How to Forgive When You’re a Petty Betty

There’s a picture circulating Facebook of a Buddha with the words “Let That Shit Go” written underneath.  The first time I saw it I thought, “Yeah ‘ight whatever” because forgiveness and letting go is NOT my forte.  I’m still sorta in my feelings about the time my sister broke a necklace given to me by a boy who was my first kiss.  That was over 15 years ago! So imagine the difficulty I faced when trying to forgive a man who broke my heart. He was my first adult love and that SHIT hurt. I’m talking about Quentin Tarantino type emotional violence. Kill Bill sword twisted into my stomach, letting all my guts hang out, type of hurt.  All I could do was whimper, defeated in my heart at his betrayal.

So how do you let that kind of psychic pain go? How do you get rid of thoughts of wanting to go around kicking people with your platform heels? Here are three techniques that actually work.

  1. Understand that if you do not forgive, you will die. You will die either by your own hands or from the internal physiological effects of carrying around all that emotional weight. I’m a skinny lady but emotionally, I was morbidly obese. I had to make the conscious decision that I would not dwell on the cruel things done or the mean words spoken.  Forgive or Die.
  2. Tap into your creativity. See things from the other person’s perspective.  For most of us that requires a high level of creativity and imagination. Try to understand the other person’s perspective so that you can come to terms with the realization that their cruelty didn’t really have anything to do with you.  The way they behaved speaks more about their relationship with themselves than with you.  To commit acts of cruelty against another human being requires a certain level of self hate.
  3. Talk about it out loud with someone else.  Sometimes you won’t be able to find your way to forgiveness on your own. That’s okay. Find a licensed therapist who you can talk to about the things you find hard to forgive.  Talking through your past hurts out loud can be like a healing balm for your emotions.