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If you find it hard not to see an old flame who hurt you through scornful eyes, it could be because you’re scared of letting go.

After all, forgiving him may seem akin to saying his actions didn’t hurt all that much. Clinical psychologist Harriet Lerner points out that while we rely on anger to preserve our dignity, living with it for too long will have a corrosive effect on our well-being.

You can picture it simply like this: imagine drinking poison then expecting someone else to perish. You can happily say how foolish this seems, but it is a very similar mindset to holding onto the anger – the only vessel you’re damaging is yourself. 

Detachment requires great courage, but it’s ultimately for our own good.

You see, when a loved one breaks our hearts or scars our feelings, the anger and resentment we are burdened with is attached to the emotional pain and sadness we went through. 

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We become damaged, especially if trust is broken or our love has been ruined. This is a very difficult life event to get over.

But, we can get over it and we do – time is a great healer for sure. 

It is actually extremely cathartic to accept what has happened, to embrace your new future and to learn to let go of the past.

Without sounding too cliche, the past is the past for a reason and it is already written. But the future, that is something you can amend and command. So make the changes positive…starting with yourself.


A version of this story was first published on