24 Feb The Power of Forgiveness
The power of forgiveness is immeasurable. I like to think of forgiveness as a lot like cleaning a closet. You have to allow for some “messiness”. But as you clear out the “stuff” of the past, things begin to settle and fall into place again.
I knew I had to clear out the emotional baggage of my past. It was getting way too heavy for me to continue carrying around.
One by one, I began going through those I needed to forgive.
I knew the more I cleared things out and the more forgiveness work I did, the more space I would make for good things to flow into my life.
And that’s exactly what happened.
I began going down the long list of people who I needed to forgive in my life because I realized the men I was attracting echoed the lack of love I had toward myself and the cause of many failed relationships.
I was more than ready for the past to stop playing in my present; I was ready to end the vicious cycle once and for all.
I wanted my future relationships to be built upon a healthy foundation so I started releasing myself from the disappointments, resentments and the heartbreaks of my past.
I knew it wasn’t going to happen overnight but I was committed to taking the steps; knowing it would be a journey.
One by one I began the process.
First stop, me.
Compassion is the starting point for all forgiveness.
If a child vomits all over the living room couch, you wouldn’t scold or shame him/her into thinking he/she was “bad” for getting sick, would you?
Rather, you would love and nurture the child, doing whatever you could do to help make him/her feel better.
It is with that same kind of love and compassion we need to nurture and forgive ourselves.
When we forgive ourselves we release ourselves from the past which allows us to physically and emotionally move forward.
We consciously choose to stay in the present moment and stay focused on a future that’s motivated by purpose and improvement, rather than being held back by regrets and past mistakes.
Living in a state of non-forgiveness requires a great deal of energy.
Although forgiving ourselves can actually be even harder than forgiving someone else, it is possible.
It can wreak havoc on our minds, our spirit and our especially our bodies, inviting disease to come in.
You don’t ever need to forgive yourself for being you.
Forgiving yourself is about pinpointing the specific things you feel bad about, not about the person you are.
You have to be willing to remember regardless of your faults, you are still a good person.
This doesn’t mean you ignore your mistakes or you stop growing to improve yourself.
It means, above all else, you value yourself, your whole-self.
I began forgiving myself for all the bad choices I’ve made in my past, including the men I chose.
When a relationship ended, I began telling myself things like “I should have known better.” “How could I be so stupid?” “How could I be so foolish?”
And in that sense, I became unloving towards myself.
I finally decided to stop beating myself up and I consciously chose to let go of the guilt and shame I felt around my choices.
I began to understand the choices I made were not reflective of who I was, but where I was.
I did the best I could with what I had at the time and slowly, I began to release the shame I carried in my heart.
Today, consciously choose to deny guilt and shame, refuse to let it reside in your heart. Decide you will no longer allow yourself to operate on those negative feelings.
Know that the “mistakes” of your past were vital to your growth. Your mission in life is not to “be perfect”, it is to learn and grow.
In that sense, are your mistakes really “mistakes”?
Instead, they provided you with an opportunity to grow.
Guilt and shame will block your ability to love not only yourself, but others too.
Be kind, be gentle and always, love yourself.
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