This article is a companion to blog post “3 Worksheets – Forgiveness; Making Small Shifts; Releasing Judgment.” Link is below.
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Forgiving ourselves is vital to becoming our Best Self. No matter what “bad things” we have thought, believed, supported, done, or not done, time we have wasted, money we have squandered, or any addictions we have succumbed to, we can turn our life around and rise above what has held us in negative attitudes or patterns hurting our self or others.
To do so we must embrace the concept of unconditional love for ourselves. The Universe (God, Spirit, Source, or whatever we call the creative universal power) offers us only unconditional love, and within that premise is complete forgiveness.
The understanding is that we only ever hurt our self, others, or act badly because we are disconnected from the love within our True Self, and are thereby misaligned from universal understanding.
This blog article is based on concepts in my book Your Journey to Peace, Bridging the Gap Between Religion, Spirituality, Psychology, and Science. Book Synopsis is found here).
More links to my blog articles, free monthly newsletter, and to buy the book are below.
Even though at our core we are pure love, being distanced from our True Self and disconnected from the unconditional love within it we are not attuned to the nuances of compassion, understanding, and forgiveness it holds – for our self and towards others.
Detached from these loving qualities we do not always act in our own best interests. This disconnect from the love within us causes us to see others through a clouded lens, which induces us to act negatively towards them.
We are all somewhat misaligned from our True Self and these show up in the various ways we navigate life. This coupled with our various personalities, habits, preferences, upbringing, sexual identities, and our and racial and cultural backgrounds make us all look, speak, and behave differently.
When we have a strong connection to our True Self and the love within it we do not see or focus on the differences – we see beyond them to the core of the other person – to the love within them.
When we have a weak connection to our True Self and thereby to the love within us, we see others through the clouded lens of the unconscious influences that run our lives and lie between us and our True Self. These causes us to judge, blame, shame, belittle, criticize, ignore, or act in other impassionate ways towards others.
When we act in disapproving or hurtful ways towards others our inner being knows we are acting from our misalignment and still offers us unconditional love and forgiveness. However, the filter of our unconscious influences does not allow these to get through to us, and our ego jumps on the chance to instill guilt and shame into our psyche.
For eons Humanity’s history has been based on blame, judgment, guilt, and shame, and so the premise of unconditional love and forgiveness is long forgotten.
Guilt and shame are now so ingrained into our psyches that we unknowingly hold onto them and are unaware of the effects they have on our lives. Our inner-being knows it is not good to hold onto these, or any, buried feelings and aims to dispose of them.
In attempts to rid ourselves of these unwanted buried and confusing feelings of guilt and shame we project them onto others or out into the world. This is actually counterproductive, as in doing so we actually amass more and guilt and shame, and a vicious cycle ensues.
This is why self-forgiveness is paramount to overcoming negative responses, and is what allows us feel empowered and become our Best Self.
Self-forgiveness requires giving up and releasing guilt and the shame that goes along with it. Guilt is the principal thief of emotional happiness, but it is only a trick of the mind and has no substance. The underlying causes of guilt are in the past and should therefore be relinquished.
Knowing why we said or did hurtful things makes it easier for our unconscious to exonerate itself from our attitudes or actions that have hurt our self or others.
To release the guilt and dissolve the shame we have to acknowledge and release the emotions of what we have done, or not done. Understanding that we were only projecting our unconscious influences onto others, room is then made in the deepest part of our self to connect to the peace and general feeling of well-being that is our intended state.
However, during this process of acknowledgement and release we must remember not to get stuck in the old story of what we have or have not done.
Depending on both our innate personality and what we need to forgive our self for, this can be immediate or take years of work. Even those who have committed crimes and are in jail can tap into universal unconditional love and the forgiveness within it and experience a sense of well-being.
We practice self-forgiveness when we recognize that the thoughts we had, words we uttered, deeds we did, or things we didn’t do that are causing us angst, guilt, shame, discomfort, or caused us to become dysfunctional or even an addict, and then release the associated negative emotions surrounding the issue.
Understanding that we only acted because of being misaligned from our True Self allows us to face what we have done – for release – not for self-condemnation. Peace and feelings of well-being are the goals of self-forgiveness. Adding more guilt is not.
It is the denial and burying of these shadow parts of ourselves that keep us in emotional bondage, take away our current peace of mind, and cause us to continue to act in ways that hurt ourselves or others.
We forgive ourselves for undermining becoming our Best Self by
- acknowledging and addressing the how’s and wherefores of the attitudes and/or actions that kept us in dysfunctional patterns,
- taking time to honestly look at the why’s allows our true thoughts and feelings on the subject to surface,
- journalling allows our feelings and thoughts to flow through us onto paper. It helps us connect to our innocent self that only acted out of fear.
