Resolution is the soil that births real, lasting, inner peace.
When you don’t have something resolved, it can have an annoying way of always trying to get your attention. That thing keeps showing up in your dreams, your random thoughts driving to work, and particular triggers that come up from time to time. It can show up in that conversation you have in your head over and over, or even as a fear--or in some cases--a phobia that you can’t shake. When events or situations that hurt us aren’t resolved, time doesn’t heal them, logical thought doesn’t heal them, and trying to just push it down doesn’t work either. So… what does? How do you finally get the resolve you want and move on, without this thing continuing to show up every time your guard is down or your stress is up?
I wish I had a 5-step sexy, clear answer for this. I’ve been looking for years, even dissecting my own moments of resolve and forgiveness looking for some kind of formula. Even though I find that there are some milestones to hit to reach real, lasting resolve, the process can be different for everyone, but I’ll do my best here to share with you what I know for sure.
The first key to resolve, and a big key--especially if whatever is still there runs deep--is to stop expecting resolve to be a one time thing. This alone can be SUCH a healing foundation in which to find that peace, because that’s the truth of it. If we’re expecting that we’re going to find that one moment where whatever hurts no longer hurts, the irony is that we can stay stuck at square one for years looking for that magic moment. When we can finally realize and say, “I know this is going to get resolved a little bit at a time” you are now set up for those wonderful bite-size realizations that will lead you to what you need to bring those past hurts to a close.
If it takes a year or two to chip away at that past wound that’s taking up too much space in your consciousness, BUT--with each chip, each moment that you see something else--you begin feeling better and better, then one day you may wake up and notice that you are no longer weighed down by the very thing that anchored you for so long.
Being willing to chip away brick by brick is where a real healing journey can begin.
For a moment, think about your physical body. If it’s gotten some kind of chronic ailment or disease, chances are it didn’t happen overnight. And, as you know, rarely does one treatment cure it. It can be a series of treatments as well as a myriad of different healing modalities that really bring that healing, that resolve, to your body. Real healing addresses not only the disease, but the wound that caused it. Also, building up health and strength is a process that we KNOW is going to take attention and consistency. We don’t go to the gym one time and expect a result. However, people go to “healers” all the time with a wound or trauma they’ve been carrying around for years and expect one session to remove it. Or they just declare “I release this!” which also not only doesn’t seem to last, but now sets you up for relating to what needs resolve with impatience, frustration, and judgement, saying things to ourselves like: “I released this already! Why is it still here!” which now adds more stress.
Another HUGE key to finding resolve is another somewhat counterintuitive focus, which is to let something IN rather than trying to remove it. I have found this to be the biggest element in true forgiveness--which is to realize, that in some way, shape, or form--this happened FOR you. This is no small thing--and again--can be a multi-layered process.
The closer I’ve looked at life itself, I’ve recognized a deep truth which has and continues to stay with me: Everything, and I do mean everything that exists has value. Everything, everyone, every feeling, every event, everything that has ever been created has value. I've found that worth really only has this one requirement: If it exists, it has worth. It is valuable. It is necessary. This goes for you, your inherent worth is proven by your very existence. You are loved for existing, and you are loved unconditionally by life itself. Anything that you do or don’t do changes that.
Finding the resolve you’re looking for begins first with a willingness, and then with a realization that there must be a value in this experience. This perspective helps us to relate to our wounds and hurts as they are: which is something that ultimately teaches us life lessons, shapes who we are, and births loads of creativity. One of the key reasons these things keep showing up is BECAUSE they have value, and we haven’t gotten to it yet. They are our biggest life lessons that aren’t going to leave us alone until we finally can look them in the eye and see them for what they are. This helps us have patience with our journey, knowing that the learning may have many different pieces to it.
With each learning that we let in, we feel more and more whole. When wounds of the past become integrated into who we are, they turn into our greatest gold. We alchemize our hurts by relating to them as something that ultimately helped us in some way--however, we can’t rush to get to this realization, because some traumas aren’t ready for that yet. Sometimes the first step is to acknowledge how you currently feel (which may be rightfully angry)--and see the value in THAT. To feel deeply is to feel deeply. As a human being, you are fulfilled when you have felt the highs and the lows, and you’re no longer afraid of those feelings.
The bottom line here is truth. Be real. Start with realizing that resolve is not a surface level declaration, but a deep transformation and integration of our life and soul learnings that happens in steps and stages, and each one has value. Resolve is not about wiggling out of the pain, but going straight into the center of it. Resolve is not lying to yourself by pretending to be ok with something when you know you aren’t. We often shame ourselves (and each other!) for having hurt feelings or being angry, when those feelings are a perfectly natural response to someone doing something hurtful to you. Whatever we shame tends to stay put until it’s dealt with, because shame is the main cause of repression, which in turn keeps things from being resolved.
However, going “into the pain” is not easy, as you well know. It’s true that you have to feel it, but you have many self-protection mechanisms set in place to keep that from happening. This is why it’s often necessary to have some support, usually of the professional kind to help with that. Since nearly everyone has some form of PTSD, as much as we want to dive in and do what we need to do, it can be much more productive to be guided, safely, into those feelings. This is why it can take time and attention, and you learn something with every step.
A journey of resolve can not only free you of anchors in your life, but can teach you HOW to process through feelings authentically so you don’t keep piling on more to deal with. This is what I believe the true gift of reaching forgiveness is. It’s a kind of mountain climb that can show you what you’re truly made of, how strong you actually are, and most of all: the power of dealing with things instead of avoiding them. When you learn that deep down in your soul, you can now fully flow with the ups and downs of life without fear or resistance stopping you.
Now that’s freedom.