~The devastating effects of guilt, shame, and not forgiving yourself;
~An explanation of the difference between guilt and shame;
~Obstacles to self-forgiveness;
~Forgiving yourself when you’ve harmed others.
The article takes a closer look at four avenues of self-forgiveness:
~Asking for forgiveness from Source.
My takeaway from this article was the discussion on forgiving yourself when you’ve caused harm to another. When people talk about forgiveness, usually it’s from the vantage point of having been harmed by someone. This is the first article that I’ve found that openly discusses how to forgive yourself when you’ve been the perpetrator of the harm.
What insights did you get from the article? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks!
Sometimes we allow ourselves to be defined by something that happened to us. If we forgive the others involved and forgive ourselves, and let it go…then who are we?
We no longer have that injustice to tell us who we are. We no longer have our outrage or indignation to fuel us, to help us get out of bed in the morning. We also don’t have it as an excuse of why we aren’t going for our dreams and why we have a life of ‘less than’.
Forgiving others and forgiving ourselves oftentimes requires redefining who we are. This is best accomplished by not looking backward to our past and the injustice, but rather facing forward and looking to the present and the future, and all the Goodness that awaits us there.
We all know forgiveness is important, but it’s so hard to do! As a result, we don’t actively work on forgiving and letting go. We don’t realize the terrible toll it’s taking on us and how it’s hampering our efforts of crafting a soul-prospering life.
Here’s a sampling of what you can look forward to if you have trouble forgiving, whether it’s forgiving others or yourself:
Impatience and frustration
Fits of anger
Difficulty getting along with others
Blame, guilt, shame
Sadness or being in a ‘blue funk’
Living a life of ‘less than’
Fixated on the past
Fatigue and lethargy
A sampling of the benefits of forgiving yourself and others:
Peace of mind, body, and spirit
Feelings of connectedness
Willingness to give the benefit of the doubt
No longer a prisoner of guilt, shame, and blame
Resiliency and perseverance
Scary, huh? We’ll talk more about this tomorrow, including how you can move forward on this.
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After last week’s posts about trust and the work we did in discovering how much–or how little–we trust the Universe, our Vision, and ourselves, we may have discovered that our trust levels are lower than what we thought. This can lead to disappointment and discouragement.
The antidote is forgiveness, particularly self-forgiveness. This will be our topic for the week. Below are 16 wise quotes that can get us started on our journey this week.
The more you know yourself, the more you forgive yourself. ~Confucius
Do as the heavens have done, forget your evil. And, with them, forgive yourself. ~William Shakespeare
You cannot travel back in time to fix your mistakes, but you can learn from them and forgive yourself for not knowing better. ~Leon Brown
To forgive is indeed the best form of self-interest since anger, resentment, and revenge are corrosive of that ‘summum bonum’, the greatest good. ~~Bishop Desmond Tutu
Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future. ~Lewis B. Smedes
When you forgive, you in no way change the past–but you sure do change the future. ~Bernard Meltzer
Forgiveness is rediscovering the shining path of peace that at first you thought others took away when they betrayed you. ~Dodinski
Although you should not erase your responsibility for the past, when you make the past your jailer, you destroy your future. It is such a great moment of liberation when you learn to forgive yourself, let the burden go, and walk out into a new path of promise and possibility. ~John O’Donahue
Forgive yourself for what you think you’ve done or not done. At every moment, you had your reasons for all of your actions and decisions. You’ve always done the best that you could do. Forgive yourself. ~Doreen Virtue
I, who have never willfully pained another, have no right to pain myself. ~Marcus Aurelius
I found in my research that the biggest reason people aren’t more self-compassionate is that they are afraid they’ll become self-indulgent. The believe self-criticism is what keeps them in line. Most people have gotten it wrong because our culture says being hard on yourself is the way to be. ~Dr. Kristin Neff
We read that we ought to forgive our enemies; but we do not read that we ought to forgive our friends. ~Sir Francis Bacon
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. ~Mahatma Gandhi
Most of us can forgive and forget; we just don’t want the other person to forge that we forgave them! ~Ivern Ball
When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free. ~Catherine Ponder
He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. ~Dr. Martin Luther King
Which quotes rang true for you? Jot them down and keep them handy this week. Refer to them often to remind yourself that you’re doing your best. This will keep you on track with forgiving yourself.
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What if you discover you don’t really trust yourself, at least not when it comes to crafting your soul-prospering life. What do you do then?
