Planning A Successful Christmas: FORGIVING YOURSELF
How many of you hear that voice in your head endlessly telling you off or beating you up for something you have done or something you failed to do?
How many of you give yourselves a much harder time than you would give other people?
How many of you would treat a valued best friend or loved one in the way you treat yourself?
I meet so many clients who have one set of rules for themselves, and a completely different set of rules for others. Usually the rules for themselves are much more fierce. These rules can affect our emotions and general outlook, leading to habitual negative thought-patterns and responses.
By choosing to forgive yourself this Christmas you can help make the holidays a better, more positive experience, for you and those around you.
Learning the lesson is important and that is the purpose of the voice which nags and the sense of guilt. It is a call to action to do things differently in the future. Once you have identified the lesson and taken it on board it is time to let go, to give yourself permission to forgive yourself. In that gift of forgiveness you free up all the energy which has been taken up with perpetuating that horrible feeling. It is then time to move forward, to behave in a way which makes you feel good about yourself.
The measure I use for myself and with clients is to ask, “Would I treat someone I really care about in this way?” Of course it is important to hold people, yourself included to account. Forgiving is not about making light of what has been done. It is all about ensuring that in the future you take on board the lessons learned and choose to do things differently.
If you have done something you regret, then saying you are sorry goes a long way towards healing the problem.
If you are no longer in contact with the person you have hurt or that person has died, write a letter expressing your regret and saying sorry. Imagine sending the message by burning the letter and seeing the smoke drift upwards to find the recipient, let it float away down a river or onto the sea. Visualise the letter reaching its intended recipient and send them and you unconditional love.
Give yourself a wonderful gift this holidays. Truly forgive yourself. Look forward to the New Year with an acceptance that hindsight is a wonderful thing, that we all make mistakes and have regrets. This is because we are human. So long as you learn the lesson the experience offers, it is time to forgive yourself, let go, and move on!