In this video, John Gray of Mars/Venus fame tells us something Oprah once said to him in an interview; one of the biggest reasons forgiveness and “getting over it” are so important is that “when you hang on to anger or resentment, you are giving someone ‘free rent’ in your brain to torment you.” Thank you, Oprah, for summing that up so perfectly.
What you have to remember about giving someone that “free rent” in your brain is that not only is it in your brain, but because the mind and body work in unison, the energy of that torment is stored in your body, taking energy away from you that you could better use toward something more enjoyable. Your body will have a chronic muscular contraction or other psychological symptom that contains the energy of that resentment and anger.
In order to truly release the energy of past hurts, you must find a way to discharge them. You can do this through talking, writing, art or physical exertion, but a critical factor is that you must be experiencing the feeling at the time you do the activity to “discharge” the energy. If you are not experiencing the feelings, the discharge activity will not be integrated with the hurtful experience, and you will end up continuing to give it “free rent” in your mind and body in the future. Integration of emotions and “the story” is important for TRUE resolution. If you do not do this, you are simply managing excess energy in your body, and creating the “hoover dam” situation I discussed in a previous blog.
Enjoy the video, and if you’d like to explore this idea more through body-oriented psychotherapy, give me a call. We’ll talk.