Studies show that individuals who forgive are happier and healthier. So why not forgive others, including yourself? We are our toughest critics, so why not ease up on the blockage of goodness? I am not a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist and my opinion is just that, my opinion, so feel free to take it or leave it.
The first step is to understand and analyze the situation. What is the casualty? Why do I feel the way I do about the situation at hand? Understand that no one determines our attitude but our self. No one makes us mad, no one makes us happy. We choose our attitude. This is the ONE thing we have control over.
Peter came to Jesus and said, “Master, how often shall my
brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven
times?” Jesus replied, “No, not up to seven times, but up
to seventy times seven.”
M a t t h e w 1 8 : 2 1 - 2 2
(This includes self-forgiveness)
The second step is to take full responsibility for ourselves and our actions. Holding ourselves accountable is a major factor. We cannot put the blame on others, I am myself, you are you, she is she, and he is he. Perfection is not an option, we are human. We make mistakes, we sin. Period.
The third step is to determine what small steps can be taken to eliminate this sense of doubt, negative self-condemnation, and black cloud. The goal is to change this repetitive cycle, or if a situation happened once, prevent it from happening a second time. REMEMBER what it feels like to have contributed to this regretful situation that needs forgiveness. Make the emotional connection and it will forever be easily decoded from our long term memory. What is the most traumatic experience you have faced in life? What was the happiest moment of your life? Chances are you do not have to think about it. You call recall the event immediately. Why? It’s the emotional connection attached to it!
Self-compassion needs to be expressed during trials along our journey to growth. We can use every mistake and every regretful moment as a stepping stone and learning experience. Choose an attitude of gratitude for the feelings that are “negative” because they hold us accountable. Acknowledge them for a brief moment and then let them pass by like a cloud in the sky, allowing for the more productive and effective YOU to come alive.