I have some questions that I invite you to think about.
- Is it easy for you to forgive someone who has hurt or wronged you?
- Is it easy to forgive yourself?
- Do you beat up on yourself and feel shame when you make a mistake?
- Is it easy for you to ask for forgiveness when you have offended or hurt someone you love?
Often, the hardest person to forgive is yourself. I believe that forgiving yourself is the greatest act of self- love. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself and the sooner you forgive yourself, the better you will feel. We all make mistakes, it is a part of being human. We need to be compassionate with ourselves and treat ourselves like we would our best friend. Would you say to your best friend what you say to yourself?
I had a situation this week where I needed to forgive myself and ask for forgiveness from another. The details aren’t important. What is important is that when I was confronted about a particular behavior of mine, I immediately took responsibility for my actions and apologized. I didn’t get defensive, which is a behavior that I struggled with for many years.
Although I felt shame and regret at first, I quickly moved to self-forgiveness and didn’t beat up on myself. It wouldn’t do me any good to obsess or torture myself and make myself feel even worse for making a mistake. I did that for too many years and it doesn’t serve me or the other person involved. It was clear that I had made a mistake and blew it. There was nothing I could do about it, but ask for forgiveness, send love and trust the other person would forgive me.
I knew it would take some time and I had to be patient and wait. I had to let go of my control and give the person time and space to work through their process. Of course, I would have liked to have been forgiven immediately, but I also didn’t want them to do a spiritual bypass and forgive prematurely.
When I started to have memories of my father sexually abusing me, I wanted to forgive him right away. I didn’t want to go through the grief process because it was to uncomfortable and painful. Thank God I had a good therapist who said, “You are not ready to forgive your father yet, you need to feel your feelings of anger, sadness, and depression before you reach acceptance. She was right and I’m so grateful I listened and didn’t do a spiritual bypass. It was not easy, but I knew I had to go through the process and trust Spirit. I prayed daily and asked for guidance. It took me 3 years to forgive my father and work through the process.
While in prayer one day, I heard Spirit say, “It is time for you to forgive your father, you are ready now.” It was very scary picking up the phone after not communicating with him for 3 years, but by the grace of God, I was ready and did it. I had done my inner work and released the anger and sadness and was ready to move on.
What I know about forgiveness is that it is for me, not the other person. If I’ve been hurt by another person’s words, actions or inactions and I hold a grudge, I keep myself in a prison and I suffer needlessly. If I obsess about what someone has said or done and play the blame game, it will lead to resentment. Resentments and unforgiveness keep me stuck in a lower vibration. Certainly not in the vibration of love where I choose to live my life.
- Are you ready to set yourself free by forgiving yourself and being compassionate and kind to yourself?
- Are you ready to treat yourself like you would your best friend?
- Are you ready to forgive others who have hurt you?
It’s o.k. if you are not ready to forgive yet. Trust the process, ask Spirit for help and be willing to do the inner work.
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Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host
Simply A Woman of Faith
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