I’m apparently having a “Julie’s Thoughts on Forgiveness Week.”  I’m Ok with that.

The other day I posted about forgiving our friends.  Something I see as even more important and so much more difficult is forgiving ourselves.
Not one of us is perfect.  If holding on to rage and resentment to someone who has hurt us is detrimental, then imagine what holding on to rage and resentment towards you is doing to your sense of being. 
How do you forgive yourself? 
1)      Remind yourself that it is OK that you make mistakes.  You are not perfect and weren’t meant to be perfect.  Think about the expectations of yourself.  Are they realistic?  If they aren’t then work on readjusting them.
2)      Feel the emotions.  Feel the regret.  Feel the sadness.  Feel the feelings of inadequacy. Even feel the shame.   Many people avoid feeling.  These feelings don’t go away, they stay with us.  Feel them.  Acknowledge them.  If you do this the intensity will lesson.
3)      Take action.  Is there anything you can do to fix the situation.  Maybe there isn’t something directly you can do but you can choose to do something indirectly too.  (Don’t, though, get caught up in punishing yourself or making yourself do penance.  It will never feel like enough.)  Take any action.  When people take action, they often immediately feel better.
4)      Take whatever lesson you learned or experience you’ve gained and own it.  Try your best to use it in the future.
5)      Remind yourself that you are forgivable.  (You are worthy of forgiveness!)
“If you haven’t forgiven yourself something, how can you forgive others?”
           
Dolores Huerta.
“As soon as one forgives oneself, it is like taking away a bandage that covered one’s eyes.  When the bandage is gone, then one can see that the ones that love us have already forgiven us long ago and still there loving us.”     Juan Cavallo
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