How do I move forward?
It is an unfortunate part of life that we all get hurt by others. Hurt happens in degrees of severity. Sometimes it is fairly minor whereas other hurts are traumatic. Like physical wounds, hurts that go untended can and do fester. In the absence of antibiotics even a small cut can turn life threatening. In an emotional sense, untended hurts can lead to resentment, contempt, controlling behavior, and repeated patterns of behavior that hurt others. This in turns lead to the possibility of being hurt again and the pattern repeats.
Just as swelling and oozing are signs of infection with physical wounds, bitterness, resentment, and contempt are signs of untended hurts. Untended hurts can also lead to anxiety and depression. It is important to tend to hurts as early as possible. One thing that can be helpful is learning to pick battles. Some hurts are relatively minor initially. This is where communicating the hurt and setting clear expectations about how one wants to be treated is important. People tend to assume that people should be able to just know what's expected. Instead, speak clearly, gently, and firmly when communicating those expectations. Clear communication insures that the other person has an opportunity to correct any undesirable behaviors.
There are times where a person has all of the information needed but refuses to listen when hurt is expressed. Stronger boundaries may need to be put in place. Some relationships are toxic and may even require separation. Separation is not always complete or permanent but there are times when it may need to be. Professional help can be sought to help in assessing what's needed for the situation.
Often, anger is held on to as a shield. Anger's purpose is simply to signal that change needs to happen. Held onto too tightly, and it becomes toxic. Forgiveness allows for the releasing of hurts while maintaining appropriate boundaries. This may or may not include reconciliation. It also allows for the opportunity to learn from the situation instead of continuing toxic patterns. If we are honest, we all have hurt others whether intentionally or not. Maintaining a gracious spirit that leans towards appropriate boundaries and forgiveness allows one to reclaim their sense of peace and happiness.