Time was running a little short for me today so I had to skim my favorite blogs looking for a post that grabbed my attention. My problem…all of them had something I wanted to spend some time with. Since I couldn’t spend the kind of time I wanted to, I went back to my inbox, looking for a subject line that caught my eye.
And there it was…”How to Forgive and Move On.”
I’ve heard for years how important it is to forgive the people who’ve wronged you and even more important to forgive yourself for your not-too-good choices in the past. And that’s always been a great idea to me…intellectually. I just never actually DID anything about it.
Until today, that is. The message not only reminded me of why I needed to forgive but actually gave me a step by step. So I gave it a try and after that, I’m a tiny bit better today. I actually felt some relief and release regarding an old self-inflicted emotional wound.
The Why of Forgiving
I’ll just summarize everything I’ve heard about why it’s important to forgive, especially to forgive yourself: Forgiving allows the past to release its hold on you, so you can move to the present and create your future.
The How of Forgiving
I’m sure this is not the only “process” for forgiving, but it’s the one that worked for me today, so I’ll pass it on to you now and maybe it will work for you too.
- Identify something that needs to be forgiven.
- Say to yourself, “When I did this, I did the best I could at that time. And I learned from it. And that’s good.”
- Say to yourself, “Because of that mistake, I learned and got better. So now I forgive myself for that.”
- I wrote the mistake on a piece of paper and then underneath it, I wrote “I release this” (A little ceremony of some kind often helps to make the process a little more tangible.)
- I took the paper to the trashcan and said, “I release this” and dropped the paper in and celebrated with a cup of green tea.
Yes, I know it seems like a time consuming process. But holding onto guilt about that mistake was a life-consuming process. So I’ll go ahead and trade a few minutes today for being a tiny bit better for the rest of my life.
If you forgive in some different way, please take a minute to comment and tell us.