We hear it on a daily basis: “just let it go!”  If it was that easy, we would all do it immediately.  Instead, whenever we feel hurt, betrayed or let down, we usually have a hard time getting past whatever brought on those feelings and, unfortunately, we usually suffer for it.  Staying hung up on something robs us of time that could be better spent doing better things.  Here are five suggestions for moving on and finding forgiveness:

Get Out of Denial

Sometimes, that is the hardest part but it’s absolutely necessary for real healing.  Whatever has happened, whether it was abuse or infidelity or any other host of issues, you will have to accept, at some point, that it really did happen.  Going back and saying “if only I had done this differently” is not going to change what has already transpired. The sooner you come out of denial, the sooner you will recover.

Seek Support

Whether it’s in the form of professional help or a good friend, you need to talk.  Try to pick someone who is neutral and level-headed so you don’t find yourself encouraged to engage in destructive behaviors.  Sometimes, we need to just vent and get it out in the open in order to see things more clearly.

Pain and Anger Are Normal

When something first happens, we might have an initial burst of emotion. Many times, that gives way to depressive symptoms including lack of motivation, low energy and lack of appetite.  After being in this state, people are often surprised to suddenly feel hurt and angry.  This is all part of the normal process.  Finding healthy ways to channel these emotions can really help with the healing process.

Focus on Caring For Yourself

We can really neglect ourselves when immersed in a tough time – which is why it’s more important than every to focus on self-care.  Start taking baby steps and, every day, try to do something for yourself.  How would you feel if you actually came out of this situation better than before it happened?  It’s entirely possible.  This is a great time to consider a new exercise plan or change your eating.  Overcome your pain by reinventing yourself in a positive way!

Accept Reality

No matter what, there will come a time when you will have to accept the reality of your situation and how it has changed your life.  You can never go back but you can move forward.  This will be the sign that you’re really truly ready to let go and forgive.

It can be a very, very difficult thing to overcome a situation where we feel wronged or betrayed by someone but it is important to remember that forgiveness isn’t about letting them off the hook – it’s about choosing to go on with your own life.