It’s only slowing you down in life.

The lighter you travel in life, the more you can enjoy the journey.

In life, you have all kind of experiences. Some are great and there are some who will throw you off kilter. When that happens and you were hurt deeply, it is then understandable that you want to forget that episode. But, if you don’t deal with the emotions and feeling you have around the hurt, you will carry it with you until you deal with it.

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See, it works like this: You have memories from every stage of your life. You share the funny or cute stories from your childhood at a party or at a friend’s night out.

But how do you share the painful memories you collected over the years? Do you share them with anybody? Are you even willing to look at them or are you pretending they are not there?

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The danger of ignoring them is that you become tangled up in your own past and your demons become bigger and more frightening as the time goes on. Now, you are creating your own private hell with no way out.

Demons don’t stay nicely in a box. They are only dangerous in certain situations or conversations and they influence every aspect of your life.1

Think about it: if you have unresolved issues with your parents, how open can you be with a partner? If you experienced abuse in any shape of form, how much do you trust an act of kindness? If you were bullied, how does that affect your friendships?

Visualize all those hurtful and negative emotions in a backpack. You carry this backpack with you every day and everywhere you go; you can’t put it down. You have a choice to look and deal with all those unresolved issues and resentment and find happiness.

And how to deal with that resentment is keeping these tips in mind:

1. Be Gentle With Yourself.

Your demons are scary. Otherwise, it wouldn’t bother you as much. So, take your time and don’t beat yourself up if the demons don’t disappear as quickly as you want. Keep shining light on them from different angles and they will eventually resolve.

2. Forgive Yourself and Others.

Forgiving is letting go; it is refusing to carry the burden with you in the backpack. It is giving yourself the gift of traveling light and enjoying your life.

3. Find Help.

Looking inside the backpack and facing your demons can be daunting but with the help of a life coach or therapist, it will be a safe journey.

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4. Celebrate Slaying Your Demon.

You’ve done incredible work. You’ve shown courage and determination and that is worth a reward. How you reward yourself is up to you as long as you do it, because it keeps the courage going to tackle the next scary monster.

The funny thing is that when you look and deal with your inner monsters, you will find that life becomes more colorful, the smells more profound, and food tastes better. You are not bogged down with the painful past; you are alive and celebrating everything that life has to offer.

Your relationships become more open and meaningful just because you don’t have to guard that painful part of yourself.

Give yourself the gift of life and find the courage and resources to dive into your backpack and walk away with only an empty bag, because you are worth it.

References:

  1. Seltzer, L.F. (2015, June 4). Enough About “Inner Demons” Already!. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/201506/enough-about-inner-demons-already

This guest article originally appeared on YourTango.com: How To Deal With Resentment And Clear Out Bad Stuff You’re Holding On To.