I wonder how much water has gone under this bridge at Bradford on Avon since it was first built. Originally a packhorse bridge, it was widened and strengthened during the 17th century and is now a Grade 1 listed building. (Wikipedia)
“Water under the bridge” is a common phrase for letting the past stay in the past; forgetting what has happened; moving on with life. It is a good analogy.
Water has always been associated with cleansing; and letting the past go has a cleansing effect on us. It is something that we should all cultivate. The reality is that the person who upset us may not even know that it happened.
Consider road rage. How often have you shouted, angrily, at a thoughtless driver. Yet he did not hear you. He may not even have seen you. Does that suggest someone wilfully nasty? Far from it. The person was just thoughtless. So why let someone like that control your life? Move on.
What about family members who say or do something unkind? Is that their normal way of life? If not, then think about what could have caused them to act that way. Is there some serious situation with which you can help them? Or is it time to give them some space to come to terms with their thoughts and feelings?
Throughout our lives we are going to come across situations that cause us stress and grief. But, for the most part, we are still here, still breathing, and still able to get on with life.
We cannot change the past. We can learn from it and change our future, but we cannot change what has happened. Let it pass.
So, what water do you need to allow to flow under your bridges? Let it go, and move on with your life. Stop allowing the past to control your future. Move on, and be happier for it.