1. Recognize those people who you have not forgiven, and forgive them.Especially the ones you do not want to forgive. Release your resentment, your anger. Consider this – what is the reason for holding on to this pain/hurt/anger? For me, I sort of wanted them to suffer. But did they? Did the fact I was angry with them for years keep them up at night? No. They went on living their lives. The only one you are hurting by holding on to this anger is yourself. Why should you continue to suffer? Call them and tell them that you have held resentment (or whichever emotion) for x years, and you are ready to release it. Disclaimer: this is terrifying. Remember that one of two things could happen — they are nice about it, or they are not. If you can release your attachment to the outcome, you do not have to let it affect you adversely, and therefore it loses scariness.
2. Recognize your negative thought patterns. Pay attention in your quiet moments — what are the voices in your head saying? They may show up as, “I wish…,” “I don’t want to…,” or some similarly negative-Nancy type of thing.
3. Interrupt your negative thoughts. Say something nice instead. I 100 percent understand that it will sound crazy when you are in this state of mind. Say it anyway. I find that it is most effective to say the opposite of the negative thought. So where you were saying, “I wish I had love in my life,” say “I have a ton of love in my life.” This is particularly helpful to do if/when you meditate when your mind is quiet and less likely to refute everything nice you say.
4. Do something (or a bunch of things) outside of your comfort zone. This will do two things: (a) you can learn / experience something new that you wouldn’t have previously and (b) you will learn that the earth will not disintegrate if you do something that is uncomfortable. What WILL happen, is that you will feel uncomfortable for a finite amount of time and probably realize that doing new things is not as scary as you thought.
5. Recognize your negative behavioral patterns. This will take some seriously honest introspection. Do you keep pursuing unavailable men? Do you keep shying away from things because you do not think you are good enough? Often, our mind hides these patterns from us, so that we either think that they are not patterns (but rather stuff that happens TO us) or we think that we have chosen them logically. No. They are negative behavioral patterns that need to change.
6. Break them. Warning: This will lead to some wild emotions. Maybe don’t go hog wild and try to break all of them in one week. When I started noticing and breaking patterns, it hurt. It felt like slamming into a brick wall of honesty. But once the hours of sobbing were over, all I had was calm. I could move forward. These first patterns were painful to break, but others were just scary. For example, in the beginning of my relationship with my husband, I threw caution to the wind and invited him to meet my parents (a 3 hour flight away) 3 weeks into the relationship.
Again, this will not be easy. You will want to quit when it gets hard. Commit to yourself that you will try to get through all of these steps. The result may even be something you did not expect, something that is better than your wildest dreams.
Remember that you are a beautiful human being and you deserve everything you want in life. Try out my six steps and let me know in the comments — did they work for you?