Oakland, Ca-Forgiving A Grudge Is Good For Your Heart-LIfe Coaching, Hypnosis, Eastbay, Ca
Dan (named changed for privacy) had been holding onto a grudge towards his mother for decades. Dan truly had a reason to feel angry and resentful. His mother was emotionally unavailable for most of his childhood. His dad had passed away when he was 3 years old.
He so deeply needed to feel important and safe, so he found it where he could. Even as a little guy, he figured out how to find iit through his friends. His friends and their family became his family. But then another heartbreak, he had to move. What a shock to his poor little system.
For so many of us, we grew up in less than stable, loving environments. In these environments, our little hearts can harded. Big castle walls are built around our tender hearts for protection. On these walls there are signs that say keep out.
I’ve got 5 tips for you. These are some of the processes that Dan and I used to help him heal:
- Acknowledge your grudge. Awareness is the precursor to change and is the first step to making positive changes in your life.
- Share your feelings. Emotions are energy in motion, and when you allow them to come up and out, you’re going to feel so much better. (It can be a lot at first, so go at your own pace or seek some support.) You’ll gain more clarity. You may also find that bodily aches and pains go away, due to the energy release.
- Self Compassion. Now as an adult, you can re-parent your younger, wounded self. Almost as if you’re having a dialogue with your younger self, you can say “ You must have felt so scared and alone. I’m so sorry that happened to you. You’re safe now. You’re loved. I’m here for you.”
- Switch places. Now this step is not a common recommendation. It takes courage and empathy to employ this step. Yet, I believe it can be a life changing process, because you’re able to walk a proverbial mile in someone else’s shoes. The more you understand how the person may have been in alot of pain and didn’t know how to release it. It certainly doesn’t excuse their actions, but compassion helps you to let go.
- Accept and Forgive. Choosing to forgive and move on is the healthiest thing you can do for your physical, mental and emotional health. When you can reach the last stage of grief, which is what many people are really suffering from, you can accept the circumstances, recognize what’s called Post Traumatic Growth (yes, this is a real thing) and begin to take down the wall, brick by brick.
Dan felt something quite unexpected. As Dan was working these steps, he got to the “switching places” step. He found that when he was guided to step into his mother’s shoes, he realized that she was really suffering from immense grief, too. She was grieving the loss of her husband and just checked out. She didn’t have a family support system, so all the responsibilities fell on her and she was overwhelmed and exhausted. He realized that she had spiralled into a deep depression. As an adult and father now, he felt deep empathy and compassion for her. He said that this step helped him transcend his grief and he cried on her behalf and for them both at the loss they both felt. It was such a powerful release for him and he felt his heart open, for the first time in a very long time towards his mother.
He was fortunate enough that his mother was still alive. He reported back that they’re spending more time together rekindling the mother/son bond. He’s also noticed how his open heart has changed all the relationships in his life.
Last we spoke, he said that through our work together, he realized that it’s never too late to choose self compassion, love and healing.
If you want to let go of a grudge and let in love and healing, here’s a great resource for you.