Do unresolved hurts and regrets hold you emotionally hostage … and sabotage your success?

Posted by on Jul 26, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Do unresolved hurts and regrets hold you emotionally hostage … and sabotage your success?

“Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.” 

–    Oprah Winfrey

Life is all about relationships. Few of us get through life untouched by some degree of conflict, disappointment, hurt, regret, betrayal, or failure.   Dealing with these issues as adults may be more difficult for some of us, as unresolved painful childhood experiences may emotionally haunt us and unconsciously continue to shape how we see ourselves and others.  Regardless, these hurts, regrets, and disappointments hold us hostage to the past and limit our growth, development, and success.  When we are willing to reveal our pain, communicate honestly, and forgive ourselves and others, we begin to heal.

In order to move forward in relationships and in life, we need to develop the skills necessary to resolve conflicts in a healthy manner including …

  • Setting clean, clear boundaries that respect everyone in the relationship
  • Having the willingness to forgive ourselves and others
  • Recognizing the difference between forgiveness and trust. Forgiveness is a conscious choice we make in the moment. Trust must be built over time through repeatedly demonstrated positive action.

Forgiveness starts with acknowledging and reflecting on what happened to us or what we did to another.  For many, this may be the toughest step as we must consciously recognize and confront the extent of the pain, shame, or blame that we are holding on to as a victim or an offender.  Recognizing the truth gives shape, depth, and breadth to our pain; gives us a clear picture of where we are emotionally; and allows us to let go of the past.  It presents us with the opportunity to reclaim our personal power.

Forgiveness does not make an offender right.  It doesn’t mean that we immediately put our trust in the deceiver, sweep the matter under the rug, or remain in relationships that are unhealthy or abusive.

Being in a state of forgiveness requires us to be responsible not for someone else’s behavior or the offensive act, but for how we have negatively defined and limited ourselves as a result.  We must be willing to take an honest look at the debilitating choices and decisions we have made and hold ourselves and others accountable for the actions taken or not taken that frayed the very fabric of the relationship.  It is only through taking responsibility for our choices that we can begin instead to make positive adjustments in our outlook and recalibrate our lives.

In The Wisdom in Re…Rethinking Your Life, we explain how the negative three R’s – resentment, resistance, and revenge – emotionally and physically restrict and constrain us.  We also elaborate on the positive three R’s – recognize, respond, and recalibrate. The reader is then taken through a powerful forgiveness process to release current and/or childhood hurts, disappointments, resentments, and regrets.  This is an opportunity to reconcile your past and redefine your future to move forward with purpose, power, and passion.

Rosalie D. Gibbons, MFT