How to Forgive Your Ex After a Breakup

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Forgive your ex? The hardest part of forgiving is that, let's face it, we don't really want to. It seems so justified. But your ex isn't there to hear the nasties going through your brain. This is festering in you. Bitterness causes increased inner pain, stress and even physical disease. You're really hurting yourself (and anyone around who loves you).

  • Realize that holding unforgiveness means holding onto your ex, carrying him or her everywhere you go. Your heart is so busy throwing boomeranging daggers at him that it's closed to all good things.

  • Start letting go right now by getting into the present moment. Start by telling yourself that it's a new day and that you are healing and moving forward right now.

  • Take a physical inventory of this day's blessings. Can you walk, talk, see, think? Do you have a home, clothes and food? A car, a job? Add the kindest words you've heard, the most amazing moments, sights and sounds of your life. Write down when people went the extra mile just for you and the times you made a big difference to someone else. These are not small things. Appreciate them as you write these down. Read and add to them often.

  • Next work on your self-talk. Write down affirming truths. With your lists, know that you are loved, you are blessed, you are worth it, you are making a difference. Say, "I'm strong and loving and I am loved. I'm healing and moving forward." Talk to yourself this way--whenever negative thoughts come, counteract them.

  • Become as other-centered as you can. Concentrate on someone who has less than you for a little while each day and find some way to help. A phone call, a card, an errand run, an invite for dinner and a home- cooked hamburger or an offer to babysit could be the best thing that's happened to someone in ages. You will be more blessed than they will.

  • Laugh as much and as often as you can - especially with others. Throw a get-together with close buddies and the movies that made you roar. Have any goofy home videos you could share with family members? Bring up the funny stories and tell them again. Studies have proven again and again that laughter is healing.

  • Surround yourself with things that comfort you. Comfortable jeans, a good cup of mom's cocoa, a card game or movie with close friends. Refuse to sit and mope. Get outside and rake or walk or take a bike ride. Plan your time well around things and people and activities that make you feel safe and loved and needed by others.

  • Talk to a professional or a clergy person. Seek an objective person if you really need to process something. Let them know that you are coming there for help on how to forgive and move on.

  • When you can, make yourself think of the good things that you have learned from your ex-the good only. Did he or she teach you a skill, turn you on to a new interest or give you a love of nature or classical music? If you can't think of any positives, then leave this alone until you can.

  • Think of the new adventure you're embarking on. Think of all the things you now have time for and all the things you will do and learn and see. Think of how many options you now have and all the different paths you can now go down.

  • Realize that forgiving begins with allowing yourself to be free of the hurt and anger and the past.

Tips & Warnings

  • Indulge yourself in healthy things; not gallons of ice cream but a stroll or a new movie with a friend.
  • Don't do what you feel like right now; do what is good for you. Your life will be a thousand times easier.
  • Don't try to buy yourself happiness. If you can't afford it, you'll just beat yourself up later.
  • Don't jump into a relationship or into a fling while you're head is spinning. It's not fair to you or the other person.
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