Did you know that learning how to forgive yourself is one of the greatest paths to true healing?
Why is it that when we think of forgiveness we usually think of forgiving others, when forgiving yourself is just as important, if not more so.
Just think for a moment about something you did or said in the past that
you really regret. How does it make your body feel? Can you feel your
body shrinking and cringing? Do you feel a bit yuck in the stomach? Does
your chest feel heavy?
Guilt about things we have done in the past, or guilt about things we didn't do which we now regret, is one of the greatest threats to our wellbeing. Guilt and regret literally eat away at our soul and rob us of our health and vitality, and can manifest as physical dis-ease.
Many even feel guilty about the actions of others because they perceive things to be their own fault.
Often, how to forgive yourself is not even considered because we feel we need to hang on to the emotional pain as a way of punishing ourselves.
Dealing with guilt and learning to forgive yourself is one of the greatest ways to heal. You are worth it and you deserve it as much as anybody. My page on dealing with guilt goes into the subject of guilt in more detail.
So let's look some ideas on how to forgive yourself?
1. Firstly, become aware that self forgiveness is not about condoning your past behaviour or saying that what you did or did not do was okay. It's about accepting the past as it is, knowing that it cannot be changed, and realising that feeling guilty keeps us stuck in the negativity of the past.
2. It is well known that our emotions can affect our physical health, and the negative energy of guilt within our being is not healthy. It drains our energy in the present and can even begin to manifest as dis-ease.
3. Forgiving yourself does not necessarily mean you need to delve back into the past and "fix things", nor does it mean you are required to speak to anyone whom you may feel guilty toward. However, you may feel this is a necessary step for you, but in most instances I believe self forgiveness can be done without involving others.
4. By learning to forgive yourself, you are also energetically releasing anyone to whom your guilt is connected. So it's really a win-win situation for everybody.
Below are some ideas for self forgiveness. I have used them all and can recommend them to you.
1. Flower Essences
Flower essences are a gentle, safe and very effective way to help yourself release negative emotions, and there are essences that specifically relate to forgiveness and guilt. I have been using flower essences for many years (on myself and others), and they are wonderful catalysts for healing.
Click here if you would like to read more about flower essences. I also do personal flower essence consultations.
2. Self Forgiveness Visualisation
Find yourself a quiet, comfortable spot that is totally private, during a time when you can be assured of not being disturbed. Allow yourself to relax into your chair. Take a few deep, slow breaths and let go of the tension in your face, neck and shoulders.
Now visualise yourself in beautiful surroundings. It could be a forest, a beach, or anywhere that feels peaceful and loving to you. See the area filled with beautiful sparkling white light and see yourself surrounded by this light.
Now, visualise an image of yourself in the distance. See this vision slowly begin to walk toward you. You also begin to walk forward and you meet yourself halfway.
Pass to yourself a symbol of forgiveness. It could be anything - a heart shape, a flower, a shell - it really doesn't matter so just go with the first thing you see.
Become aware that, whatever you are feeling guilty about was just an experience, as is all of life. And it has provided learning and growth for both yourself and anyone else involved. Without that experience, you would not have gained the wisdom that it has created. On another level of consciousness, you may also have been helping someone else with their own personal growth.
Now, allow your other self to speak if they wish, and listen lovingly to
anything they have to say. Do not judge yourself - be gentle. Feel
compassion for yourself as you would others.
Send love and healing from your eyes to the eyes of your self image. Allow yourself to forgive, and know that you are now free. Watch how your image responds to your love and compassion.
When this feels complete, part ways once again.
Take a few deep breaths and feel yourself in your seat. Wriggle your fingers and toes and open your eyes slowly.
3. Call on Archangel Zadkiel
According to the wonderful Doreen Virtue, Archangel Zadkiel is there to help us with compassion, forgiveness and letting go of judgement, including toward ourselves.
If you would like help with forgiving yourself, you can call on Zadkiel to assist you. He will help you to cleanse yourself of the emotional baggage of unforgiveness, and replace it with compassion for yourself.
The following is the invocation for Archangel Zadkiel from Doreen Virtue's book "Archangels and Ascended Masters". We are all worthy of angelic assistance and they are there to help us heal.
4. How to Forgive Yourself Using Emotional Healing Exercises
My page on Emotional Healing lists some exercises that you can do to help you to release feelings of unforgiveness toward yourself. I have used all them on myself for various reasons, and they have given me some wonderful feelings of relief. They are not hard to do, so why not give them a try. Here are some direct links:
Write a letter, read it aloud, then burn it - in this exercise you would write the letter to yourself, expressing exactly why you feel the way you do. (Don't hold back - write exactly what you are thinking). When you read the letter out loud, read it to yourself in the mirror.
Arms Open to the Universe
Staircase to your Inner Sanctuary
Just Start Drawing
A Pink Bubble of Light
5. The Emotional Freedom Technique
This is a technique that involves tapping on various meridian end-points on the body. It is used to release negative emotions and beliefs from the body's energy system, including guilt. To learn more, click here.
I'm glad you've found my page on how to forgive yourself, and I hope you've benefited from it.