The other night I met up with a group of friends at a local pub for trivia night. What I don’t know about today’s pop culture (SexyBack is sung by a guy?) could be the entire topic of this blog but I promise; it isn’t. Letting go and moving on is.

I was seated next to Natalie, a beautiful, successful, divorcee with four children. I was meeting Natalie for the first time and over the course of the evening, Natalie shared with me the details that had led to the destruction of her first marriage. Adultery, betrayal, financial forgery, bankruptcy and substance abuse, her story could have been scripted by Danielle Steele.

But this was not a work of fiction, this was Natalie’s story. The anger, radiated from Natalie like heat waves from pavement in the summer and she clenched and unclenched her fists while she spat out the actions of her ex-husband; her physical body reflecting the inner tempest. The furry was palpable and because of the intensity, I had assumed that these events had happened recently.

So it came as quite a surprise when I discovered that this chapter in Natalie’s life had occurred over 10 years ago. Why would Natalie want to hold onto this trauma? Why not just let it go?

The largest component of letting go is forgiveness. But when someone has really hurt you, destroyed your trust and left you emotionally scarred, forgiveness can feel like condoning or absolving the offending party of any wrong doing.

Some victims cling to the anger and hurt so they can feel like they are holding the offender accountable and punishing them. Unfortunately, what tends to happen in these circumstances is that the victim ends up imprisoning themselves in the situation, reliving it over and over.

Forgiveness is about deciding. Deciding to let go of resentment, revenge and the false sense of control over the outcome you wish would happen. Deciding to get closure to what is never going to be and moving forward. Forgiveness can free you from the grip of the emotional strangle hold that the situation has on your life and help you focus your energy on the more positive aspects of you.

Forgiveness is not about excusing hurtful behavior but about untangling yourself from a hurtful situation so you can move on and live your life to the fullest.  By letting go, you are choosing to make yourself the priority in your life, not the pain from the past.

By: Andee Frizzell, Life Coach