Forgiveness Starts With Yourself


How can we forgive others, if we can’t even forgive ourselves?  None of us are perfect and we all have flaws.

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It’s not about forgiving another. Forgiveness is not about forgiving your parents, friends, loved ones. Forgiveness exists when you love yourself so much you realize all the choices you’ve made were the best choices you could make at that point in time. Nothing in life blocks the feelings of gratitude more than anger and resentment. This is why I say that the practice of gratitude requires the work of forgiveness. One can never feel grateful to your loved one who has done you wrong or abused you while you are still angry about their wrong doings, abuse or insensitivity, nor can one ever receive the gifts of a relationship that has ended. If you can forgive your friend, or even a stranger, why can’t you forgive yourself? we have to learn how to forgive ourselves. While the careless among us waste little time or conscience berating themselves for the mistakes that they have made, the overly self-conscious can’t seem to stop beating themselves over the head.

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future and only you can come to the place where you want to forgive. What helps the forgiveness process is to actually understand that resentment is a second-hand attitude or emotion, plus also a cover for underlying feelings that you have never expressed. Learn from the hurt and pain that people have caused you. If you really took the time to express fully what your hurt and pain is and state your new boundary, you’ll begin to be grateful for the lessons the wound has taught you. You will be able to stand up for yourself, be kinder towards others, stop hurting other people’s feelings, betraying them or whatever the case may be. True forgiveness is not an action after the fact, it is an attitude with which you enter each moment. It’s fine to have high expectations for one’s self, but not if it means destroying your own self-esteem.  What loving yourself does mean, is that you learn to have self-respect and you take care of your body, mind and spirit — it means having a sense of purpose in life, striving to improve ourselves and working to help others.  For me, it really means “I love me and thus, I love you” — and if everyone centers their life around love and compassion, the world becomes a much, much better place.

 

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