A common thread I hear people discuss on how to heal from past relationships is that you have to forgive the person who hurt or wronged you.  I think different things work for different people in different circumstances.

 

I am going to liken one of my ex’s from the more distant past to green onion in my following analogy:

 

Imagine I am baking a standard sweet cake, and I have a sous chef bringing me the ingredients.  They bring me the standard things you’d expect in a regular cake:

  • Flour (gluten free flour mix in my case)
  • A fat of some sort (ex. butter, coconut oil)
  • A congealing agent (ex. egg, xanthum gum)
  • A sweetener (ex. stevia, honey, sugar)
  • Maybe a few spices (ex. cinnamon, nutmeg)
  • Maybe a few flavoring extracts (ex. vanilla, almond)

 

But then my sous chef brings me green onion and sets it down with the other ingredients on the counter in front of me.

  • My eyes see the green onion >
  • My eyes send the image back to my brain >
  • My brain identifies that this is green onion >
  • My brain recalls how green onion tastes and what I have historically eaten it in, raw and cooked >
  • My brain then recalls what a standard sweet cake is supposed to taste like and that it never had green onion in it before >
  • My brain is not in the mood for experimenting today because it has done that several times before and is not interested in doing so today because it knows what it wants and now knows how to get it without green onion >
  • About 1 second after my eyes see the green onion, I then remove the green onion from the other ingredients, give it back to my sous chef and say, “This doesn’t go in my cake,” and have them place it back in the fridge.

 

Although in real life I was hurt by this ex, there just came a point where I realized this person was in no way someone I wanted to be part of my life, even as a friend.  For me, it got to a point of just identification and removal.  Somewhat of a neutral thing.  I did not even contemplate forgiveness, and I think that is because my brain did not think it was even part of what needed to happen in my particular situation, of which at the time I initiated removal, there were much less feelings and emotional attachment so the rest that were there were easy to let go.  This was also a situation where encountering this person going forward was very unlikely.

 

That green onion just has a life to live separate from me, and someone else will likely include them in their recipe.

 

Forgiveness is warranted sometimes, most times probably, but I am just sharing a story where it never even crossed my mind.

 

I think self-work is hard and time-consuming enough, so I seek to be wisely selective in what I spend my time, thoughts, emotions, mental space, stress responses, and energy working on.  I encourage you to do the same.  Many can be hard on themselves when they are not achieving something.  This can be a form of stress that can potentially aggravate the physical body as well, so try to ensure you are working on what you actually need to be.