04 Sep Forgive Yourself First!
A shocked silence hung over the conference room. Barry (not his real name), usually a compassionate and even-tempered vice president, had just loudly berated one of his managers during a staff meeting. The accused manager was looking down at his hands with a reddened face and the other managers’ jaws had dropped at this unusual display of emotional mismanagement. Barry quickly ended the meeting and hurried to his office. Later, he told me about the situation. “I was at the end of my rope, Kristin. My son is having terrible health problems and I had been up most of the night worrying about him and about work. I shouldn’t have lost my temper. How can I ever forgive myself or make it up to that manager?” As his coach, I told him that self-forgiveness is an important managerial practice, and that he had an opportunity to model good self-care to the rest of the team. He decided to apologize in person to the manager and made a public apology at the next staff meeting. Then he and I worked on ways for Barry to forgive himself.
You probably can relate to Barry’s situation. Everyone has multiple instances in their past that beg for self-forgiveness. Here are some self-forgiveness opportunities you might experience:
– You blame yourself for being laid-off or not getting a promotion
– You are angry at yourself for having to learn by making mistakes (like saying something hurtful, sending out an inappropriate email, doing something unethical)
– You deeply regret harm that you caused someone else
– You are caught in a cycle of self-talk that endlessly repeats, “I shoulda, simcity buildit hack no root coulda, woulda”
– You regret lost opportunities to create harmony or show love, such as losing your temper at work or missing your daughter’s soccer game
– You aren’t ready to forgive someone else
Naturally, your first step in self-forgiveness is to take responsibility for what you did. That means that you make amends for any harm you created, and do your best to right any wrong. You might have to apologize to the person you hurt, or reap the natural or legal consequences of what you did (such as paying a fine, going to court, losing a job, not closing a deal, and more). Taking responsibility is the mark of a mature individual.
However, if you think you need self-forgiveness, you already, by definition, realize the part you played in the situation and are aware of your responsibility. This awareness is positive, king of mortal kombat x hack online thieves hack ios and you must give yourself a pat on the back for being accountable for your actions.
Then, you deserve your own forgiveness. Remember that forgiveness is achieving a feeling of neutrality toward the situation and not feeling surge of negative emotions when you think about it. Self-forgiveness is part of exquisite self-care, in which you fulfill your own needs and take full responsibility for your own happiness.
The seven-step process of forgiving that I describe in my new book, A Forgiveness Journal: Letting Go of the Past, works for both forgiving others and forgiving ourselves. Some of the highlights of the process include identifying your feelings, gaining perspective and blessing yourself.
– Identify your feelings
You must express your feelings such as regret, anger, sadness, blame and resentment. Emotions that are buried or stuffed away never die – they only cause One effective way to do this is to write about your feelings, perhaps starting your sentences with “I am angry about blank” or “I feel regret about blank”. The great thing about writing is that it is entirely private – no one needs to see what you write. One of my coaching clients types his journal entries on his computer and purposely does not save his writing, so there is no chance of anyone finding or seeing what he wrote.
– Gain Perspective
Are you even going to remember this incident at the end of your life? If not, then you realize the relative insignificance of this event. Were there good things that came out of the experience for you? List any positive outcomes. What would the benevolence of Source energy say about this? Source does not judge you but can only extend love, just as a loving parent extends loves to a wayward child. As a spiritual teacher once told me, “We must extend to ourselves the same compassion that we extend to others.”
– Bless Yourself
Understanding that you did the best you could under the circumstances, you can let go of your self-judgment and bless yourself instead. Every time you think of the situation, consciously redirect your thoughts away from “I shoulda…” and choose to practice self-love by saying, “I honor my true essence” or “I bless myself”.
Changing the world starts with changing yourself. There is a wonderful ripple effect that happens when we change our interior perspective. Our actions start lining up with our thoughts, and people begin to react differently to us. As Gandhi so famously said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Practice self-forgiveness to create a more forgiving world.