Forgive yourself already!!!

Isn’t about damn time that we forgive ourselves? I am tired of beating myself up, about holding back happiness as a form of punishment for something I did or didn’t do. I am realizing that I need to forgive myself for things that I did then, when I didn’t know what I know now!
— Ashley Mitchell

There is a lot of talk about forgiving others, for letting go of what others have done in the past to make things in your life really hard.  That is all well and good but what are you doing to forgive yourself??  What are you doing to let go of the things that you have done to make your life really hard?  

I know so many of us are stuck.  Stuck in a self-sabotaging cycle because we are beating ourselves up, we are punishing ourselves, we are believing the lies that we are not worthy of more.  

Did you know that it is okay to be okay??  Did you know that you are allowed to let yourself off the hook?  Did you know that there is peace ahead?  Did you know that you DO NOT need to continue to punish yourself?! 

YOU HAVE SUFFERED ENOUGH!!!!!!!

This past weekend my hubby and I had the chance to have a night...a night with just the two of us where we got to stay up, connect, talk, laugh and make out a lot!  

We got to talking about the past 6 years, our journey of finding each other and those VERY devastating and incredible difficult first few months of our relationship.  We have been through so much and it didn't take long for the tears to start flowing as we discussed things, as we shook our heads in disbelief over the things that we had done.  The pain that we caused to ourselves and to each other.

There was still so much pain buried in the places of guilt and shame and unworthiness.  

My pile of things that I wish I had never done is higher than most skyscrapers but there was so much I didn't know then, so much pain and denial, so many excuses, so much hiding and running, so much that I didn't understand about myself, about healing, about forward movement, about forgiveness.  AND there are so many things in my future that I don't know yet that will bring light to the mistakes that I make currently.

I wanted to share 4 unique ways to find and allow forgiveness.  To not just go through the motions of forgiving but actual forgiveness that stirs the soul, clears great space for new creating and allows for a permanent release.

1.  Finding the Courage To Forgive.  Oh my goodness.  I think this is one of the hardest things is to find the courage to forgive ourselves.  WHY?  Because that means that we actually have to take a look at ourselves and realize that we have done something wrong.  That we can't place the blame on others, that we can't play the victim forever and that we are taking ownership over our life and our own shit!  THAT IS REALLY SCARY, and a lot of times makes us feel crappy before we start to feel really really good!!!  

One of my all time favorite books about life and business is THE OZ PRINCIPLE .  In this book there is an entire chapter (chapter 4) on courage and the books oozes results through individual accountability.  This chapter talks in detail about the success of "mustering the courage" and the down fall of those that don't. 

Then, if you don’t mind, I’ll go with you,” said the Lion, “for my life is simply unbearable without a bit of courage.”
— The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum

In this book they share this GAME CHANGING THOUGHT and I always go back to this paragraph. 

"Even the most accountable people get stuck in the victim cycle from time to time.  And sometimes, people who usually practice accountability can get stuck in a particular challenge.  Regardless, you must still take the first step out of victim cycle by recognizing that you are stuck in a circle of denial.  That recognition requires the courage to acknowledge the reality of your situation, no matter how unpleasant or unfair that reality may seem.  Without such acknowledgement, you can never expect to respond to it effectively. "

Even the most accountable people....even people who give it their all every day can struggle with this concept, can play the victim and can get stuck.  Lord knows this happens to me more that I care to admit.  But there is good news...once you learn to truly face and accept the situation and take it upon yourself with MOXIE then you can begin to truly address the issue effectively and start to move forward in healing and peace!  

2.  Becoming a Watcher of your Thoughts.  

In The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle we are instructed to be the "watcher of our thoughts." What he offers is that instead of trying to change our thoughts – by gratitude or forced forgiveness,  we need to simply notice our thoughts without getting caught up in them.

In the big picture we are the sole creator of our own feelings.  We are the ones that control how we react, how we handle and how we feel in all things that are presented to us.  When negative thoughts come up based on our past experiences or maybe even the fear of the future, as they sometimes do, we should try to realize that these are issues that our mind is working through, following the mind map of existing cycles we repeat.  

We need to stop and pay attention.  We need to separate ourselves from the thoughts, almost like we are looking in on them.  What do you see when you are observing??  

Do you think to yourself, “Wow, am I really still working through that?”  And guess what? When you truly step back and observe and be a watcher over time, your negative feelings and emotions will lessen and genuine awareness, love and acceptance will grow in their place.  

By not judging your thoughts or blaming them on anyone else, and merely watching them, there will be a big shift within you – your sense of self worth.

It’s not like you won’t get upset anymore or never feel anxious, but knowing that your thoughts and emotions are just fleeting feelings that are independent of YOU will help ease your tension and increase your positive presence, allowing you to forgive and let go.

3.  Love.  I know, I know you were hoping to get through a blog post without talk of love and gratitude...but the reason you see it everywhere during the healing process is because it is so powerful and IT WORKS.

Are you feeling sorry for yourself and sabotaging the present with pain and thoughts from the past??  Guess what?  That is not HELPING you in anyway, in fact it is hurting you deeply.  Being disappointed in yourself and seeking retribution will not bring you the release that you need.

The way beyond the pain from the past is not with vengeance, mockery, bullying or retaliation, but with present love.
— Marc Chernoff

When you are feeling pain don't take action that creates MORE pain!  You cannot cover darkness with more darkness.  Find light.  Live in the present love.  Do something that brings you to a more fulfilling reality.  There is ALWAYS love to give, even in our darkest times.  That is why I always encourage to go and serve during your trials.  Get out of your self-focus and use that energy to create something positive for someone else. 

I don't know about you but I have never been hurt by doing something out of love for another.   

4..  Not Every Little Thing Needs to be Forgiven.    We all experience growing pains.  We all learn great lessons during time of trial AND when we make mistakes.  It is necessary.  More often than not these things don't need to be forgiven they just need to be accepted!  

If you truly believe that you are doing the very best that you can then what needs to be forgiven??  Not being perfect??  

Perfection doesn't exist.  Forgiveness may just be your realization that there really is nothing there to forgive.  You are learning, growing, making epic bad choices, picking yourself up, pushing through and putting on your Big Tough Girl panties!......

JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.  

So maybe just maybe, all those things that we are not letting ourselves off the hook for....really can be chalked up to doing the very best that you can. 

After you work through your process and find the forgiveness that you are looking for then do yourself a favor-

Accept the peace and make room for the re-discovering of yourself!

We all need forgiveness. And forgiveness that comes from within is the most powerful tool in creating a new future free of repeated cycles and self-destruction.
— Ashley Mitchell