Life throws us many ups and downs and curve balls. That is just how life is. The privilege of being here on earth in a body is that we get to experience the full spectrum of good, bad, and ugly life events. How we respond to those events is what determines how well we move forward and live fully.
Have you ever felt like you were carrying around the pain of past hurts? Like a big rock strapped to your back, the weight of the hurts are constantly bogging you down. It is very common for us to carry around these old emotional pains. Someone hurt us by actions or words; someone betrayed us; someone dumped us; someone didn’t love us. Letting go of the hurt/wound sounds easy to do. In reality, it is not so easy to truly let go and surrender them up. It is worth it to pay attention to what old hurt is weighing us down and to how it is expressing itself in our lives. Do we get stuck in anger or resentment or sadness or depression? Do we withdraw from life? Do we play the scene or conversation over and over in our minds? Do we have thoughts of getting back at the person who hurt us? Do we take on the role of victim and give away our power to who hurt us? Do we get stuck in thoughts of the past and not enjoy the present moment?
Learning to let go is a process. Sometimes we want an apology from the other person. Most often, an apology never comes and we are left on our own to heal the hurt and find a way to let go/ release/ forgive. The conscious choice to let go is the first step. Realizing that holding on to the hurt is wounding ourselves even more, helps us make that choice to let it go. There is no judgment for how long you hold onto the hurt, to carry the weight of the pain. Each person will decide for themselves how long they are willing to hold onto the anger, resentment, sadness, or depression before they offer it up for surrender to let go. Here is a great article for 5 ways to let go of past hurts.
For myself, I have been battling a lot of anger for the past couple years. Most people are surprised by that since I am so mellow and easy-going and get along with nearly all people. Some of the anger is very old anger and some of it is more current, day-to-day anger. I don’t like carrying around this anger, but I am not good at expressing it in a constructive way. One of my intentions this year is to work on releasing my anger and healing. Turning to art and journaling are my best ways to express what is bottled up inside and weighing my spirit down.
For this mandala, I asked myself what would it look like to let go/ release/ forgive. After meditating on it, I saw myself blowing a dandelion and visualizing all my anger, sadness, resentments, disappointments, betrayals, and old wounds taking flight into the air with each of the delicate florets that float away. The weight of the old hurts is gone. Releasing the florets is letting go – setting those emotional pains free. I blessed them as they scatter in the wind, sending forgiveness out with them. Forgiveness for the people who hurt me and forgiveness for myself for prolonging the pain as I held onto the old hurts. It felt very powerful, freeing and healing to create this mandala. Anytime I catch myself holding onto anger or a hurt, I will visualize the helpful dandelion and just let it all go.
What old hurts are you carrying around? What hurts are you ready to let go of? Imagine how much lighter and freer you would feel to let go/ release/ forgive.