30 Days of Being a Love Machine: Day 24
Day 24 Challenge:
Forgive yourself. Whether it be for anything or everything, allow yourself to let go of the guilt that is limiting your growth. You can apologize to the person if you choose, knowing that they may not forgive you. You must move forward.
We forgave others on day twenty. The only thing more difficult than forgiving someone else is forgiving ourselves. We so often want to hold on to the comforts of guilt and shame so we can punish ourselves accordingly. Sounds a little sadistic, right? Well, it is. Yet, we continue this pattern that we’ve become accustomed to.
Granted, having suppressive feelings let’s us know where our moral compass is. Your moral compass is a great thing to hold onto, but it’s unnecessary to carry the guilt and shame like a security blanket. You know you messed up and you don’t want to mess up like that again. Good.
It’s time to Elsa that sucker - let that s*** go. There’s actually a lot to learn about forgiving ourselves from the ice queen in Frozen. Granted, she did it by running away and she cut herself off from society, but she did forgive herself. Well, now that you've done all the heart work, you don't need to remove yourself and be cold-hearted. And, in this case, your temporary isolation for this process can be your room - FAIR WARNING: there may be tears before the relief sets in.
Some of us have done things we could never say aloud. Some of us have even intentionally hurt people in ways that we could never take back. In some cases, it’s too late to receive forgiveness from them. In other cases, it can be scary to ask because we may be rejected, which can hurt more. However, you know they deserve an apology and you really want to give it to them - this is going to have to be a personal choice.
As for forgiving yourself, you can start slow by forgiving yourself for one thing or you can purge and do it all at once. Be forewarned that the physical reactions to this may include crying, sobbing, increased mucus production, nausea, and/or throwing up - you know, like an exorcism (you are releasing your demons). Just do what you can handle. It may take multiple rounds to get through this.
Connecting your higher-source with prayer or meditation can be very helpful in assisting you with this (if you don’t connect to a higher source, you can simply proceed to the next steps). You can literally say any of the following:
“I release/will no longer hold onto my guilt/shame for…”
“I forgive myself for…”
“I am letting go of the guilt and shame I’ve been holding onto for everything I’ve done. I completely forgive myself.”
Say whatever works for you. Saying this aloud is much more effective than whispering or just thinking it. Follow this process by saying “I’m allowing myself to move forward with love.” You can also thank your higher source for giving your the power to move on. Following this, you can shower and use a salt scrub, salt soap, or take a salt bath (you can add lavender) to feel calmed and lighter.
Feel refreshed and anew. Our self-forgiveness can heal some self-destructive behaviors, being judgmental to others, and/or reduce stress and anxiety. Beverly LMFT shares very helpful and extensive information how as to why carrying this burden is harmful and how to go about the process of self-forgiveness. You are brave enough to do this. Your heart is open. You have been so loving. You’re ready. It’s time.