When relating to others, it is inevitable that we will be hurt by the actions of another person, especially someone we care about. When first feeling hurt, we may respond to unacceptable behavior with resentment, bitter silence or anger. We can learn to identify unacceptable behavior from others and instead of taking the behavior personally, we can learn to create personal boundaries to achieve emotional distance.

Our goal is to heal ourselves and our relationships with other human beings, not to coldly distance ourselves from the people who matter most to us. Even when justified, resentments tear us apart inside. Harboring anger, fear or holding on to grudges gets in the way of our own healing, joy and inner calmness. This doesn’t mean that we tolerate poor behavior from others or that we have to continue a relationship. It means we don’t forgive the actions of the other person, but that we don’t judge the person for their actions. This perspective can also help us forgive ourselves when we feel guilt for whatever we may have done. Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is to release ourselves from re-living the pain of old injuries or repeated cycles and make better use of our time and energy.

“Forgiveness is no favor, we do it for no one but ourselves.”   Unknown