The Gifts of Forgiveness…
Holding on to experiences that have hurt us, causes no one pain but ourselves. It eats away at us, while the person or event we are keeping our anger for can remain completely unaffected. Forgiveness is a critical part of self-love.
It’s not just others that we need to forgive to bring ourselves to a place of self-love, we must forgive ourselves. Forgiveness is about relinquishing a source of pain, your pain. When trying to forgive yourself look for things in your life that are causing you pain or that you feel guilt, shame, disappointment, regret or sorrow for.
To deal with the challenging emotions that arise, it’s important we show ourselves compassion….Boatloads of it, don’t be stingy! Our inner voice needs to be more reassuring now then ever. Comfort yourself through this pain with soothing words and thoughts, release any judgement. Speak to yourself with the same compassion you would give a small child who is lost. (You can read my article on how to deal with pain and follow through the guidelines)
Self-Love Bids Forgiveness, Forgive Yourself.
Forgive yourself, forgive anything that has caused you pain in your life, forgive experiences, and forgive others.
So how do you reach a place of forgiveness? You need to look for the positives the experience has brought to your life.
As we begin our journey of self-love, our eyes become open to how unloving we have been to ourselves, how cruel. This in itself is a source of pain and something we need to forgive ourselves for. I’ll use this as an example of the positive things that can come from a source of pain.
The pain of unworthiness has brought you here, so you are already on a path to self-love which is incredibly positive. Without the pain of unworthiness or self-loathing, would you have tried to find self-love? Probably not.
Self-love brings compassion, for both yourself and others, it brings growth, a spiritual awakening, expansion, ease into your life, happiness, authenticity, self-respect. Self-love brings quality relationships into your life. It allows you to love others fully and receive more love in return. You begin to love people for who they actually are without the unfair expectation of them filling the void of self-love within you.
You are the only person who can feel this void, too often in relationships we expect our partner to fill this void, to make us feel complete. It’s an impossible expectation we place on our partners. We end up feeling dissatisfied in the relationship and blame the other party for not making us feel how we expect to feel. This is exhausting and unfulfilling for the other person. They are expected to meet an unattainable task, failure is inevitable, which can leave them feeling unloved and worthless in the relationship. We take this into our next relationship repeating the pattern, failing to recognise that we are the problem. It’s impossible to love someone who doesn’t love themselves. Where there is no self-love there is a feeling of unworthiness of love, you believe you are unlovable, therefore you are because you simply can’t allow yourself to let love in.
When we fill that void ourselves we come into our relationships with love, we know how lovable we are, therefore we can receive it. We have more love to give our partners and the love they provide us with becomes a bonus, adding to our life experience and happiness rather than creating it, which is your role. There are so so many positive outcomes to self-love, You will begin reach a place of self-trust, emotional freedom and empowerment to live the life you really want. In this example, these are the gifts of forgiveness.
Once you understand the positive outcomes each painful experience has brought you, its a lot easier to feel compassion towards yourself, the person or event you are trying to forgive.
It is only through experiencing one thing that we can fully experience it’s opposite, its duality. So however negative something may feel to you, because of it, you are now in a position to experience it’s contrast. You would never know one opposite without the experience of the other. If happiness was something you felt in every moment, you wouldn’t understand it as happiness, it would just be a normal state of being, and therefore would bring you no joy. We must experience sadness to understand true happiness and the colder the night, the more warmth the sun will bring.
Write a list of the positives that you have already experienced from your pain and the potential positives to come. Focus on these things. Bring yourself to an understanding of the role of this experience in your life. Focus on these outcomes and you will begin to feel gratitude for the experience and understand its place in your life, making forgiveness inevitable.
Here are some good questions to ask yourself. Apply these questions to anyone or anything you need to forgive.
What positive role has this experience played in my life?
What have I learned from this experience? What lessons has this brought me?
What is something I appreciate that I would not have now if it wasn’t for this experience?
Who has this experience helped me become?
How has it made me stronger?
Has it brought me closer to understanding who I really am?
Has it helped me discover what I want and don’t want from life?
How has it made me more authentic?
This experience has taught me_________
What positive things can now come into my life because of this experience?
Who or what will you forgive in your life? Try the questions out and share your experience in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Azrael Cosgrove