This post is an excerpt my upcoming Kindle and e-book, tentatively titled “The Forgiveness Handbook – Simple Answers to Ten Common Questions to Help You Experience More Forgiveness and Freedom in Your Life”. Please read on and let me know what you think.
In this article I’m going to address something I often hear in conversations about forgiveness that concerns me. I hear it frequently in various forms and it goes something like this, “I’ll never forgive myself for that.” Or, “I don’t know how I’m ever going to forgive myself for that.” I hate to hear people say things like that, because of the importance of self-forgiveness. Forgiveness of any sort is really about you, it’s about forgiving yourself. Forgiveness is about giving yourself the gift of freedom from the emotional burdens and attachments of the past. It’s about parting the dark clouds of unresolved painful experiences to allow in the light of possibility and clarity of purpose for a new future.
Forgiveness is For You
When I forgive someone else, ultimately it’s not about that other person. It’s about me being able to release and let go of the shame, guilt, regret, anger, blame, resentment and whatever else I may be carrying around to weigh me down and hold me back! It’s about being able to able to look and move confidently and clearly into a new future. The same holds true for you! I believe that all forgiveness is self-forgiveness. In order to be complete with forgiveness for any incident or circumstance, you must forgive yourself in addition to anyone else involved. The process of forgiveness starts and ends with self-forgiveness – with you.
Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t quite understand that. You may still tend to think of forgiveness as something that you do solely for another person. You may think it’s something that you’re supposed to do to fix a relationship, or to make some other person feel better. Perhaps you’ve somehow been led to believe that you need to do this even at the expense of yourself and your own best interests! While improving a relationship or helping someone feel better can be positive results of forgiveness, in the end when you forgive it’s really all about you. It’s about enabling yourself to feel better, it’s about improving your relationship with yourself and being able to stand more fully in your own personal responsibility and creativity.
Setting Yourself Free
Forgiveness gives you the ability to move forward in your life unburdened by all of the weight of emotion and meaning from past experiences that you’ve been dragging around. It’s about giving yourself the levels of freedom, joy, light-heartedness and all of the other things you desire. When you forgive and free yourself of the past, you’re able to choose and act more powerfully in creating your life.
I’ll make the bold claim that forgiveness in general, and forgiveness of yourself in particular, is the most important thing that you can do to have your life turn out the way you want it to. You gain the freedom to live your life on your own terms, instead of being negatively connected to someone else and limited by anger, resentment, guilt, shame or debilitating beliefs. Forgiving yourself opens up the doors to greater levels of success, self-expression and the fulfillment of your desires! Self-forgiveness is the key to your self constructed prison of the past, setting you free to have all of those things and more.
In the practice of self-forgiveness, you must start with a decision. It’s a decision to cultivate self-love and self-worth. Self-forgiveness is a natural outcome of choosing to feel good about yourself, and choosing to love yourself completely. When you love yourself, it’s only natural that you would want to let go of the burdens of the past. It’s natural that you would want to fully express yourself and bring all that you have to offer to every moment, to every interaction, to every relationship and to every project you undertake. Imagine how great that would feel!
Now I hope you have some great reasons to forgive yourself. So please take it on, get started today and give yourself the gift of greater freedom!
Thanks for reading. As always I welcome your feedback, comments and questions. Please let me know what you think in the “Leave a Reply” box just below. Also, be sure to join “The Forgiveness Club“, using the form in the right hand side bar, and I’ll give you advance notice of the short time period when you can go and claim a free copy of the Kindle version of the book, just after its release.