On this path of getting to know ourselves and learning how to love ourselves more truthfully and unconditionally, we have one more task to do – forgive ourselves. This step usually catches people by surprise. After all the work we put in to accept ourselves, we never for a moment think that a part of the journey would involve any anger or disappointment and therefore what is there to forgive?
Once we start loving ourselves the way we want to, we come across a difficult truth: we used to be our worst enemy. We were the one that held the key to this self-love all this time. This is where feelings like anger and blame might come from. We realize that it was us all along. And this is where we need forgiveness the most. Forgiving ourselves for all the times we spent worrying what other people thought, for all the times we decided to change ourselves to fit in, for all the times we shut down our own truth for love. We have to manage to forgive ourselves for the negative self-talk we let reside in our minds throughout these years. To forgive ourselves for pushing aside our real Self in order to be someone else, someone “better”, “normal”, “different”.
The main thing that we need to focus on in this action of forgiving is that we have always been doing the best that we could. Everything that we did, every time we hid, every time we molded ourselves – this has been out of our best intentions. We were doing what we could with what we had. The knowledge, the awareness, all of that came later, and we were not able to nurture ourselves the way that we can now. Every time we feel like we failed, there was a reason behind it, and failing depends on our perspective. If we grew up in a family that put much emphasis on how we looked, we probably developed a pressure to appear a certain way. This pressure turns into self-criticism. Laziness, for example, comes from perfectionism. When we are performing every minute of our life, we will need rest at one point. Selfishness comes from years of pushing our needs aside. It is okay that we want to take after so much time of giving and neglecting ourselves. In a way, we have never made a mistake – we have just been reacting to what we received.
But now we have decided to stop reacting. We don’t want to live our lives in reaction mode. We want to proactively search for our truths, honor ourselves and maintain this self-love that we are discovering. There is a saying “One forgives to the degree that one loves.” Do we not love ourselves enough then? We need to know that we deserve forgiveness. Just because we were wrong, it does not mean that we are doomed. Quite the contrary, now that we have found the right way, the loving way – it means we get to forgive ourselves, each and every day, for the times we did not know better.
Author: Eva Feldman, as a highly empathetic person and a psychologist, she connects her understanding of the human psyche with spirituality, focusing on consciousness and awareness. Her goal is to share knowledge and passion about human beings in a simple and understandable way, and in that way to contribute to raising awareness in this day and age. Masters degree in Psychology, education in Art Expressive Therapy, as well as personal interests of social justice, mindfulness and Being, make for an interesting addition to her practices of dance, yoga and teaching. She found a purpose in living life fully and encouraging others to do so.
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