To be human is to feel. It means you have likes and dislikes, frustrations, and triggers for hurt. Most of us know that when we hold on to anger, we harm ourselves more than the person toward whom we feel bitterness. But at times, it seems impossible to get over our hurt and forgive. When my heart has been hardened, and I am tempted to let anger and hate overcome me, here are the steps I take to soften my human heart:
1. Recognize that everyone is on their own soul journey, taking different routes, making different decisions.
We are all constantly changing and hopefully evolving. It may not be someone's intention to hurt you; it may just be that their actions have triggered something within you. And even if their intent was to hurt you, that, too, is a part of their life’s journey. Let them learn and evolve the way their soul deems fit. You may not see the elements of their evolution, but it’s not your business.
2. Acknowledge that the divine exists within them.
The simple fact that this person was born means that they are connected in some way to the life energy that sustains us all. They, too, came from—and will return to—the deep unknown. They have a beating heart and thinking mind. The universe wants them here, too (mistakes and all).
3. Remember that you're giving what you wish to receive.
Sympathy, empathy, understanding, good fortune, love, blessings—give to your so-called enemy exactly what you want from them. Grace is a gift from the heavens.
4. Pray for them for 30 days (or however long you can commit to the practice).
Whenever I go through a heartbreak or loss, I pray for whoever has hurt me. The prayer doesn't have to be extravagant—it can be as simple as praying that the person has a good day. The content of the prayer is unimportant, but the practice of disseminating positivity instead of focusing on negativity keeps the love in my heart. Praying for your enemy keeps your heart open and softens you.
5. Free yourself from the burden of anger.
Forgiveness is something you do for you, not for your enemy. There is something beautiful to be learned from each life experience; even your broken heart is getting you one step closer to what you truly want.
We are all evolving. Forgive us for the mistakes we may make along the way.