One thing I have learned through my years of work is that unconditional love and forgiveness are the most powerful things we can do, for the sake of our own mental health and healing. And it's easy to say and challenging to do, until you do it once and see what true unconditional love and forgiveness can give to YOU.
I am NOT talking about forgiving another person or loving them unconditional because of how it will make them feel, or because you think they deserve it, BUT how it will make YOU feel because it will set you free! Let me say that again, it will set YOU free.
Oh how much suffering we create for ourselves when we cannot forgive. I've learned this the hard way, as many of us do. We have all been hurt or harmed or treated badly in some way, every single one of us. But when old wounds weigh us down and keep us stuck and unable to move forward you may try imagining how you would feel if you forgave for YOUR sake, or practiced unconditional love in a difficult relationship (past or present).
I'm telling you it's such an amazing feeling. You don't even have to tell the person you practice this with that you are doing it. No communication is necessary, it's all about how you think about the circumstance and the feelings you create.
Please think about this, we think that disliking someone or being angry at them, hurts them. It doesn't. It hurts us.
WE are the ones walking around feeling the feelings of hate or anger inside our bodies. The other person is not walking around feeling our feelings inside themselves. Can you see how much we hurt ourselves when we do this?
One of my mentors Brooke Castillo teaches that you love people for YOUR sake, not theirs. Yes!
This is where managing our minds is so, so helpful. We have to dig in there and really sort through all the thoughts we have about the person we dislike or feel bad about. Do models on them, understand why we're thinking the way we are, and what results that thinking is really creating for us. And it can be painful work sometimes. And so worth it. YOU'RE worth it. You deserve to feel good, no matter what has transpired between you and another person.
I talk a lot about how we really can feel however we want to feel. We get to choose, and this is one of the most powerful choices you can make for yourself. Try it on for size, if you are struggling with this one let me know, and I will help you.