I like to think of us humans composed of 3 things. Body, mind and the soul. All as layers.
The body physically protects the mind and the mind emotionally protects the soul. What about the heart? I believe the soul is a deeper extension of the heart. All those deeper feelings; love, passion, anger, jealousy, happiness etc stem from our souls. Its our soul that God promised would reside in heaven if we follow his will on earth as it is in heaven.
Before I write any further; let me tell you about my beliefs. I may not be religious, but I am spiritual. I am firm believer of, ‘Be good, do good’.
I have had some experiences in life which crushed my feelings and shattered my soul. It’s not just anger that I felt towards people, it changed my core beliefs. It changed me as person.
They changed my core beliefs..
1. I stopped trusting people. I questioned everybody’s motives around me. I simply stopped believing that goodness existed.
2. I learnt to build walls around my feelings. I was never able to surrender my 100% feelings to another person. I always held back.
3. I stopped expecting. I just assumed, if I do not expect there are less chances of getting hurt.
4. I felt the need to compete with everyone just to prove myself.
5. And the worst of all, I wanted the people who hurt me, to feel the hurt themselves. I wanted them to fail in life. I wanted revenge.
Although I was working out, getting fit, changing my hairstyle and colour; all those external changes did nothing for my soul. I assumed I was scarred for life.
My Dad is a deeply religious man and he has always reminded me of ‘Forgive and forget.’
It sounds easy. But it isn’t. After all those awkward encounters, fake smiles and my hypocrisy, I took my initial steps towards self-healing.
Journey towards self-healing.
- TIME: As the old adage goes, time heals wounds. Just like a physical wound, give time for your emotionally recovery. It took me 5 years to finally let go of the pain and make room for new emotions in my heart. It might be a slow journey, but it will heal in due time.
- Let out your emotions. Bottling up that resentment, anger and hate will have ways to embed even deeper than you know. Speak out. It could be your best friend, parents, therapist or just your journal. Let out those feelings.
- HAPPINESS: I strongly believe that allowing happiness in your life is the first step towards forgiveness. I focussed my emotions and energy into my education. I had a difficult time and my degree exams were the only ones I could focus on. It distracted me from my problems to a great deal. I also started working out with my friend in order to motivate her and in the process it benefited me.
- The NEUTRAL zone: This was one of my best experiences. I couldn’t easily forgive people who had wronged me. I decided to put them in a neutral zone. It is not necessary to like the people who hurt you. And being negative about them will impair your healing journey. So neutralize them. Stop giving them any control over your feelings. You will eventually stop caring about them. So you are neither good nor bad!
- Why do you need revenge? Ask yourself, what are you going to achieve? Do you need to stoop down to their level? Do you need to become someone you aren’t to prove a point? Are you willing to invest your time plotting schemes for this person? It is not going to give you any closure. Why allow negativity into our lives?
- What goes around, comes around: So perhaps you do not seek any revenge, but you are secretly hoping to see that person fail in life. Again it is not going to help you heal. You are sub consciously still holding this grudge, these feelings which are a constant reminder of those bad times. These have a great impact on all the future relationships that you will build.
- Let go: Detox your soul. It is hard work and takes a great deal of courage and will power. I stopped discussing this person and all the bad things that happened. The easiest way for me was to block those memories initially. And with due time I had forgotten. I had concentrated more on building my life rather than hating that person.
- Forgiveness: I met this person 6 years later. I realized I felt nothing. it wasn’t awkward anymore. I was happy in my life, in fact happier without this person. He did not affect me a anymore. That incident changed my life for the better.
- Inspirations: It could be your favourite religious scriptures or real life inspirations. Incorporate it during this process.
Forgiveness helped me heal my soul and not just mend it! It made way for better relationships.
People and circumstances will keep coming at you. You have to decide how much power you let them have over you.
“Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie
“Let no man pull you low enough to hate him”. – Martin Luther King Jr
Copyright 2018 Chris Lemos All rights reserved