Forgiveness 101

I just came across this article.  Funnily enough…I gave similar advice out to one of my readers a couple of months ago.  Sounds like it may be something that actually works.  The reason I gave this a read was in the title…Why Forgiving Yourself Can Be So Hard?  Of course it didn’t hurt that it was written by Deepak Chopra.  I mean, if anyone should have the right answers you’d think it would be him.

Seriously though, I cruised along this topic a couple of months ago in my post Missing Ingredient.  I’ve seen and come more familiar with the topic of self forgiveness since then.  It really is everywhere.  Yet, I’m still not sure where I stand…with myself.  The beginning of this article states:

Some people are so ashamed that they can’t bring themselves to tell anyone their secret. The result is the worst kind of guilt, that festers inside with no chance for relief. If you feel that you have this kind of deep guilt, you must still find a way to believe that you are forgiven. You may have to take baby steps to get there.

Now this I have covered.  I was most definitely ashamed of my secret.  Although I’m not necessarily sure it made me feel guilty.  However, in telling my secret it did relieve this massive burden I carried.  The burden of holding on to that secret in the first place.  Sometimes I’m still in shock that I’ve said it and that it’s out there.  But I’m glad I did.  I feel confident enough to continue to tell people.  My own personal 12-step program.  I have no idea what step I’m on but I am on the staircase!

This article is brief so I don’t want to recount the entire thing here but in short there are 3 steps to aid in self forgiveness.  The first being to write a letter confessing your secret.  Check.  Done deal with this blog.  It’s where the second and third steps come into play that I was intrigued by – mostly because I hadn’t thought of it in those terms.  The second, put my “guilt” on someone else as if it wasn’t mine.  To give me perspective.  In other words, how would I see this burden if it wasn’t mine.  I’d say that was a semi-check.  In reading all the other stories out there, similar to mine, I feel like I would have given the same advice that others have given to me – and so as I would give unto myself (Does that make sense? 🙂 I’m kind of tired.).  Behold the third suggestion, adopt a mantra so that when you feel this “guilt” (aka burden) creep up you can repeat it over and over.  One suggestion being “I am not here to suffer anymore” which is somewhat suitable for my situation.  Apparently, this will help to rewire my thinking and not take me down the same road that I was on in feeling said guilt in the first place.

All in all, it seems logical.  I’m not adverse to giving it a try.  It may make more sense in helping to forgive actual feelings of guilt, which for certain past behavior I have come to terms with and forgiven myself.  I’m not sure how much it would work for forgiving myself for being where I currently am.  I absolutely recognize that some sort of self forgiveness needs to take place.  I would assume, though, this has to be something that happens – as an epiphany.  Maybe I am not enlightened enough yet and haven’t reached that place where I am truly engaged to my internal emotional state that I feel warrants forgiveness.  I don’t know.  This topic completely stumps me.  Doesn’t hurt to try, right?

Have you forgiven yourself?  What made you come to that point where you knew that’s what was needed?  For those of you who have been down the same road, any suggestions on this self forgiveness theory?

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To read from the beginning… my story starts here.

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13 thoughts on “Forgiveness 101

  1. In my experience, forgiving yourself is WAY harder than forgiving anybody else. I don’t blame myself particularly for the abuse I suffered, but it really did knock the foundations of my self-esteem. I’m working on rebuilding that – afterwards, I’ll hopefully get to the forgiveness bit!

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    • I guess I am having a hard time because I don’t really put the blame on myself. I mean of course, I am partially to blame because I stayed with this man but I think that sense of forgiveness will just come in time. It may even be something I am unable to do until I’m completely out. Actually, now that I say it, that makes so much more sense. I can definitely see feeling a little morsel of guilt in the leaving. Maybe in dragging out the inevitable for so long, or in staying with my kids, or in breaking up their family…in an earlier post people have even mentioned the whole scenario would conjure a sort of mourning period. So that could be a catalyst to self forgiveness. Holy shit…I think I cracked it. Lol. Thanks for your comment! Made me think!!

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    • Let me just say, if nothing else, writing about what your going through will help you tremendously. Not for people to read or follow your story but for you just to get it off of your chest. It’s been ridiculously helpful to me and I highly recommend it. You’re in my thoughts.

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  2. i’m not sure i can connect with this, but i’m an outsider looking in. but as a counselor of a victim of abuse, i would have grave reservations of suggesting “guilt” for anything you did or did not do while trying to survive in a world of unsolicited shit. only you can tell for yourself, but i have trouble understanding whatever coping strategy you adopted in the moment of survival is an action, attitude, or mode of staying alive that needs forgiveness by you or anyone else. i can imagine in retrospect there are many things you wish you’d done or been able to do differently, but did you do the best you could with what you had in the moment?? what in that should be a source of guilt? forgive me if this seems insensitive as i cannot step into your experience or understand what you are feeling, but there are plenty of suggestions out there that would beg us to feel guilty for things we should not.
    but, if you are really looking for something to feel guilty about, may i suggest your failure to have cut his prick off and stuffed it down his throat may be an admissible reason.

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    • Honestly, I agree with you. I really don’t feel guilty. I’m not even sure that I’m supposed to. I’m just trying to take a look at all avenues when it comes to inducing self healing (most which fall short of the cutting and stuffing of body parts lol). There are so many articles out there that talk about forgiving oneself. As I’ve said before, the only thing I feeling bad for is the time wasted. And all the forgiveness in the world can’t change that scenario. I always appreciate your perspective so never feel the need to apologize. I am open minded enough to think of things from other points of view. and the way you paint a picture always perk up the evil minions in my mind. 🙂

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  3. I love this!! It’s taken me this whole year of therapy to realize I am my own worst enemy. It’s hard to be compassionate and forgiving toward one’s self, but it’s so worth it.

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    • Thanks for your comment!! I’m still on the fence with the whole forgiving myself thing. Not that I don’t deserve it just that I’m not exactly sure what I’m supposed to be forgiving. Once I figure that out…I am open to the rest of the process. I’m so glad it is working in your favor!!

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