When you can't forgive and forget, here's a trick that can help you to let it go.
So, you know that holding on to anger, resentment and hurt does more damage to you than it does to the other person; and you know that you should follow the lyrics of that earworm of a Disney song and just let it go. But how? When the pain is so biting and the actions or words of the other person are so unforgiveable, how is it possible to even consider letting it go? And, while we’re on the subject, wouldn’t "letting it go" be letting them off the hook? Shouldn’t they pay for what they did?
Of course, when you think about it, your feelings of anger, hurt and resentment aren’t really making that person pay for what they did. But, still. If someone is mean and spiteful or downright evil, how are you supposed to just "let it go?" Well, there is a way. There is a very simple but highly effective way to learn how to move on and allow yourself to get to a place where you will be able to at least begin to let it go.
You see, one of the things that make the pain so overwhelming is the fact that we can’t believe that a person would do such a thing. We tend to compare the actions of others with our own; we would never dream of betraying someone in that way, how could they? It is this incomprehension of how it is possible to behave in such an inconsiderate, mean, stupid or downright evil way that magnifies the pain, resentment, frustration and anger. This inability to understand how and why the person did what they did or said what they said keeps us clutching onto the event with both hands.
What if there was a way to understand and accept? What if understanding and accepting led to being able to let it go? When a cat kills a small furry or feathered creature, we don’t like it; but we don’t spend a lot of time wondering why and how it could do such a terrible thing. It’s a cat. That’s what it does. It’s part of its job. You may see where I’m going with this ...
Here’s the Trick:
Choose to see the person who wronged you as a magnificent spiritual being (it doesn’t matter what your spiritual beliefs are, or even if you don’t have any at all—this is just an exercise, like pretending to be Batman) who is playing the baddie in your story. Now, even though you cannot forgive that person for what they did, you can at the very least admire their performance! Aren’t they convincing! Oscar-winning material! Compare their performance to that of your favorite baddie-playing actor. I bet you’ll find they’re not far off the same level of skill.
Choosing to admire the other person’s performance as the baddie is a way of starting the process that will lead to your letting go of the resentment, hurt and anger. It won't be instant; but it will be a start. From admiring how convincing their performance is as the baddie, you can move to accepting that their actions or words do fit the character they’re playing. You would of course not behave in that way, but then you’re playing a different character. You are the goodie, naturally! This will help you to move from accepting that their behavior, while still unforgivable, is part of the character, to letting go of the need to understand the why and how. And in a reasonably short period of time, you will surprise yourself by finding that you are able to let it go after all.
Try the other exercises and techniques that can help you to make amazing changes in your life, easily, with practice.