When you think of self-forgiveness, do you feel you are letting yourself off the hook?
Do you feel it makes you a better person to hold yourself to a very, very high standard?
Sometimes I berate myself for some of the stupid things I’ve done or said, even though I know that's not the best way to move forward.
First, forgiving ourselves (or someone else) does not mean that the actions /were/are condoned or that the event has been erased (see first quote below).
Second, we can only offer to others what we have inside of ourselves to give.
So, what are some of the steps we need to take to forgive ourselves, assuming we have thought of some things (i.e. Part 1 of this series) that we’ve done that need forgiving.
The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.
The cure for the pain is in the pain.
Because there were so many wonderful ideas I wanted to share, and because I like to keep my newsletters short, this week is focused on mind work, next week on physical options.
1. Own up to what part(s) of the event were your responsibility. Are you sometimes overly responsible? Do you sometimes try to justify what could’ve been your responsibility? Or do a bit of both?
2. Try to label the emotion. There could be several emotions tied into one experience. Can’t label the emotions? Doesn’t matter as much as feeling the feeling instead of burying it. If you find labeling the emotions useful, here is a chart of emotions that can help identify some of the less obvious feelings. I like the way this chart fine tunes the major emotional categories.
3. Go deeper – after getting a sense of the various emotions connected to a person, decision, event etc., ask yourself if there is something underlying that needs to be unearthed, or use the phrase, “Please show me more.”
4. Once you have a sense of what feelings were triggered, look at other times those same feelings were triggered. Any commonalities? Any lessons that can be gained? If there is a lesson to be learned, and you don’t realize it, or instead want to avoid it, no worries. Speaking from experience, unfortunately, you will have the ‘opportunity’ to learn that lesson in the future. Probably the very near future.
5. Visualize the event like a silent movie where you know none of the people involved. Do you see anything differently? Were some of your original reactions based on a belief that isn’t serving you well any more? Can you review the event, taking another perspective?
6. Rewind the movie and play it again with any new behaviours you would like to learn. Practice doesn’t make perfect – practicing the perfect makes improvement, even if it is only an image that is practicing.
7. Consider what else was going on in your life. Were there circumstances that need to be considered? Do you need to cut yourself some slack?
8. What lessons were learned? Is there a way of applying that info to a situation you are in right now?
9. If you keep replaying the incident, no matter how hard you try not to, decide on a replacement thought that has positive emotions – something that will energize you. Perhaps an upcoming summer holiday or a hobby. This isn’t to pretend the original issue didn’t exist. It is to prevent the thought from becoming a habitual way to think. Give yourself some distance and return to the issue when you’ve got more perspective and are less emotionally sucked in.
10. Sometimes self-forgiveness is very difficult, especially if we have hurt someone in the process. Others will forgive us long before we will. Perhaps others aren’t even aware something happened that needs to be forgiven. How would you treat a friend if that friend did what you are struggling to forgive? If helpful, allow yourself to ask for and accept the forgiveness of God, the Universe, Source Energy, yourself or whoever you believe has that power.
Next week, we’ll share a few physical suggestions to help with self forgiveness.
Until then, while pondering your own forgiveness, relax under a one-piece or two piece weighted blanket or the Ultra Warming/Cooling Blanket.
Providing calmness & comfort, learning & laughter,
P.S. Some of the websites for this and next week articles, in no particular order: