verb for·give \fər-ˈgiv, fȯr-\
- to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong) : to stop blaming (someone)
- to stop feeling anger about (something) : to forgive someone for (something wrong)
When you think of the idea of “forgiveness”, what is the first thing that comes to mind?
For many of us, it is probably some sort of an external factor, like forgiving a person in your life that let you down, or moving past a situation that left you upset and angry.
For the sake of this post, I’m switching the perspective a bit. What about the idea of forgiving ourselves? We often don’t think about it, but there are probably some grudges we are holding against ourselves that we aren’t fully aware of.
Confession: I have a hard time detaching myself from my past.
I have a tendency to revisit old mindsets/ behaviors and replay old thoughts on a (far too) regular basis. I get stuck in the past, as if some of the things that I have dealt with have created some sort of “reality” and “identity” for me. I get resentful, and make myself believe that I will be stuck with this mentality forever. I blame the fact that I haven’t achieved certain goals, or done certain things on “past” circumstances, and for whatever reason, I let that mindset influence how I perceive my life in the present.
In reality, I know that isn’t 100% true. I have accomplished a lot, and done a lot of wonderful things over the past several years, but for some reason, whenever I get into a “funk” I am quick to blame myself and my past for keeping me stagnant and unsatisfied.
Enough is ENOUGH!
Let your fears go...your doubts, your insecurities, let them ALL go. For so long you have walked around with a mindset skewed by false beliefs. You worry about judgment and about your past, about rigidity and routines. Those fears no longer serve you. Choose to see those false beliefs through the eyes of love, the eyes of strength. Be willing and open to change as you continue to do your best. Keep showing up and doing the work. Have faith in yourself. You are strong, worthy, and have so much to offer the world. But in order for you live to your fullest potential you need to forgive yourself.
A few weeks ago, I wrote the above statement to myself, acknowledging my blocks and declaring my desire to let go of my past and forgive myself for my shortcomings.
Through this practice, I have come to realize that if I continue to hold on to resentments and regrets from my past, it is going to be EXTREMELY difficult to move forward.
In addition to writing a “statement of forgiveness”, I made a list of a few practices that I have been working on, that may be helpful for anyone working on self forgiveness, to incorporate into their lives as well:
- Give yourself a break and quit being so hard on yourself.
- FORGIVE yourself for buying into those behaviors/thoughts/mindsets.
- USE the experiences as lessons and opportunities to grow and learn.
- Acknowledge that forgiveness is a process that takes a lot of consistent work.
- Be patient with yourself and take one day at a time.
Forgiving ourselves can be a great catalyst for change and personal development. By allowing ourselves to “forgive” we are taking back our power over the restraints of our pasts. The sooner we work on forgiving ourselves, the sooner we can be free and move on to bigger and better things ahead of us.
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