There is one person you need to start forgiving NOW. No, it’s not your ex. Nor your parents. Nor your ex-BFF who kissed your crush in 3rd grade.
Yes, you. ‘Forgive myself for what’, you might ask?
How about forgiving yourself for the things you did or said in the past that you regret? For instance, maybe you need to forgive yourself for putting up with all that BS in your last relationship when you should’ve dumped that boy or girl with the quickness? Or maybe you need to let go of the “what if’s”: ‘what if I had acted differently’ or ‘what if I had said this vs that’ when it came to your past relationships? How about forgiving yourself for cheating on your diet that one time? How about forgiving yourself for not speaking your mind when it comes to your boss? Or for those times you skipped out on a workout?
Disclaimer: I am not condoning irresponsible behavior here! You should always be ultimately responsible for your actions. However, you need to forgive yourself for the PAST.
Why is it important to forgive ourselves?
- You can’t change anything about yourself until you accept and forgive yourself. Take it from Carl Jung who said, “What you resist persists”. If you struggle with losing weight, don’t dwell on how much you have to lose or the extra inches you have on your waist. Have you noticed that it’s harder to lose weight when you start obsessing about how much extra fat you need to trim? So stop pinching it! Set up a work-out plan, eat healthy, and just let the pounds melt away by themselves!
- Resenting yourself will ultimately block self-love. Self-love will help you with self-confidence, self-esteem, and feeling empowered! And we could ALL use more confidence and self-esteem!
On a more concrete and logical level, you should forgive yourself because:
- It’ll make you feel better. Forgiving yourself will bring peace to your soul. It will get rid of that little monster running around inside your head and body poking you with a hot iron whenever you think of the past. He’s seriously annoying!
- There’s just no point in beating yourself up over the “mistakes” you made. Until someone invents a time machine that actually works, you wont be able to go back into the past and fix whatever it is that you regret. The past is meant to be learned from. If you didn’t like what happened in the past, take note of it and don’t make that mistake again going forward.
How do you start forgiving yourself?
- Commit to yourself. Decide that you will LET IT GO, and start letting it go. It’s that simple.
- Give yourself permission to heal and let go of the pain you’re holding inside. You MUST realize that you are worth it, because you so are! There is absolutely no negotiation around that!
- Practice patience, gentleness, and hold no judgements against yourself.
- De-rationalize it. i.e. Take a closer look at what needs forgiving and assess WHY you are still beating yourself up over it. Then talk yourself OUT of that reason and talk yourself INTO all the benefits of just letting that self-resentment go (a trusted friend, mentor, therapist, or coach is perfect to talk to about this).
Or, if you are more concrete, try the following actions:
- Meditation. Close your eyes. Sit comfortably. Slow your breath and focus on it. For every inhale, think to yourself, “I forgive and love myself”. For every exhale, breathe out any resentment or negativity. Let it come up naturally. Repeat. Start with 5 minutes and work your way up. Use a timer on your phone if it helps make it more doable.
- Ask for a miracle (and I’m NOT being sarcastic)! Sometimes when we can’t figure out something, we can call upon a higher power to assist. Yea, it sounds a little woo-woo, but I challenge you to try it (you don’t even have to tell me!). It actually takes a lot of courage and strength to set aside your pride and ask for help. Do not see this as a weakness. If you are religious, call upon your deity and ask for a miracle. Surrender to your higher power to help you. If you are not religious, then call upon Spirit, the Universe, your ancestors, or whoever you believe to be out there watching and guiding you. Ask for guidance on how you can begin to forgive yourself so you can move on with your life.
Remember, what happened in the past does not need to define who you are in the present. It is only a guide for your actions now and in the future. These moments moving forward are the only ones that matter.
When you are able to forgive yourself and let go of the past (including the hurt, anger, upset, anxiety, negative emotions and self-destructive thoughts), you will naturally start feeling LOVE for yourself and for the world. That’s my ultimate goal and it should be yours as well! It will help make your journey in this lifetime go a million times more smoothly and help you create or have anything you could possibly want in this world!
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”- Lucille Ball Click to Tweet
This week’s tush-kickin’ challenge: What action or event in your past will you start forgiving today? Share with me below!
I am a fear conqueror, life coach, and health junkie helping quarter-lifers embrace their passion, purpose, and find courage to live their dreams!
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