The concept of forgiveness can be a difficult one to wrap our minds around. Should you forgive the person who betrayed you? Should you forgive the person who did something to you that most people deem “unforgivable?” Is it even really possible?
Regardless of whether you believe in forgiveness, I am not certain we always need to forgive everyone for everything. Sometimes we need to learn to release the pain we were caused, accept it and learn to live alongside it, with the goal of allowing the pain to teach us something about the places in our hearts in need of growth.
I cannot honestly say that I believe forgiveness is possible for every person in every situation. How could I possibly presume to know the capacity of someone else’s heart or know which path will lead them to internal peace?
But what I can say is that we do keep our hearts in prisons of pain and punishment when we do not forgive the person we often punish most: ourselves.
The problem with not forgiving ourselves for choosing the partner who turned out to be a poor father or mother to our children, to not forgiving ourselves for being in dangerous or hurtful situations, to not forgiving ourselves for not making our own needs a priority —is that we are destined to keep re-inflicting pain upon ourselves because we never believe we deserve something better. It is as if the need to make ourselves right about being so wrong sets up a vicious cycle where we feel bad about feeling bad and so we go out into the world to subconsciously prove to ourselves that we are right….and on and on it goes.
Given the magnetizing nature of wounds, we will continue to be wounded people who seek to be wounded, unless we release ourselves from the belief that we are always to blame in some manner for how our lives are playing out. Once we embrace ourselves, accept ourselves and forgive ourselves for not knowing or doing what we “should,” have known or done, and instead just acknowledge that our imperfection is what makes us human, we begin to heal the wound and create new possibilities in our lives.
No one can be as mean to you as you can be to yourself. All day long we say things to ourselves that most of us would never utter aloud to another human being. Until we create new ways of seeing ourselves that do not involve dragging suitcases of shame and blame with us into every relationship and situation, we will never be able to live within the carefree, literally light-hearted parts of ourselves.
Dare to forgive yourself. You can begin by honoring yourself just for being you.
Here are some ways to do just that:
• Honoring yourself and who you really are.
• Telling the highest truth about who you really are.
• Honoring who you are becoming.
• Honoring your feelings and responding to those feelings.
• Recognizing that the universe is literally made of love.
Self-forgiveness is a lot easier when you believe you are worth it….and YOU ARE!
Dr. Kim Sage