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“If I see him again, I’ll do or say something to hit back. His words hurt me,” declared a 13-year old boy.

An incident that happened 3 years ago remained fresh in his memory. “But don’t you think he was acting immaturely at that time when he uttered something bad about your parents?” I said to him.

“I can’t forget and I won’t forgive him,” he replied.

Releasing The Hurt

We all have a choice. It’s a freedom the “force from above” has given us. When we say CAN’T, it’s an inner struggle with the self that we need to release from our system. That’s the way to keep bitterness away.

Reflecting on the situation, I posed the following question to a 14-year old boy. “If someone hurt you very deeply through their action or words, would you join him in activities you enjoy when he invited you to do so?”

“Err… I don’t know. I guess I will. Someday,” he said.

“Like when?” I asked.

“I don’t know. It’s hard to say,” he replied.

“After a few months?”


The evergreen adage “time heals” holds true here.

The hurt will lessen with time and if we focus on the good things about the person, the very action or words that caused the hurt does not matter anymore. We are then free to like and care again. And have the chance to be happy.

Don’t you think it weighs us down to “hate” someone? Isn’t it better to let go of holding on to the “grudge baggage”?

On the other hand, WON’T is a decision we make consciously or sub-consciously to never let go of that “hurt” feeling, as we want to cling on to it. In the case of the 14- year old guy, he can’t forget what was said about his parents.

When we don’t make any effort to try to release the “hurt”, it festers in our heart. Soon, it takes control of our actions and thoughts. When we see the person who caused the hurt, the “hurt control” takes hold of us. Eventually, it becomes a “game” to carry out vengeful acts. As the saying goes, “hurt people hurt others”.

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Choose To Control The HURT

Let’s aim to end the “game” by doing the following:

Letting Go

Most of the time, like in a game, we keep score. If you hurt me once, I will hurt you twice. If you hurt me some more, I will get back at you even more. Choose to let go.

Keep score instead of how many times you’ve been blessed with the friendship or what good the person has done. Choose to see the hurt in the other person that has caused him to hurt you. Choose to remember no more. It “ain’t easy”, but just give it a try and the easier it will get.


To err is human, to forgive is divine. Forgive doesn’t mean that I agree with that action. Rather, it’s saying that I choose to have a happier life without the need to remember the past that hurt me.

Have you noticed how children play with each other?

One moment they could be fighting like cats and dogs. But once the moment has passed, they are back to being friends again. It’s sometimes good to be reminded to have a simple mind like a child; carefree and happy.

Engage A “Force From Above”

In the movie Troll, Princess Poppy initially set out alone on a quest to save her captured friends from troll-eating, “Bergens”. She succeeded in the end with the help of pessimistic Branch.

We all need help. Especially when it comes to inner struggle. And that’s where the “force from above” comes in handy. When we can’t or won’t let go, it’s time to call upon divine help.

My “force from above” is a God (yours could be different) who loves unconditionally and has graciously forgiven me. Because of this love and grace, I can in turn show people that I too can practice forgiveness. As I like to say, “It’s cool to forgive!”

That person that said those hurtful words has since repented and is much more mature now. He wants to be friends with the other person. Somehow, previously it wasn’t possible since forgiveness hadn’t been granted. Time indeed has been the healer.

Gone are the vengeful thoughts. He has come to accept the fact that what was said was unintentional and on the spur of the moment. He’s now happier without thoughts of getting even. May the “force from above” bring total healing to him. Then, we all can go for our “sundae chocolate”! Now, isn’t that a happy feeling?

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Irene Lai gained much wisdom in her journey from the corporate world to being an educator. She authored the book “Awesome Kid: The Secret of Confident, Not Coddled Kids” from her vast experience of teaching children and teenagers. She introduced online classes at her education center when it was still a novelty and pioneered online tuition for marginalized students in Sabah, Malaysia. Irene hopes to make a difference in the lives of today’s children and youths so that they too, will build their legacy of contribution to society. Connect with her at