Release Your Emotional Hostages and Set Yourself Free

If you're interested in mental and emotional freedom, forgiveness is an essential component you must be willing to practice.

Practicing true forgiveness requires taking full responsibility for your peace of mind. This means setting everyone free from the obligation of making you happy. If your emotional state depends on the behavior of others you'll never know peace. My good friend calls this "releasing the hostages."

A hostage is anyone you expect to act in a certain manner so you can be happy. Consider how you feel when your partner doesn't notice your haircut, your co-worker is rude or a stranger is snippy with you at Trader Joe's. When you take 100% responsibility for your peace of mind you're better at blessing them and moving on. Doesn't that sound freeing?

A man thinks about his past

The same principle applies to the resentments we carry. If you get upset every time you think of something from the past you're keeping yourself imprisoned. There were a few experiences from my life that haunted me. They mostly revolved around feeling rejected. I'd get so angry and frustrated at the people and institutions I believed treated me unfairly. Sometimes I'd have stress dreams reliving these experiences over and over. I always felt justified in my anger because I was the victim. But holding onto the resentment became too much to bear.

When I became more interested in feeling good than I did in justifying my anger, my life changed. I started taking responsibility for my emotional state. Whenever a resentment would creep into my awareness I paused and asked, "What am I believing that isn't true? Who am I holding hostage?"

Each resentment is like a link in a heavy chain you drag from place to place. When you're ready to be DONE with the way things are in your life and start cultivating the willingness to try a new approach through forgiveness, the doors to your prison cell creep open and a new possibility begins.

Jesse Brune-Horan is a spiritual teacher and happy living expert. He's the founder of the fed collective. Over the last decade he's given hundreds of teachings, workshops and classes on spiritual living and has shared his lifestyle expertise on multiple media outlets.

Follow on Instagram: @jessebrune

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