- asking our self questions helps to connect the dots to why we acted in ways that ultimately hurt us. What were our triggers? Why did we do what we did, or did not do what we were supposed to or had planned to? Were we sad, lonely, angry, overwhelmed, or did we feel unloved or unappreciated? When we pinpoint the reason we can allow/invite the associated emotions to come to the surface,
- crying, addressing our anger or frustrations at our self, or pretend yelling at a perpetrator as if he or she were there dislodges the emotions from our psyche, and so their hold on us disappears.
As well as in my book, there are many techniques that aim to empower us and can be helpful with self-forgiveness like The Sedona Method or Byron Katie’s The Work. These can help us examine areas that might need self-forgiveness, forgiving others, forgiving situations, and forgiving the world.
Forgiving ourselves for hurting others, especially our loved ones, brings up many emotions and we will have to effectively deal with the guilt and shame if we want to overcome the effects.
We forgive ourselves for hurting others by
- acknowledging to ourselves how we may have hurt them,
- making amends when appropriate and possible,
- releasing the shame and guilt of it all,
- getting help if the guilt and shame are overwhelming or we cannot find our way out of it all alone.
If we have been the person of authority and acted in ways that hurt, belittled, undermined, or disempowered those under our charge, once we face what we have done, are remorseful, are getting the help we need, and are aiming to change the path we are on, we too can return to wholeness and allow for our Best Self to come forth.
Forgiving ourselves for hurting our children or a loved one might be one of our greatest challenges, however it must be done if we are to move forward in life free from unconscious influences and the attitudes and behaviors they engender that create further chaos or conflict in our life.
And by us moving past the shame and guilt of hurting others and finding a new and better normal, we demonstrate to others who may not be able to face their guilt and shame and/or move past their regrets.
© Rosemary McCarthy October 2016, revised June 2018.
See here for companion blog article “3 Worksheets – Forgiveness; Making Small Shifts; Releasing Judgment.”
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Below is a peek at more inside the book:
Improving our attitudes helps change the world, as every shift in attitude affects the vibration of the Planet as a whole. (Introduction).
Somewhere deep within the crevices of our mind lies the cellular memories of the original feelings of living within a harmony-ruled paradigm and so, it remains a longing deep within us. (Chapter 1)
Most humans are deeply conflicted because we are born into a society that extols the virtues of love, caring, and honesty, but is biased in carrying out the representations of these virtues. This creates a pull and push within us. (Chapter 1, Why We Are the Way We Are)
Powerful shifts will occur in us when we acknowledge the truth of who we are, while at the same time reconcile the truth of who we are being. (Chapter 2, Universal Laws / Kingdom Principles)
Our capacity to love others is in direct relationship to how much we love ourselves. (Chapter 3, What We Can Do About It)
Don’t wallow in what you have or haven’t done—don’t get stuck in the darkness. (Chapter 3)
How we choose to live life “in the meantime” will likely be the deciding factor to our happiness, because most of our life is spent in the meantime. (Chapter 3)
It is usually our intellect that is running the show, making our right brain and its creative impulses at its beck and call. (Chapter 4, Along the Way)
Every contact with another person is an opportunity to offer a notion of unity and Oneness, or one of polarity and separation. (Chapter 5, Relationships)
The real purpose of our relationships is to provide a learning tool for us to unearth and heal our misalignments. (Chapter 5)
Free will is our inheritance. However, we are not exercising true free will if we live under the tutelage of unconscious influences. (Chapter 6, Words, Symbols, Rituals, Concepts, Prayers).
Many have confused God’s revenge with the karmic Law of Balance playing out in our lives. (Chapter 6)
The seventh dimension (of the twelve noted) is considered the level of Christ consciousness. (Chapter 6)
The Universe will disappear when there is no longer any need for form to play out the duality we embraced eons ago.(Chapter 6)
The electromagnetic fields we create from our heart chakras are at least forty times stronger than those created from our brains. (Chapter 7, Science)
The Universe is holographic. As we move beyond the limitations of the 3rd dimension Humanity has existed under we will be able to take advantage of all it entails. This will allow us to feel empowered, be able to reach our full potentials, and feel connected to one another. (Chapter 7)
The different races that visited earth inhabit dimensions with varying degrees of spiritual evolution, just as here on earth some of us are more spiritually evolved while others are more technologically advanced. (Chapter 7)
Our planet is a living, breathing organism … and just like us she has to cleanse herself of toxins – the physical and emotional toxins we have put upon her. (Chapter 9, The Planet and Abundance)
At levels beyond our awareness we chose to be here at this time of “The Shift” to help bring about our and Gais’s Ascensions – a great cosmic event. (Chapter 10, Ascension)
When we are completely aligned with the Oneness, there is no awareness of duality and all ideas of separation disappear. (Conclusion)
Copyright © 2016, 2018 by Rosemary McCarthy. All rights Reserved. To copy, share, or distribute this article (or the worksheet) simply ensure the content is copied in its entirety, is unaltered, and is distributed freely and for no monetary or personal gain, and that this copyright notice and the link for the article and the website www.yourjourneytopeace.com are included. You can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Blessings, and thank you kindly.