by Raymond David Salas
How powerful is learning to forgive yourself?
Could forgiving yourself be the key to solving all of your problems?
"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you." - Lewis B. Smedes
"Lack of forgiveness causes almost all of our self-sabotaging behavior." - Mark Victor Hansen
"When you forgive yourself you let go of a part of yourself, the part that wants to keep you trapped inside a circle of blame, shame, guilt and fear. This part of you, which essentially is part of your ego, does not want you to be free of it because ego does not want to relinquish control." - Carol King
The Power of Forgiving Yourself
In my work over the years as an Energy Healer, I have recognized that a common cause of the problems that people experience in the different areas of their lives is a lack of forgiveness for themselves.
This lack of forgiveness manifests and plays out in many ways and behaviors including:
- being judgmental and critical of self and others
- inability to trust self or others
- not feeling comfortable in one's "own skin"
- inability to fully appreciate or accept when good things happen, feeling guilty or undeserving when they do
- inability to receive praise, compliments, or positive feedback, feeling awkward or self-conscious when you do
- having feelings of low self-esteem and unworthiness
- attacking self or others (mentally, emotionally, verbally, physically)
- feeling or becoming addicted to unrewarding, harmful or toxic substances, relationships, behaviors, etc.
- having money and financial problems
- having a lack, poverty, or scarcity mindset
- having destructive feelings, thoughts, or behaviors toward self or others
- seeking acceptance, recognition, or approval from others
- having anorexia, bulimia, and other weight or body issues
- blaming anything or anyone outside of yourself for your problems
- trying to control or manipulate circumstances, situations, or people
If you have experienced (or still do) one or more of these behaviors, there is a solution.
Yes, you may have guessed it already. It starts with forgiveness.
"All human experience is taking place within consciousness itself. We are subject only to what we hold in mind - consciously or unconsciously. The willingness to be forgiving and grateful in itself automatically begins the healing process. It is only the removal of the negative that is necessary -- the willingness to let go of the habits of negative thinking." - David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D.
Forgiveness of self and others is powerful because it trains the mind to let go of the tendency to criticize, attack, and judge ourselves and others.
As therapist Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len points out, these "thoughts within (us) actualize as spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, relational and financial problems in (our) lives and in the lives of (our) families, relatives, ancestors, friends, neighbors, and associates."
How to Forgive Yourself
Here are tools and exercises that I have found to be very effective for forgiving yourself:
- Daily mirror exercise:
After awakening each morning and just before sleep every night, go to a mirror, take several deep breaths and look deeply into your eyes. As you look deeply into your eyes, try to make a connection with the Inner You. As you do, say sincerely and with deep feeling: “I love you. I forgive you. I completely accept you, just the way you are."
Take a deep breath. Repeat at least three times.
“(This type of exercise is) very simple, but for some it will require a lot of courage. For others, it will take telling their ego to back off, because ego will try and convince them how stupid this really is and that it doesn’t work. The more uncomfortable or silly this feels when you first do it, will indicate how little you Love your Self. At the other end of the spectrum, the more comfortable and good you feel doing it, will indicate how much you Love your Self.” - Al Diaz
I recommend practicing this daily exercise for a minimum of thirty consecutive days. If you miss a day, simply begin again and continue until you can complete at least thirty consecutive days.
Although thirty consecutive days is the absolute minimum that I would recommend for this exercise, for the greatest benefit, I suggest making it a permanent part of your daily routine.
Because I have found, in myself and my clients, that it is very beneficial to practice forgiving and loving yourself every day.
"As in all spiritual work, it is discovered that the mind resists letting go of negative programs despite the suffering that it occasions. The source of this resistance is the secret payoff that the ego gets from negativity. The ego derives pleasure from 'justified' resentments, blame, self-pity, and all the rest. Secretly, people just 'love' to hate, blame, and get even as well as being 'right' or 'superior,' and more." - David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D.
- Request a miracle exercise:
Here is a version of the "request a miracle" exercise originally published in my article "How to Request a Miracle":
To begin, make a list with all of your “problems” that you are facing in your life right now. By “problem,” I am referring to everything that does not feel good or bring you joy, everything that does not bring you peace, and everything that you feel challenged with in any way. Don't hold back. Let it all come out.
After completing the list, write at the top of the page “I forgive, release, and let go of all of the following now:”
Next, read each item aloud and say to your Higher Self within you:
"I am sorry, please forgive me for whatever is going on inside me that is causing the problem here with (state the problem). Thank you. I love you."
Take a deep breath, release it, and let it go.
Repeat all of these steps for each item until you have completed your list.
As I discussed in "How to Solve All of Your Problems," this is a powerful method for forgiving yourself and taking full responsibility for all areas of your life. By taking full responsibility, you become empowered to initiate the miracles and changes that you truly desire.
After you feel like you have completed this exercise and are ready to move on, shred or discard the list.
Why is this exercise so powerful?
Because it addresses directly the causes of our problems at the source (i.e., in our consciousness).
"It is crucial in problem solving to realize that the body and the world are not the problems in and of themselves but the effects, the consequences, of memories replaying in the subconscious mind." - Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len
"There is no point in trying to change the world. It is incapable of change because it is merely an effect. But there is indeed a point in changing your thoughts about the world. Here you are changing the cause. The effect will change automatically. Each time you forgive you call upon the strength in you. Forgiveness is the home of miracles." - A Course In Miracles
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