Traditionally, Valentine’s Day focuses on romantic love, but take a moment to broaden your scope, to include all the types of love in your life: your love for your parents, children, friends, siblings and yourself.
Are you really allowing yourself to experience all the love in your life or are you feeling disconnected and disappointed?
My heart aches for people who are so hungry for love in their relationships but they get in their own way by holding onto grievances that seem too important to let go. Usually, the grievance is some sort of disappointment: a forgotten
birthday, an unkind comment, a difference of opinion, etc. Often it is the kind of incident we would let go of if the person wasn’t so special to us. However, in these special relationships there are unspoken expectations. We tend to idealize these people and then we are disappointed when they don’t live up to the ideal.
We blame them and judge them when what we really want is love from them.
But, let me ask you, how easy is it to love someone who is blaming and judging you?
So this Valentine’s Day, if you want to access to all the love in your life, there is one perfect gift to give all your special people (including yourself): FORGIVENESS.
Forgiveness can be difficult, so my Valentine’s gift to you is 4 tips on how you can forgive:
1. Give yourself a MAXIMUM of 3 days to experience the hurt. Three days is enough time for you to experience the pain, deal with the issue, or let it go.
2. During the three days, take the responsibility of understanding your own pain by asking yourself these questions:
- Did this person hurt me intentionally?
- If I am disappointed, are my expectations reasonable?
- Were my expectations communicated and understood?
- Is this hurt triggering memories of unresolved pain from my past?
3. Remind yourself that whatever the person said or did is not who they are.
4. When we are angry at people, we are angry because of something they said or did before this moment. Accept that whatever happened that caused you pain is in the past. The past is simply a collection of memories in our minds. Therefore, you can choose to reduce your own anger by remembering all the times the offending person has said or done something that pleased you instead of hurt you.
Did you notice that each of these tips are for you to reduce your own anger?
That’s right…even if someone else has hurt you, you are responsible for your own feelings.
If you have not dealt with the pain or let it go after three days, then you are choosing to turn a grievance into a grudge. A grudge is a grievance kept alive by artificial life support. Remember, the offending incident is in the past and therefore only exists in your memory. Every time you visit this memory, you are keeping the grudge alive. I want you to picture your grudge in a hospital bed being kept alive by the energy that you are feeding it.
Does your grudge really deserve heroic measures like a loved one?
Ultimately we choose to forgive because it releases us from the pain. When we open our heart to release the pain, we make room to receive the love we crave.