There is an old Buddhist tale about a man who was very, very angry with someone. In fact, he was so angry that he was carrying a bunch of hot coals while he was trying to find his offender and harm him… Obviously, the outcome of this intentional action was that he burned himself so badly that he himself suffered for the rest of his life. And this was not only physical suffering; he was tormented emotionally, mentally and spiritually… Don’t carry “hot coals” throughout your life…
Here is one practical suggestion if you are still hesitant about letting go of your resentment or anger toward your ex: don’t do it for your ex – do it for your own sake or for the sake of your children. Don’t worry about the judgments or opinions of others – you need to do it for yourself. Besides, you never know what your ex’s reaction might be – there is a wide range of possibilities here.
• If there is an ongoing war, a battle over custody, finances, or just residual anger – don’t react and don’t take it personally. Rise above the immediate instinct to fight back – listen, stay calm, and focused on your intention, protect yourself.
• You may be able to maintain “civil communication” that would be especially important if you have children. Have respect for the past that you shared together, recall the good memories you had – this will help you share some common obligations that you may still have with your ex.
• You have a good “after all” relationship – you may become business partners or even friends. You may still enjoy each other’s company but not as life partners. In this case, make sure that you are very clear about your feelings and intentions. Be honest – do not mislead your ex with double messages. In my case, my ex-husband became my best friend… Yes, it is possible! But believe me, it was not easy at first. Our friendship evolved over time and became possible because I was honest and clear with him about my intention to be platonic friends and support each other no matter what.
Irrespective of your particular circumstances in regards to your relationship with your ex, here are 3 important action steps to practice:
3. MOVE ON
“To extend pity is to reinforce the suffering… to extend compassion is to end the suffering” ~ Mother Teresa