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    Dear Steve,

    I felt for you as I read your post. I think others have given you some good advice but I know from my own experience the notion of forgiveness can present a bit a dilemma. You clearly recognize that hanging onto to the anger and other challenging emotions is something that is hurting you and affecting the quality of your life. Yet also, you know that your ex doesn’t really deserve your forgiveness. Even though our life experiences are very different, I had to deal with some problem when it came to forgiving some people who hurt me very much. I got stuck – I wanted to forgive but just couldn’t. Then I read a very helpful article online. This therapist makes it really simple: forgiveness is a decision to let go of the anger and nothing more. He even writes that in the end, forgiving someone else isn’t really about forgiving them. It is simply a decision to let go of the anger.

    Here are some things you might want to consider:

    1. Your ex, based on your description, would probably like it very much if she knew how much power her actions have over you. By practicing forgiveness (letting go of the anger) she can no longer rule your thoughts and diminish your life.
    2. Although her life might seem better than yours, underneath it all I doubt she’s happy. Even if she is genuinely sociopathic and not tormented by repressed guilt, her lack of empathy means that is impossible for her to know the joy of a loving bond towards anyone, including herself.
    3. You’re probably not ready to think this way yet but one thing that has really helped me break free of the bondage of resentment is to cultivate compassion for whatever pain the victimizer went through that turned them into someone who could be so shitty to others. Thinking that way does not excuse or condone their behaviour but it does explain it.

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