“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”
Have you ever been stuck in a grudge against someone? Are you feeling wronged, taken advantage of, or betrayed?
There are many ways that our connection in relationship can break down, and feeling that you’ve been treated unfairly is one of them.
If you’re like me, it’s like a fire burning inside that says, “No!” No, it shouldn’t be this way. No, she shouldn’t have said that. And here we are, caught in blame. Because if the other is wrong, then you must be right.
Due to their own unconscious patterns, people can be thoughtless and hurtful and do things that have challenging effects on us. But staying caught in blaming others, no matter how tempting it is, does little to ease our pain.
Life brings us what it brings us, and we have little control over it. However, what we can do is go within and decide how we want to meet what’s been given.
Life’s challenges, as difficult as they are, can be seen as generous opportunities for conscious exploration and the wisdom that softens our minds and hearts.
If you’re feeling wronged, there’s an inner journey available that guides you to restore your connection with the flow of life. It takes time, intention, and a tremendous amount of self-compassion. Be very tender with yourself when you’re ready to begin this process.
The last time I held a grudge, I spent months blaming the other person in my mind. I’m sure I repeated the “she shouldn’t have” story thousands of times. Finally, it dawned on me that I was tired of my own suffering…and that’s when the journey began.
The Solution Is Not in the Story
Our minds love to grab onto stories of judgment, hurt, and revenge. It feels satisfying to be right because it justifies the pain we feel.
What is your actual experience while you’re busy cycling through these stories in your mind? You probably feel tense and contracted, inflexible rather than spacious, and disconnected from the reality of the present moment.
And while your attention is absorbed in the stories, you’re overlooking a tender part of your experience…the emotions you’re feeling.
If you stay involved in the story, you will continue to feel stuck. How to begin to restore connection to your present moment experience? Breathe.
It might look like this: STORY…take a deep breath…STORY…take a deep breath… Again and again.
As your attention falls away from your mind and into your body, you’ll notice parts of your experience that were previously hidden.
Being a Loving Witness to your Feelings
Without the story, what’s happening in your body? If your feelings are strong, you might feel on fire with anger and hurt.
Make the space to notice how you feel inside…the agitation in your chest, the burning behind your eyes, whatever it is. Be the vast welcoming presence for all of this emotional energy that wants the space to move.
Then go deeper. Explore to see what emotions lie underneath the anger and pain, and lovingly welcome them.
When it feels right, consider this journaling practice to support your clarity. Choose some of these sentences to complete with the challenging person and situation in mind. Your answers don’t need to make sense…just let your thoughts flow and your heart speak. Take your time with this exploration.
- I’m sorry that___________________________________
- I’m sorry for____________________________________
- I realize I_______________________________________
- I realize you____________________________________
- What I can learn is_____________________________
- Thank you for__________________________________
As you finish, tune into your present moment experience. What is arising for you?
When you take on this journey back to your essential wholeness, you give up waiting for the other person to make things right. As you move beyond the personal story in your mind, there’s space to soften into your present moment experience.
It feels like coming home to the living reality that’s here right now.
With a quieter mind, what do you notice? Maybe you become aware of compassion for the suffering of all involved. Or you realize that feeling wronged is an aspect of our collective human experience throughout time.
Maybe you relax into gratitude for all that’s given, or you simply, finally, enjoy feeling peaceful.
This is what happens when we consciously make our way through the hard places. Our personal hurt becomes a gateway into the loving embrace of all of life.