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August 12, 2014
by Caleen Martin

How Forgiveness Can Free our Emotional Heartache and Better our Health

August 12, 2014 02:55 by Caleen Martin

Have you ever allowed another person's actions to dictate your emotions?

Are you angry and bitter every time you think of someone who has wronged you? If so, you're human but also probably living a more stressful and unhealthy life than you need to be. The problem with allowing others to control our emotions is that we cannot control what others do. If someone doesn't live up to our standards and expectations we allow them to destroy our happiness. We think that they have to do something in order to allow us to move forward. This leads to resentment, bitterness and physical and mental health issues. Who wants to live this way? I know I didn't, but realized that that was exactly what I was doing in my first marriage.

I realized that every time my ex-husband did something to upset me, to hurt me, my reaction to him dictated how he would continue to treat me. As well, his reaction to me dictated how  I would continue to treat him. Not once did we ever stop to re-evaluate our reactions to each other. Yes, he did some incredibly hurtful things to me during our marriage and my reactions were completely justified, but they didn’t do anything to help the situation. My reactions insured that his mistreatment of me would continue.

Getting your power back

It certainly did not happen over night, but it happened. One day I woke up and realized I had given all of my power away. My life was no longer my own. Well, that had to stop. It took time and help from a counselor to rebuild my confidence in myself and take control of my life and my emotions. My marriage didn't survive, but although I contributed my share of mistakes that eventually ended our marriage, so did my ex-husband. And I've come to realize that holding onto all of the lies and betrayals, the unanswered questions and hurts is a waste of time. It does nothing to change the past and only keeps me in that unhealthy place. I would still be allowing him to control my happiness.

It wasn’t until I started reacting differently, until I started putting boundaries in place that my ex-husband realized that something had changed. I wasn’t going to be treated the same way any more and regardless of how he acted I was moving on without him.

Moving on in spite of the past

I know I'll never get the answers I would like about how our marriage turned out the way it did, and that's okay. I don't require these answers to move forward, to live my life, to raise my son, to find love again, to be happy. I can move on in spite of my past. Whether you’ve felt this way regarding an intimate relationship, a friendship, with family or with colleagues here are a few things that can help you find a healthier path:

1) Talk to someone.
It's hard to let go of past hurts. It doesn't make you a weak person if you ask for help. Friends and family can often times only fuel your anger, having a third party who can give you realistic goals and objectives to help you through the situation can be invaluable.

2) Write it out .
Write it all down, uncensored and raw. Don't hold back. Say everything you wish you could say, ask all the questions, tell them off; what ever you feel like writing. And when you're done, burn it and let it go. Don't let someone else have your power, they're never worth it.

3) Forgive.
Not for them, but for yourself. Forgiveness doesn't mean that what the person did was okay, it means that you have it within yourself to move on and have a happy, healthy life in spite of what happened.

Forgiveness is a powerful tool, but it does take time to get to that place. However, the more you practice forgiveness in your life the easier it becomes. I think we have been taught by society that forgiveness means it's alright. That who ever has hurt us can just get away with what they have done . The reality of the situation is that no one gets away with the wrongs and hurts they have perpetuated onto others. There are lessons to be learned and if the other person continues in their negative behavior they will only attract this negativity back into their lives. So find peace in letting go of the hurt and forgiving in order to continue on your own path.

About the Author

Caleen Martin Caleen Martin

After being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Caleen Martin has dedicated herself to research and education on chronic pain. She encourages others to pursue the best life possible, in spite of physical challenges.

Caleen Martin can be found at
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