Detail image for Dr. Ashley Anderson Ex in the City story.

Photo by: Terrence Humphrey

Time doesn’t always heal old wounds especially after a difficult breakup. Dr. Ashley Anderson shares why it’s important to release unhealthy emotions.

Written by Ashley Anderson

In most dictionaries, the definition of making peace includes the phrase “ending hostilities” toward someone or becoming resolved or reconciled with another person or a situation involving them. It’s a great practice to lower the weapons on someone who has seemingly become your arch-enemy, but it’s often harder than taking just that action.

How do you make peace with someone who has hurt you? Someone you no longer respect? Someone who will never even so much as whisper an “I’m sorry” for their transgressions? As difficult as it is, it’s one of the most important things you can do during your healing journey.

I know what you’re thinking. Why do I need to make peace with this person anyway? The simple answer is that it requires entirely too much energy to walk around with hatred or malice in your heart for any human being. Living life with constant disdain in your spirit not only blocks your blessings, but it also takes energy away from your purpose. Beyond that, if you allow a person to have so much power over your heart, mind, and emotions, then you should have stayed with them. I read a book entitled, Feelings Buried Alive Never Die, and the fact is, what you don’t deal with will eventually deal with you. It’s a reason people end up sick, bitter, and stuck.

Making peace is not about the other person or what they’ve done to you. It’s about you. It’s about coming to terms with the fact that what has transpired in the relationship is not what you expected or deserved, but it happened and is now over. Own your part in the story. Forgive yourself for any part you played, and stop the blame game that tries to kick in when the superwoman in you wants to declare that you could have somehow done something to prevent this from happening. As you do the work to heal, you will find it essential to acknowledge the lessons you’ve learned from the relationship and determine how to show up differently next time. This alone will bring peace to your heart.

If you have children in common, making peace is absolutely necessary. Any residual emotions have to be checked, and you must resolve to operate on a strictly-business basis from here on out. Remember, it’s not about you. Regardless of what happened between us and how I feel about him, my children will never see me disrespect their father. That’s extremely important to me, and very early on I realized that I can be cordial when my conscience is clear and my soul is at peace.

When you know you’re doing the right thing in your life and did your best with the other party, there’s no need to be angry. This may seem like an oversimplification, especially if you’re in the heat of things right now, but it’s basically just acknowledging that this was not meant to be your forever person. The situation has run its course.

My last piece of advice is that you will have to practice significant restraint. Your ex likely knows precisely how to inflame you. Whether they no-show to events, disappoint the children, or the other woman is now posting pictures of your children, let it go. Don’t give them that type of power. Remember that it is not your job to seek revenge or even give them a piece of your mind when you feel they’re wrong or disrespected you somehow. Be still, protect your peace, and know that the karma bus always arrives right on time.

The moral of the story is this — don’t let the behaviors of others destroy your inner peace. If you’re at peace with yourself, you can be at peace with anyone. And yes, even the ex.


Read Ashley Anderson’s Divorce column, “Get Back in the Game“.