In my work, I have noticed that some people seem to have an ability to accept the hurts and disappointments of life and then move on. They have a certain resiliency.

Others seem to stay stuck in their pain, living as if the painful events of their lives had occurred just moments ago.

Here are a few strategies for how to remain miserable and then strategies for how to heal, move on, and thrive.

Staying miserable

• Complain about the unfairness of it all.

• Organize your life around the event, trauma or injustice. Make it a central theme in your life.

• Remain bitter and unforgiving.

• Become a victim. Give up your power to take responsibility and control over your own life.

• Play the scene over and over in your mind. Keep thinking of what you should have done or what you should have said.

Moving on, healing

• Talk about it. Many times, getting it out in the open can make it manageable.

• Forgive those involved. Forgiving does not condone what someone else did, it simply releases us from the pain of their actions.

• Most importantly, follow this favorite advice of mine: “Make a place for the event in your life and then put it in its place.” It’s important to remember that it did happen and it did affect you. At the same time, its place is in the past, much like a chapter in a book you have read and choose not to read again.

• If you find yourself wanting to but unable to follow these suggestions, you may want to get professional help putting the past behind you.

For more tips and tools for you and your relationships, visit http://www.Secretsof

Jeff Herring, MS, LMFT, is a marriage and family therapist. E-mail him at [email protected] or, for more tips and tools for living you can visit

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