the secret to letting go of anger and learning to forgive
The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we gave ourselves. -- Pema Chodron
When we think about it and get really honest with ourselves, this is often the truest truth. We often get mad at outside forces, but usually it comes back to disappointment in ourselves, the difficult times we give ourselves. For example, you get cheated on and you feel betrayed and hurt. But truly underneath it all, its usually is yourself that you are mad at. Upset that you allowed yourself to ignore your gut—your intuition. You're upset with yourself for having been in that situation and allowed it. We lose faith in ourselves. Below is a little story of a woman who did just that, lost trust in herself.
Not too long ago I went to New York for my first TV segment for a segment called Mujer del Dia (Woman of the Day). It was so fun and exciting to be able to share psychologically-savvy advice on a national TV news station. The first day I arrived, I went to see a beautiful man by the name of Abdy, a healer. I had a very hard-to-describe magical holy experience of my Kundalini awakening and rising. It was intense and amazing.
While I was in a cab on my way to see Abdy, the cab driver was a woman. We got to talking, and she asked me what I did for a living. I responded "I work as a psychotherapist and I fuse modern advice and spiritual approaches to my sessions."
She asked me "So then how do I forgive my ex husband?"
I asked her (intuitively I felt he had abused her) "Did he abuse you?"
She responded, with head shamefully down "yes." I said "it's okay I've been there."
I began to explain to her that she was really upset at herself. She was confused, still mad at the woman who would allow herself to be abused. She is mad at the girl who allowed him to call her names and hit her. She is mad at herself for being so weak to allow someone to degrade her holiness, her majesty, her goddess. She is mad at herself for being in that position. I told her she let herself down, she didn't do her job to protect herself and so she's still hurt with herself. Yes, she was mad at him. But she is more mad at herself for allowing it.
She sighed in relief, she said "Wow and all this time I thought I was just mad at him. You're right, I've never heard it like that. I am mad at me. I am mad at myself for allowing it." I told her to pray nightly for herself, to send love to the wounded little girl that felt unworthy of love and so she allowed abuse and stayed around for more. Pray and forgive her. Tell her nightly that she is worthy of love.
I then told her that when she feels ready to pray for the little boy within her ex-husband that was wounded enough to hurt another human being so much. I told her to find the seed of compassion and cultivate it, like a garden, for herself, for him, and all that have hurt her. Lastly, my advice was to begin to let go of that old story and for her to begin to have trust in herself again that she is safe to be loved because she can trust herself again to protect herself.
We have all been this woman before. Mad and hurt at ourselves for allowing others to hurt us, for breaking our own promises, for letting ourselves down. Let's regain our trust in ourselves again, re-build our relationship to ourselves again. This is the root of healthy relationships with others, to have a healthy relationship to the self.
Trusting ourselves is a key in unlocking the trust we seek to have with others. So ask yourself.... In what ways have you let yourself down? Can you remember a specific moment where you made a promise to yourself and broke it? With gentle love and observation write these moments down. With awareness, comes change.
Then write down "I forgive myself for letting myself down. I learn and grow with each mistake I make. I am ready to love and trust myself again" and so it is.
Remember, your relationship to yourself is one of the most important. So begin to regain trust in yourself again, begin to fall in love with yourself again, keep your word to you—at least a little more, and forgive yourself when you don't. Sending love and trust your way.
Christine Gutierrez is a psychotherapist, advice columnist, speaker, author, poet and founder of CosmicLife.com, an online hub that features psychologically-savvy and soulful advice, articles, videos, private consultations, workshops, retreats (both live+virtual), radio appearances and television projects. ”Ancient wisdom with a modern twist” is the motto. Christine is also the founder of the non profit Therapy is Cool, founded in Puerto Rico, where the mission is to empower, educate, and share resources with the marginalized youth and women communities in the Latino community. She is the author of the new hit e-book/e-course The Care of Wounded Wings: A Guide to Soar Through Life's Tough Times. Known for breaking stigmas; Christine is taking therapy to the next level, fusing ancient wisdom with modern psychology. For more information visit CosmicLife.com.