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Read Letter

If You’ve Been Hurt, Leave It In The Past

Dear Jil,

Let me pretend this morning to understand where you’re at…that I know your pain. I pretend because no one can ever feel what you feel. No one can know the hurt. Such pain is individualised. Too many people theorise prescriptions about getting over hurt and pain. They’ve never been hurt in a relationship. I do understand how holding on to the pain can seem so natural. The pain actually keeps coming back at you, on its own.

Meeting someone who asks about your ex can trigger memories. And some mean people will deliberately ask. They just want the delight of having you confirm what they already know. It’s their one-upmanship. Ever heard of schandenfreude? It’s a German word for delight in the misfortune of others. Some people will deliberately ask you about your ex years after you’ve moved on, and they know you’ve moved on. These are biographical competitors. They’re in competition with you, though you don’t even know! You realise it on reflection. They’re happy that at least one “something bad” happened to you! (Forgive my English). Part of your pain is being the subject of gossip among such people. The truth is, some people will blame you for the breakup even though they don’t know the facts. Don’t even bother to defend yourself to them. If they blamed you before knowing the facts what’s the point? They are not interested in truth. You CAN’T convince them. Stop argy-bargying your soul. If a man makes up his mind against you outside of knowledge of facts you’re dealing with prejudicial bias.

Jil, you’re dealing with too many pains. There’s the pain of the breakup itself. Then the pain of the way you were treated. There’s the pain of emotional investment in an unfruitful life venture. Then the pain of what people are saying – hurtful things. Even your so-called “friends” joined the fray! Then you have the pain of the untruths your ex is encouraging, and his deviant constructive omission of facts. He wants you to come out looking bad even though he instigated the breakup. Then there’s the pain of the ignorant presuming to lecture you and your smiling forbearance of such didactic presumptuousness. That’s a lot of pain and hurt to deal with Jil!

Even though you now have a fantastic, kind and loving man in your life you have fears. This despite the fact there’s almost zero probability he’ll ever hurt you. He loves you so! I know it’s not him you’re afraid of. It’s the “zone” – that place where you’re unprotected, where you were hurt. It’s the place you gave your innocent self – the place of pain, painful pain.

You went into the relationship not even aware of the possibility of hurt. You never knew hurt exists – that place. Those who’ve never been there don’t know why the heart winces at the thought of stepping foot there again. The heart winces because the hurt is deep, and the exposure long. The pain is residuum. So I understand if you’re afraid of wholly committing yourself to a new relationship. It’s not that you don’t want to, fear just holds you back, inside. You don’t want to go to that place of vulnerability again.

You must however find a way to let go: to love without reservation again. You NEED the fullness of love. You won’t get there unless you forgive. You must stop plotting emotional vengeance. You need to leave the past behind. When we start creating scenarios in our head about having an opportunity to repay those who hurt us… When we strategise on how to repay those who hurt us in higher denomination and stronger currency… When we visualise a place of power – to be in a superior position to do hurt to the hurtful… When we mentally plan that moment where we can look at those who hurt us with a knowing and a glee… When we imagine our “It’s my turn now!” moment…we are in the realm of emotional vengeance. “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.” It’s not yours Jil! It’s God’s! You can’t be vengeful. Vengeance is one of those things God reserved for Himself. It’s on God’s exclusive judicial function list. You need to let go. Remove your clutching fingers from the fabric of the past. It’s passed! You HAVE to move on!

See, more people are still going to hurt you in life. It’s the nature of this zoological community we call life. People are going to say nasty things about you – people you know and people you don’t know. If you’re going to succeed in life you better get ready for the slander of total strangers! If you don’t let go of this you’ll become vindictive and unforgiving. You’ll become ultra-sensitive and touchy. Then you do real damage to yourself. It’s difficult to have a relationship with a touchy person. A touchy person puts up defenses where there’s no attack. Corrections are read as “attack”.

If you don’t let go you can’t develop healthy trust in people. You’ll be distrustful, yet expect trust from others. Without trust you’ll become controlling and that will strangulate your relationship. Your tone with your boyfriend will become instructive, commanding and rude. You’ll become dissociative and start projecting yourself. No one can reach “you”. In order to protect yourself, you’ll block people out, setting up invisible psychological barriers thick as a wall. Then self-righteousness sets in, afterall you’re just protecting yourself from potential hurt. Pride instinctively follows because you’re not allowing anyone near you.

Who can question the wisdom of your course? In this condition you will become emotionally unattractive and you will discount your great qualities. Let love heal you. Love heals. When pain processes us and drops us on the dunghill of life, love picks us up and we emerge in another dimension. Life is not a straight line – a continuum from pain to happiness. Experiences exist in different spheres. You have a new opportunity to know happiness. If you don’t let go of the past the future will not come.

In closing, I’ll like to ask you a question, just one question: Is your ex really worth your future?

Your mentor, LA.


©Leke Alder 2013


Tags : Hurt, Past, Pain

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