Does this sound familiar?
In order to solve a problem, you’ve done an internet search, discussed it with family and friends, made an appointment with an expert, pondered a solution, maybe even wrote a pros and cons list. The decision costs money, time and energy. It isn’t clear which one to choose, but something needs to be done.
Finally, you pick one. And you give it everything you have. And nothing happens or things get worse.
What’s worse is (and I have an example of this on my mind as I write) when the ‘expert’ wasn’t quite making sense (in my case, I seemed to be a bother when I didn't wholeheartedly agree with her), but I trusted her anyway and ended up in a worse position.
I was angry at her and I was angry at myself for trusting her advice, especially since there were red flags flying.
When I was contacted to rebook the professional, I gave an honest and hopefully helpful response explaining why I wouldn’t be returning, and had a sense of closure with her.
However, I couldn’t seem to forgive myself for allowing myself to go in a direction I knew wasn’t right for me.
More on self-forgiveness today.
I think it is important that we rebuild an atmosphere of forgiveness and civility in every aspect of our lives.
~T. D. Jakes
Forgiveness is for yourself because it frees you. It lets you out of that prison you put yourself in.
~Louise L. Hay
Last week the focus was on how our thoughts create self-forgiveness. Today’s focus is on physical actions to that end.
1. Apologize. Although this sounds like the focus has switched to another person, as stated above, the focus is on you. An example of what I mean would be if some of your learning budget was spent attending a course that you chose but it ended up not being very useful. You may want to offer an apology to others involved with the decision, and share what you did learn. Sometimes that brings a sense of closure or creates a sense of balance.
2. Write out the scenario, the emotions, an apology to another or yourself, what you wish you had done or anything else that is connected with the event. The act of writing in and of itself can be useful (#6). Also, the paper can be crumpled, ripped, or burned as physical representation of an emotional release. But, as a friend of mine will tell you, be careful, especially if it’s a windy day.*
3. Create your own ritual of forgiveness (and perhaps one that doesn’t involve fire).
4. Replay the event, focusing on the specific characteristic, or moment, or the general feeling. Notice which part of your body feels most affected.
a) Ask that body part if there is more to learn or if it has something else to tell you.
b) Tense or focus on that body part and then with a whoosh, release the tension and the focus. Allow the tension to disappear like and explosion or gently like steam from a hot drink or smoke from a fire.
c) Focus on the affected body part and breath deeply into that area, allowing the tension to release and invite breath in the expanded area to expand it further. Allow the breath to leave the expanded area and take another breath, expanding it further. Repeat until the tension feels reduced.
d) Acknowledge and thank the affected area for restricting the memory to one area. Let it know that you are able to accept that it has happened, learn what you needed to learn, and are ready to release it.
e) While focusing on the body part and while it is relaxed or expanded with breath, move it in all the directions it can be moved, shake it, tense/relax it. Allow the energy to flow in a different path, now that there is space in the area.
5. Research. If you are more comfortable intellectually understanding the topic first, try searching “TED talk self-forgiveness”. Here is what I got.
As you are listening, take notes – not of what the speaker is saying but ofyour thoughts and body reactions. Maybe there is something that is trying to get your attention and will get your attention one way or another. Best to address it openly.
6. This one should’ve been included last week: an example of a guided meditation. This one is sort of an all encompassing guided mediation. I find it so much easier to do than clear-your-mind meditation. Part three is about forgiveness. You can focus on forgiving others or forgiving yourself.
7. Take steps to encourage relaxation. Try our Ultra Shoulder Wraps. Both heat and weight help to relax frequently stressed shoulders and backs. New colours are in.
*PS A friend of mine had a few issues she wanted to release and thought she would try the ‘write, rip, burn and release’ method. Since she was a bit embarrassed about it all, she planned to do the burning ceremony behind the closed doors of her bedroom in a fireproof pan, that unfortunately was very shallow. Since it was a calm day, opening the window would dissipate the smell, and she thought give it a nice image of releasing her forgiveness to the world.
After writing and ripping, she started the burning, which quickly went wrong when a gust came through the window and spread the embers around. Hurriedly, she stomped them out and cleaned up the evidence of the ‘cleansing of her soul’.
Afterwards, her husband asked about the stomping. I think she told him she couldn’t remember but it was probably her trying to wake up a foot that had fallen asleep.
Have you ever tried any rituals? Did they help? Or hinder? Or, like my friend, end up giving you a story to tell? Share below.
P.P.S. Additional websites used for this series, in no particular order: