"Holding on to hurt is like holding on to a concrete brick in the middle of the ocean."
- Freedom in Relationships, Krishnaji & Preethaji founders of One World Academy (OWA)
I love preparing for OWA meditation sessions. It's like all of a sudden I start seeing examples EVERYWHERE of whatever topic is coming up. And today, it was all the ways we DON'T let go of hurt. I would put them into three main categories and since the image in the quote is about concrete bricks, I'll stay with that as an analogy.
Method #1: What brick?
This is where we have the hurt, but keep it hidden ... well, sort of hidden. For example, I remember this starting in relationships with my very first boyfriend when I was 15 years old. We were sitting in front of my house talking and I was upset about something he'd said. No matter how many times he asked me if anything was wrong, I'd say, "No, I'm fine." It would be one thing, if I knew I was upset and just telling him I wasn't ... This was even worse, I was telling myself I was "fine" when I wasn't. Yikes!
Method #2: I let it go ... all the time!
So here's an interesting one. In typical fashion, I noticed this method in another person first. Several years ago a friend of mine and I were walking down an alley as she complained about her childhood and his deceased father. I had adored her dad and in defense piped up, "why don't you forgive him?" Her reply, "I forgive him everyday." Hmmmm, but if you forgive him, doesn't that sort of imply that it's over, done, no need to forgive twice, or more? And then, what do you know, a couple of months ago I was able to observe that same sort of thing in myself. I'd been holding on to something my mother had said, years and years and years ago. I had "forgiven" her, but it was more in a, "I can forgive you, because I'm better than you" way. And there was probably a little bit of "if I really forgive you, I can't be better than you" thought in there, too. Wow!
Method #3: It's not a concrete brick, its a sticky note!
Not sure about you, but one of my favorite old reasons for holding on to hurt goes something like this ... If I let this go, then how will I remember to never let that happen to me again. This is how this worked for me. There was a man I'd dated, who said and did something that really surprised and "hurt" me. I NEVER wanted to let that go, I wanted to remember that hurt ALWAYS so that I would NEVER be in that situation EVER again. Truth is, there is no way I could in truth ever be in the same particular position again, exact situations don't repeat. And by always having that hurt in my heart, reminding me all the time of what one man did, in one small period of time, all it did was keep me from being open to new love.
Method #4: I am the brick.
Have you ever held on to a "hurt" so strongly that it became you, that it defined you? It could be anything ... divorce, illness, the loss of a job, but it is now part of you. For me, it was the "hurt" of being in relationships where I wasn't cherished. It was defining for me and, boy, did it create a lot of attention for me with friends and family. Dropping all that felt weird, but I felt lighter ... I swear, if you had put me on a scale before and after there would be pounds missing from the weight of those brick. Now that's a diet!
Letting go for real.
I'm sure there are other methods for holding on to hurt that I haven't categorized. I would love to add more, so add your own in the comments!!! What has worked for me in letting go are the meditations and wisdoms of Preethaji, which helped me have the awareness of my inner dialogue and really see and feel how I alone am creating the hurt. The approach is nicely summarized in Freedom in Relationships, "forgiveness is to realize the futility of indulging in hurt."
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(Note: Every day, or let's say at least most days, I write a post about something I have seen or thought about as it relates to relationships and what I've learned over the last couple years with OWA. Then, each Wednesday night at 7:00 pm (EST) I cover one topic very specific supporting meditations ... To help me out, I would so appreciate it if you would click on the heart at the bottom of this post if this is something you think people would be interested in learning more about, so I can add it to my Wednesday line up. Thank you.)