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How to do…Forgiveness?

If you haven’t figured it out by now, life is a series of ups and downs; a cycle of highs and lows. And a lot of mediums… We’re all human, we all make mistakes and we all have moments of pure genius.

There are certain moments in my life that stand out in memory. Those cringe-worthy things that I did way back when. And some not so distant. Some very recent, in fact.

So how do we move past this? How do we forgive ourselves and move on? How do we come to realize that these are all learning moments and there is a lesson in there somewhere?

First of all, let me tell you about forgiveness. When you forgive someone else, it’s not about that person. You forgive someone else so that you can move on and have peace of mind. So that whatever wrong they did doesn’t haunt you any more. It doesn’t mean you condone what was done. It only means that their action no longer controls how you feel about it or them. Forgiveness is about you – no one else. So forgive what you need to forgive and let your mind be at peace.

I know, this is easier said than done. So take it one tiny step at a time. Think for a moment about the alternative. If you choose to not forgive another person, then your mind, heart and body is filled with anger and resentment. Perhaps vengeance. And perhaps even hatred. This is not healthy! You’re simply adding stress to a probably already over-stressed body. Anger and resentment can ruin your health. They can lead to chronic headaches, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and things like high blood pressure and heart attacks! Seriously, it’s not worth it.

So, try this instead. Think about how it would feel to release all that pent-up emotion. Imagine the benefits to you. Really imagine it! Picture it in your mind. Picture a euphoric version of you that has released all that negative energy. Imagine a happy you. Imagine a strong, healthy, vibrant you. Imagine feeling light and airy and free. Think about how that will feel. Really think about it!! Now, do you really want to hold on to anger and resentment?

Let’s go back to self-forgiveness… How exactly does one do this? Think about this for a moment. Whatever you did that you are cringing over is in fact a life lesson. The purpose for us making mistakes is not to feel shame or guilt. It is to uncover a hidden gem of a lesson that has somehow eluded us up to this point. Or maybe we knew it and forgot. So how do we make peace with this?

Recognize you did something wrong. And ‘wrong’’ in this sense is your definition. What is wrong for you may not be wrong for me. It’s a truly personal thing. Unless it’s a crime, then it’s just wrong. But I digress… You know in your heart what is wrong for you. So acknowledge it. Sit with it for a while. Allow yourself to dwell on it for as long as feels comfortable. Meditate over it if you will. This will help you understand why you did this thing and how to better handle a similar situation in the future.

Understand that whatever it was that you did – is in the past. It’s not part of your now. It’s not your present. It’s done. Recognize it, acknowledge it, mull it over, and learn from it. You are human. You are growing. You are learning. You are beautiful.

Know this. You are not the first person to do something wrong. And you certainly won’t be the last. We are all works in progress. ALL the time…

My favorite motto at the moment is this: “You are allowed to be both a Masterpiece and a Work in Progress simultaneously.”

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