Wednesday, February 6, 2013

You Can Forgive Yourself

Forgive your life. It can't help it that it's not perfect.  Unknown

Life's road is bumpy enough without the pain of guilt. Yet we all live with some degree of guilt inside. It's hard to forgive, because we don't want to look at it in the first place. We hope it will just go away someday or we'll lose it in the basement of our mind. But we know all along it's still there.

I remember when I was 8 years old, I stole a candy bar from a store and stopped in a gas station restroom on my way home to enjoy getting rid of the evidence. But my mother had taught me well. With the first bite, I felt guilt gnawing in my throat, and I had to spit out the loot and run home, feeling like the epitome of sin. Just a candy bar? Yes, but it was stealing that was way more important than what I stole.

From the time we're children, we develop a self-image and set standards for ourselves. And when we say or do something that triggers our conscience, or fail to say or do something we think we should have, something deep inside reminds us of our own imperfection. And that hurts. But of all the people in the world, we're the last one to be forgiven. We may wish we could go back and undo what we did. But we can't go back. The only way out is forgiveness, and we don't feel like we deserve that.

It's easier to forgive another person than to forgive yourself, because you don't have to live inside the other person or be responsible for their actions. But you have to deal with your own guilt, and you're the only one who can heal that pain.

To get to forgiveness, we first have to work through the painful experiences that require it. Christiane Northrup.

You may want to push whatever happened further back in your mind, but before you can forgive, you must do the inner house cleaning.
1  State your firm intention to heal past wounds and let them go.
2  Acknowledge and honor your pain. And allow yourself to fully experience it.
3  Accept responsibility for what happened. Own the experience.
4  If someone else was involved in what happened, and it seems appropriate and feasible, tell them you're     sorry, and ask for their forgiveness. If not, tell them in your mind and let them go.
5  Express love and forgiveness for yourself. You have suffered enough, and you deserve to be released.
6  Express gratitude to the guilt and pain for leaving.
7  If the guilt returns, repeat the process.

Open wide the window of your heart, and find freedom in forgiveness. Know that you've stepped across another threshold in your life, and have gained strength for challenges in the future.

I wish you a peaceful heart.

Marilyn

2 comments:

  1. You said a mouthful. Living with unforgivessness in our hearts will only hinder our psychological and emotional growth. When we realize that forgiveness, regardless of whom we are forgiving, is for our own healing we empower ourselves to regain control of our lives. I will post this on my blog. Very insightful and inspiring

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  2. Thank you, Jonathan. I agree with your message. Forgiveness brings peace to our heart and freedom to grow into more than we are.

    Blessings to you.

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