Who do you love without restraint or hesitation? Bring that person to mind right now. How do you feel? I love my husband, Vic, my kids, my mom, my sisters, nieces/nephews and my closest girlfriends this way. I feel filled with joy when I think of how lucky I am to love and be loved by these extraordinary people. For you, whether it’s a sibling, spouse, nephew, cousin, coworker or even a furry friend, simply thinking about them changes your energy and makes your heart smile, right? Feeling that vibration of love releases oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin in your brain. It also uplifts those around you.
The same is true for actively holding hate for people, except the impact is negative. As this saying by an unknown wise soul goes,
When you hold hate in your heart for someone you are giving them your time and attention. You are elevating their status and gifting them prime real estate in your mind. From a therapeutic standpoint, you also, most likely have unfinished business with them. When an emotional injury or painful situation is not processed properly or honored appropriately, it continues to draw energy from you.
People come in and out of our lives for different purposes and periods of time. Everyone can be a teacher if you are willing to learn. Some lessons are more painful than others but all have the power to add to your evolution. By processing a painful loss or betrayal you are mining that experience for the gold it holds so you can let go of the rest. (And get your brain space back!)
In my therapy practice I have seen clients who have become so identified with their role as the victim, that their entire story becomes about the person they say they ‘hate.’ Please think about your own life, are you doing this with a person or situation? Are you in a love hate relationship? If you are unsure ask your friends…trust me…they will tell you. First, I want to encourage you to forgive yourself for holding onto the negative feeling or allowing yourself to stay victimized long after the situation was over. Secondly, I want to encourage you to release the person, people or situation that has been sucking up your resources. Often the word forgiveness kicks up feelings of resistance. As if forgiving means condoning. I am purposefully using the word release instead so there is no confusion about who is benefitting from your hard work. I have said it before and I will say it again:
You deserve to be free, emotionally. You deserve happiness, health and joy. And while no one may be able to experience a state of bliss all the time it is possible to experience it more by releasing negative thoughts about people and past events that keep you stuck. Ditch your love hate relationship and retraining your mind to focus on what feels good might take a little time, so let’s begin right now with a simple statement that can help you realign your thinking.
Next time a memory of pain or anger comes to mind, simply say, silently or aloud, “I release you” and visualize yourself free. This is called a thought interruption or thought stopper and is used to interrupt habitual negative thought patterns. You may have to do this many times a day, yet the more often you can consciously interrupt your thoughts from spiraling downward into hate, the happier you’ll be. Do this for yourself because what was done is in the past. You have the power to not let the past ruin the present or dictate the future.
In the comments below please share your thoughts on hate vs releasing (or forgiveness). Do you have any forgiveness tips or stories you could share? Having support around releasing hate can be very powerful and make a big difference. Be sure to surround yourself during this time with the people (and pets) you love. Share with them your mission to release your pain and let them help steer you towards the joy you deserve.
Releasing is one more way for you to, as always, take care of you.
Love Love Love
*image courtesy of Caden Crawford