How To Forgive Yourself
As a general rule, we are our own worst enemy.
It’s pretty easy to hear how negative and critical our inner voice is.
What’s more interesting but unfortunately a lot more powerful is what we don’t hear. What we can’t easily hear.
Our subconscious self criticism.
That’s the stuff that rules our lives, drawing harsh boundaries around our self-defined, self-allowed quality of life.
Even (after meditation, healing, extensive personal growth etc) when our inner voice is quietened, our subconscious thoughts can continue to hammer away at us.
What to do, what to do.
Yeah. I’ve spent forever pondering this question.
Obviously, healing every significant life event helps. Although boy, that can take YEARS. Ha ha, trust me. *facepalm*
Healing any repetitive thought patterns definitely helps.
Here’s another way though, that might just be a little faster.
Self criticism is merely a lack of forgiveness. Self criticism is self accusation.
The trick to forgiving yourself is to truly love yourself (even if only about that specific issue). Once that love is complete, forgiveness is a natural by product. Once you’ve truly forgiven, the self criticism goes with it.
After all, what is forgiveness but choosing to let go of the anger and pain we’re still carrying?
You can’t hold self anger, shame or recrimination at the same time as being loving. They MUST leave to create space for the love.
Saying something like “I love myself” isn’t powerful enough though. It doesn’t deeply connect. It’s too easy for our mind to side-step, tricksy little bugger that it is.
However, once you accept that you are not your mind, body or emotions, it becomes easier.
What are you, really? What is this “me”?
Well, a multi-dimensional higher being. A soul. Part of the universe. I Am. Whatever.
It really doesn’t matter what terminology you use, or what you feel comfortable with. Just know that you’re something “other”, and something much greater than any of the individual parts we typically thing of as “I”.
So what’s the most powerful way I’ve found to self-love? (ha ha, your filthy mind)
Step into that “other”, and address yourself in the third person.
In other words, rather than, “I love myself”, say “I love you, Si”.. uhh, with your own name, obviously.
When doing this, it may feel rather like expressing compassion to an upset child. Which, perhaps unsurprisingly, is pretty close to what you’re actually doing.
It’s easy to put your awareness into this higher part of yourself. Just move your attention slightly out, above and behind your head.
Why here? Well, it’s said that this is the location of the soul. That sounds a little hocus pocus for my liking, but it does feel like the right place to focus, for me.
You may find a better location for yourself to put your attention, of course. Play around with it. Find what works for you.
All you want is to feel like it’s The Big You, loving little old physical you that stumbles around this planet every day.
Once your attention is there, then simply say:
“I love you Si, even if…” (or “…even though…”)
and let your silly old brain fill in the gaps.
Just let your mind wander over all the shitty things in your life. Things you want to change. Things you hate about yourself or your current existence.
Pretty soon a massive laundry list will come rushing forth. All those inner complaints will pour to the surface.
Here’s the other part of what you’re going to do though.
When you say any of these things, your body WILL react. You’ll feel tension, clutching, frustration or even intense energy collecting.
Then, as always, relax that part of your body. Let the energy go. Let the tension go.
Guess what? That’s you healing it.
Yeah, it really is this simple. No, it doesn’t need to be any more complicated.
[A slight caveat being – if you want to tap at the same time, particularly the sore points (near the collarbone), that’s always helpful. It helps “tune you in” to the problem.]
I know we love to exercise our brains and make things way more complex than they need to be – but remember, that’s a choice. In this situation, if we decide that healing can be simple, it will be.
YOU’RE THE BOSS.
Wash, rinse, repeat until you feel super calm and yes, genuinely loving about whatever’s come up.
It may sound ridiculous, but all the power here is in your intent.
Even if you don’t FEEL loving when you start, by saying it, it WILL become true. You know, that whole “fake it till you make it” schtick.
If you’re feeling particularly crappy, you might have to fake it a lot, but be persistent. It’s worth it.
Once you start thinking about all the little things that still bug you, you’ll find yourself flying through a ton of stuff very quickly indeed.
Here are some starter subjects:
- Being ugly (or any part of our physical body that we disapprove of)
- Being less successful than we’d like
- Ongoing difficulties at home
- Romantic issues
- Perceived failures
- Ways we’ve let ourselves down
The sky’s the limit, really. God knows there’s an infinite number of ways we can beat ourselves up.
So, to sum up:
- Move your awareness just above and outside yourself
- Say “I love you <name>, even if…”
- Let your brain fill in the rest
- Let go of whatever comes up
- Repeat until genuinely loving
Have a play, follow your intuition, and just remember to keep your focus just outside your body and on loving yourself, rather than getting sucked down into the specific issue.
This is a great little technique. It’s a super fast, super easy way to clear out a ton of junk that otherwise would go completely unnoticed – except for the continued negative effect that carrying this sort of crap around has on our lives.