Last week was a busy one, but fun as I got the chance to reconnect and nurture relationships with friends and family that I haven’t seen in ages! One of those being my ex, who came to my house for dinner with his wife.
A lot of people find my relationship with all of my ex’s a bit weird- I’ve had 3 serious relationships in the past and I’m still friends with those 3 guys. I’ve been on holidays with an ex, my family have gone to the wedding when my ex got married, they’ve shown up for me at my Nan’s funeral 2 years ago. I still care for each of them and I know they care for me and that’s why we’re still part of each other’s lives.
Now, this wasn’t an easy thing to do and for each one, there was a long period when we did have to keep our distance because emotions were too raw. And, initially with each one I thought it would be impossible we could never be in touch again because of how painful it was.
But I know myself and I know that when I’ve healed, that I consciously try to hold space for that person in my life in a new way. It always seemed important to me; I never really knew why however…..my parents split up when I was young and it was probably the best move that they made for me and my sister. They didn’t suit each other, they grew apart and although they loved each other in their own way it simply wasn’t working. It took an awful lot of work on their part to build a new relationship with each other but they did it and I think they were really good role models for me. That’s what I’ve been thinking at least!
Anyways, I know I had to do a lot of work for me to heal from the hurt of relationships ending, especially the ones that ended really badly. It was really hard, there were lots of tears, anger, tight throat and chest but I did it for me, not for them. I did it for me, to heal so that I wouldn’t keep carrying the hurt.
“Holding onto anger and resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”
Now, just to be clear, I am in no way saying that forgiving someone is the equivalent of saying that what they did was ok. It doesn’t mean that you excuse or condone their behaviour- it means that you are doing something for yourself to help yourself move forwards in a light and open way. The only thing you can control is how you feel about the experience. If you’re still drinking the poison and they have moved on with their life- how does that serve you?
So, when I felt ready I started the process of letting go and healing. Unknown to me but I was using a version of a simple yet powerful Hawaiian ritual for forgiveness called Hoʻoponopono. This is how it goes:
- I’m sorry
- I forgive you
- Thank you
- I love you
This is a mantra that you use yourself. It’s about taking responsibility for yourself and it calls you to show up in the process of forgiveness. This is an example of how I worked it.
I’m sorry this relationship ended. I’m sorry we’ve hurt each other so much. I’m sorry you’re such an ass and I never noticed before now. I’m sorry I didn’t have the courage to walk away years ago. I’m sorry I hurt you because I didn’t have the courage to walk away years ago. I’m sorry I hurt you and I’m sorry you hurt me. I’m sorry we were too young and immature to manage our feelings. I’m sorry we said horrible things to each other. I’m sorry we were so cold to each other. I’m sorry I said horrible things to you. I’m sorry I was so cold to you.
I forgive you….
The ‘I’m sorry’ piece helps with this step as it enables you to view the situation from a different perspective. Most of the time, I didn’t give many reasons here, I just repeated the mantra and thought of the person but to give you some real life examples.
‘I forgive you for breaking up with me by text after we’ve been together for 6 years; I forgive you because I wasn’t brave enough to do it myself when I knew we weren’t right for each other’.
I forgive myself for not being braver. I forgive myself for lazing around the house the past few weeks eating and watching crap.
This is to acknowledge the good times, the reason why that person was in your life, to allow you to see it wasn’t all bad and to thank them. I also used it to thank myself for allowing myself to feel it and going through this process. Also, I’d thank the fact that I was hurt as it meant I cared and to me, that’s a good thing!
I love you…
This one is for you and if you want, for the other person. Initially when I start this process, I may think there’s no way I could say ‘I love you’ towards the other person but most of the time I do!
This process really helped me heal and change how I felt about situations and people. It’s simple but very powerful and it can be quite emotional. You can use this process for lots of different situations- your relationship with family, friends, colleagues, your boss, with yourself especially!
When I changed, the relationships I had with people changed because I was different. I didn’t blame or point fingers because I didn’t need to anymore. I was able to move forwards, be civil, respectful and allow myself to be my bright shiny self again. I was able to be open to new people and new loves. Sure, I was still scared of being hurt again but I knew that worst case scenario I could handle it.
I’ll be honest, sitting back with a glass of wine and watching your husband and your ex chatting away is a very weird experience but one that I’m so grateful to have!
Every week, I speak with a client who has been hurt in the past and is still drinking poison. Try Hoʻoponopono and see what happens!
To loving yourself enough for you to move on with grace and heart,
It’s our 3rd wedding anniversary tomorrow! Here’s a little peek into our day!