Category Archives: Forgiveness

Self-Forgiveness: Two Techniques to Banish Guilt and Shame

 

Self-forgiveness isn’t an easy thing to do. And it takes time. Our culture, along with many religions, create many opportunities for us to feel guilt over what we are or are not doing and to feel shame about who we are as a person–the fact that we weren’t perfect in the past, we aren’t perfect now, and we won’t be perfect in the future.

 

One technique that has helped me is sitting in silence, which I’ve talked about many times before.   I find that when I block out the world and quiet myself down, I gain perspective on that which I’m feeling guilty and unforgiving about.

I’ve often found that when I look closely at the situation, I realize my guilt and shame is rooted in the presumption that I had much more control in the situation than what I actually had.

For instance, I can’t control other people. As much as I would like to, as much as I would wish, hope, pray, bargain, beg, to have more control over others, I don’t and I won’t have control over others.   What they choose to do or choose not to do is out of my hands. That’s between them and Source to work out the consequences. All I can do is be mindful myself and my perceptions and my reactions and responses to those perceptions.

I’ve found that thinking through the situation with this realization in mind has helped me be more compassionate toward all involved–including myself–and has also helped me let go (forgive) myself and others.

 

Another technique I’ve found helpful is to turn my back on the past–to quit focusing on it.   I’ve found when I was mired in the past, the past became so big that it obscured the present moment.   And, since I wasn’t really living in the present, the result was that my future wasn’t too enticing; it looked like I’d have more of the same. Depressing thought and expectation, for sure!

Turning my attention to the present moment and the future helped cut the past down to size and loosened its grip on my life. As a result, I was able to see past situations more objectively. The past’s ability to distress and hurt me became less and less until, finally, it had no power over me and there was no room for it in the present or future.

 

Do you have a technique that helps you banish guilt and shame, that leads you to self-forgiveness?   Please share it in the comments below.   Thanks!

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Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

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Self-Forgiveness: A Few Insights

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Not forgiving ourselves keeps us chained to the past.

By keeping our focus on the past we think that somehow this will make up for or change the past. It won’t. Nothing we can say or do or think will change what happened.

 

Not forgiving ourselves punishes us over and over and over again.

Perhaps we’re punishing ourselves so that no one else will, because they won’t have to because we’ve already punished ourselves and are continuing to punish ourselves for good measure. That’s convoluted thinking but it makes good sense to those of us who continue to harbor unforgiveness toward ourselves.

Even so, it still doesn’t change the past or what happened.

 

Not forgiving ourselves doesn’t solve any problems.

Unforgiveness creates more problems in the form of anger issues, depression, stress related illnesses, and living a life way below our potential.

 

Not forgiving ourselves is NOT the way we’ll craft soul-prospering lives.

The only way to do this is through self-forgiveness, living in the present, and looking to the future.

 

Tomorrow we’ll talk about a few techniques for forgiving yourself. Be sure to check back in. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Self-Forgiveness: A Deeper Dive

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I came across an excellent article on self-forgiveness as a critical component of healing guilt and shame.  I found it on Psychology Today’s blog.    It’s a bit of a lengthy read, but if you’re struggling with guilt, shame, and blame (or if you know someone who’s grappling with these) this article is well worth it.

The article talks about:

~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:

~Self-understanding;

~Common humanity;

~Earning 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!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Lauren

Self-Forgiveness: Why We Don’t

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I read an article in Psychology Today regarding self-forgiveness.  Point #2 stood out to me.
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.
You can do it, I know you can!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Lauren

Self-Forgiveness: Why Forgiveness, Including Self-Forgiveness, is Important

 

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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

Rigid personality

Being judgmental

Perfectionism

Blame, guilt, shame

Sadness or being in a ‘blue funk’

Depression

Negative thinking

Living a life of ‘less than’

Envy

Fixated on the past

Fatigue and lethargy

Stress

Cold-hearted

 

A sampling of the benefits of forgiving yourself and others:

Peace of mind, body, and spirit

Optimism

Forward looking

Feelings of connectedness

Willingness to give the benefit of the doubt

No longer a prisoner of guilt, shame, and blame

Energetic

Resiliency and perseverance

Freedom

Creative

Generous

 

Scary, huh?  We’ll talk more about this tomorrow, including how you can move forward on this.

Thanks for reading and following my blog.  If you aren’t receiving these daily messages in your email then please sign up!  You’ll find the ‘subscribe’ button on the upper portion of the left hand column.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Self-Forgiveness: 16 Inspiring Quotes to Help You Forgive

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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.

Enjoy!

 

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.

Thank you for following this blog; I appreciate it. If you don’t receive these daily posts in your email, please sign up for them!   The ‘subscribe’ button is near the top of the page on the left hand column. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Trust: Yourself

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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!

Thank you for following me on this blog. If you don’t get these posts in your daily email feed, then please sign up! You’ll find the ‘subscribe’ button at the top of the left hand column. Thank you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren