For many years I didn’t like myself.
Even though I was cocky, arrogant and egotistical, underneath it all, I was insecure.
So I abused myself. I used drugs, sex and alcohol to help me cope, pump up my self-esteem and pretend that I was good enough.
For years I blamed my parents for my insecurities. I held a grudge toward them.
I told myself…
“Oh, if only they could have afforded the education I deserved my life would have turned out much better.” “If only my Dad had been a successful entrepreneur I could have learned and benefited from his expertise and success.” “If only they were smarter, more influential, more this and more that.”
I desperately needed to be more.
I was moody and depressed. I needed help.
So I went to the book store and found a book on mindfulness meditation.
To my surprise, in my depth of self-honesty and looking at the man in the mirror, thanks Michael Jackson, I found out that I was already enough. I didn’t need to be more.
This was the beginning of my spiritual healing.
But I was still holding on to a lot of negative energy. Despite my best efforts, I was often in a bad mood, depressed and angry. In order to feel better, I’d go back to my old ways.
I figured out that in order to clear and release a lot of negative energy, emotion and subconscious mind crap, I had no choice. I had to forgive my parents.
So I did.
Silently, I told them I was sorry. That it wasn’t their fault. They did the best they could.
I have to admit it felt good to release that old habitual mind loop.
But wait a minute…
Now that there was no one else to blame, whose fault was it that I was insecure, uneducated and dysfunctional?
Mine, I guess.
Since the buck stops here and I’m all that I’ve got, I knew I had to figure out a productive and positive way of dealing with myself.
That meant I had to learn to love myself.
So I turned it around. I worked on forgiving myself first.
I thought it would be easy but turns out that forgiving myself was harder than I thought it would be.
I learned that forgiving myself meant that I had to accept myself.
I’m a songwriter. Whenever I have a difficult lesson to learn I write a song.
So, I wrote a song about it called, “I Choose Forgiveness.” You can download it for free if you like. It will help you learn how to forgive.
Writing that affirmation really taught me a lot about self-love and forgiveness.
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
So What The Heck is Forgiveness Anyway?
Forgiveness is your response to an injustice either toward yourself or others. It is your conscious turning toward the “good” in the face of a wrongdoing.
It’s the generosity of a compassionate spirit where you make a conscious choice of non-judgment, mercy and love.
Forgiveness is freeing.
It frees the mind of negative thought patterns like bitterness, resentment or revenge.
The Issues Are In the Tissues
I’m sure you’ve heard that there is nothing but energy.
When you hold a grudge toward someone you are really holding it inside yourself.
This requires negative energy or internal strife that accomplishes nothing, except to cause disharmony within your body which can show up as dis-ease.
If you choose not to forgive, you set the stage for internalizing that blocked energy.
Mindfulness and self-compassion are also great tools to help you acknowledge your inner pain.
By simply being aware and observing memories of injustice, blame or resentment you can release negative energy and thought patterns that no longer serve you.
Self awareness can reveal long-hardened belief patterns and the vital role that forgiveness can play in your spiritual healing toward acceptance.
To Err is Human, to Forgive, Divine
Our evolving universe is a drive for perfection.
Whether in relationships or work, finances or health, we’re all driving for perfection. That’s just the way the world works.
But nothing and nobody in this world is perfect, right?
Why would we strive to reach something that we can never possibly reach?
Because this striving for perfection puts us in the best possible position for the evolution of the world, that why.
We’re all doing the best we can based on our current state of consciousness and evolution.
So chill with it.
A choice to forgive does not mean we dismiss, ignore or approve of the damage inflicted on us.
But holding grudges and resentment sucks.
Responding to a transgression with compassion and love is the difference between wisdom and knowledge. And it’s good for you.
Quick Forgiveness Exercise
Let’s say someone has hurt you in some way.
Maybe some lady flipped you the bird or stole the parking spot you had your eye on.
First get quiet. Be still and do some deep breathing through your nose.
Imagine her face. Try and use all your senses, touch, feeling, hearing, seeing, smelling and intuition. Make it real.
Look deeply into her eyes and tell her that you are so sorry. Imagine yourself hugging her and forgiving her.
Now reverse it.
See her looking at you deeply into your eyes while she tells you that she’s so sorry. Imagine her hugging you.
You can’t afford the least negative ripple in your consciousness. Clear it away – with love.
Forgive Yourself First
Forgiveness is arguably the most important issue we must address as a human race.
It’s not surprising that tolerance, and loving thy neighbor as thyself is the central theme of so many religions.
All life affects other life and everything is interdependent. If we are to survive and evolve into a loving, compassionate world, we must learn to forgive and love ourselves first.
The cumulative loving effect on the collective consciousnesses of humanity will open and soften the heart of the world.
First thing upon arising, look in the mirror and say… “I forgive myself.” “I love myself.”
And then let it go. Chill.
Ask, “What would happen if I allowed everything in this moment to be just as it is?”
When you learn to really forgive deeply, you’ll begin to see the true nature of reality and this insight will give you the greatest freedom.
Here are 5 more tips for how to use forgiveness, mindfulness and self-compassion to release negative thought patterns…
- Write a letter to yourself or to the person who has harmed you, and ask for forgiveness.
- Be the silent witness. Observe negative self-talk and where it is concentrated or frozen in the body, visualize your warm breath thawing, opening and releasing the pain.
- Write an affirmation to change your thought patterns from one of self-condemnation to one of forgiveness and love.
- Avoid comparing yourself to others
- Learn to practice self love through self-compassion and self-nurturing.
He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass. ~George Herber