgive myself for everything I have held against me and my being. I set the intention to remove all feelings of guilt – to be free from everything that could possibly weigh me down. I do this with love in my heart.
I set the intention to forgive anyone who has caused me suffering. I forgive you, with love in my heart.
Every doubt that may arise, every speck of fear of being unworthy, is forgiven. I forgive myself and all beings with love in my heart.
Let the clouds clear and let in the light of existence. Shine as bright and radiant as a thousand suns.
Everything is forgiven and accepted, always and already.
I love you.
Do What Works
Everyone is different. Everyone is hurt in different ways. Everyone responds in different ways. Ultimately, you need to do what works for you. Is it making you feel better? Great! Keep doing it. Is it making you feel worse? Try something else. Do what takes you towards greater inner peace, and ultimately to that state of mind where you are fearlessly following your excitement and joy.
Written by G & P
Featured image by Sublimenation.