Just like many other skills and habits, you can learn to trust yourself.
It’s all about what you do, your follow-through.
For instance, if you’re self-trust is shaky because you aren’t sure you have what it takes–after all, your Vision is BIG (this is a very good thing, and it’s also a very good thing if your Vision is “small”; size does NOT matter in this case!). The solution is to break the steps you need to take into small bits and pieces then make a plan for regularly and consistently working on them.
Also, remember to reach out for help when you need it. That help can take the form of mentors, coaches, teachers, trusted friends and loved ones; it can be taking classes, attending workshops, and carving out regular time for practicing and refining your new skills.
What if you find you’re having trouble taking the first step, no matter how small it is? You make plans and promises, lay out schedules and deadlines, and may have a reward set up for the little successes along the way. But yet, you don’t begin or you make a weak start and then either give up or become distracted with the this’s and that’s of Life.
Your self-trust is shaky because you break your promises to yourself. You can’t trust yourself to do what you say you’ll do and to see it through to the finish.
No worries–you aren’t doomed to a life of disappointment and of ‘less than’.
It’s all about smallness, slowness, and steadiness.
Learn to trust yourself by starting with something small, such as making your bed every morning or putting your dirty clothes into the hamper each day rather than strewing them across your bedroom. Choose ONE THING. And when deciding how and when you’ll do it, KEEP IT SIMPLE!!
The best reward you can give yourself is being mindful as you’re doing that task and feeling the pleasure and satisfaction of doing it, even if you aren’t doing it well or perfectly, just the fact that you’re doing it is justification enough to feel the pleasure and satisfaction.
Then, when the small simple task is complete, take a moment to feel the pleasure and satisfaction of having followed through to completion. Forget about the judgment of whether or not the result was done to perfection, because the whole point is that you chose a task and you completed it.
Following through on small simple tasks and enjoying the pleasure and satisfaction that you feel are the building blocks of strong self-trust.
Keep taking these steps and you’ll find your confidence and self-trust increasing and you can then take on a little larger project.
Small, slow, and steady wins every single time!
You CAN do this, I KNOW you can!
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Do you trust yourself, really trust yourself–especially when it comes to crafting a soul-prospering life, which is also living the life of your dreams?
Stay in a contemplative mood today thinking about the question I just asked. Certainly carry on with your responsibilities and obligations throughout the day, but keep this question simmering on the back burner of your mind.
Be observant of yourself today: what do you habitually think and say about yourself, are they the same things that a person with a high level of self-trust would say and think; when you are working on tasks, do you start them knowing you have what it takes to get the job done; as you work your way through the small and large projects of the day, do you do them with the attitude of “Yes I Can!”?
At the end of the day, take time to review what you’ve observed about yourself. Ask yourself “Do I trust myself, especially when it comes to crafting my soul-prospering life?” Be honest! You aren’t helping yourself by not being totally honest! And answer the question with Yes or No.
If you’ve answered No to the question, don’t worry. Tomorrow we’ll talk about steps you can take to bolster your self-trust.
It can be done and you can do it!
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After reading yesterday’s post, what if you realize you don’t really trust your Vision? What if it feels too big for you to handle? Perhaps you think that it’s some sort of Cosmic Joke that you have this Vision.
Is there anything you can do about this?
Think back over the times in your life when you “just knew” something–a gut instinct, your intuition–and you flowed it and it turned out to be true. Remember how it felt–what did the “voice” “sound” like? Where in your body did you “hear” it?
What did it feel like–a tingling, a buzzing? Where did you feel it–in your chest, your stomach area, or somewhere else?
Is there an aroma or a taste or a touch sensation to go with it?
Is there an emotional feeling as well for instance if you’re fretting about something and suddenly you feel tired and you’re too exhausted to worry anymore…perhaps that’s your intuition or your gut telling you to stop agonizing because everything is okay and will work out just fine.
Also take note of the thoughts you’re thinking. Whose voice are they in? Don’t be surprised if they’re in the tone of a teacher or coach who was always so judgmental of you.
Write down the thoughts then put your Investigator’s Hat again and ask yourself if the thoughts are based on facts or not. If you find they’re based on what someone has told you, was that person speaking from a position of fact based upon proven expertise or was it based upon their opinions or feelings or the bad mood they happened to be in that day?
Pick apart your habitual thoughts about your trust in your Vision so that you can remake them into thoughts that support, encourage, and help you achieve your Vision and craft your soul-prospering life!
You can do it!
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