Photo By E. Rachel Thompson
In the last post, I introduced a few observations about healing. (click here to read it) Namely that it is rarely discussed and when it is, the remedies are presented in vague or unclear ways. I have no doubt that if people who for decades, have been carrying painful memories, knew how to “put it behind them” they most definitely would. I left you with a final thought to ponder and that was healing starts with forgiveness.
For this discussion, let’s keep it to those who want to heal from past memories, abuses, or other tragedies. Please remember that each person has a unique set of circumstances but in most of these cases, there 2 different people we can choose to forgive: the person who harmed us and ourselves. When we forgive the other person, why are we doing it? Is it for their benefit? No. The forgiveness helps us release negativity. However, I believe that the first person we must forgive is ourselves!
Although some may strongly disagree, please allow me an explanation. Many of these incidents occur in our childhood. No matter what type of abuse, many wonder “what’s wrong with me? What did I do to deserve this?” The answer is absolutely nothing. You didn’t cause it; you were the unfortunate person selected. However, we’ve spent our lives blaming us and continuing to live with a constant cloud over our heads that says “why am I this terrible person?”. Can you in any way empathize with this scenario?
This is PRECISELY what needs to be forgiven. The idea that you somehow deserved it or that you were bad. But you weren’t! Forgive yourself for thinking and feeling all those awful, negative things about you. Those horrible presumptions only caused you to make decisions that were hurtful and sabotaging to your life. They made you feel inferior and unworthy. It is high time you forgave yourself for feeling that way. You never deserved it!
Regarding the people who harmed you, do you need to forgive them? I believe that is totally up to you. Now this again may ruffle some feathers but that is how learning occurs. I am not discussing any religion or religious outcome. I’m talking about healing in this life. Taking the shackles off of your figurative self and unleashing your potential. It starts with forgiving yourself. The other person may be gone, dead, or you simply can’t face them. That is no reason to stop your healing. This is how you “let it go” and allow it to “stay in the past”.
Once you forgive yourself that memory now can become one of healing and you change how you recall that memory. Although it may continue to trigger some anger, you can tell yourself that you have forgiven you and this forgiveness allows a peace to overcome you. Try it. That is exactly what I do.
In my book, “Shame On Me – Healing A Life Of Shame-Based Thinking”, I go in to greater detail of the process and what I did to overcome it. Many have recommend this book and I’ve been honored and privileged to help. It is my passion to provide the tools that aid you in overcoming these difficulties. Recalling them perhaps may be painful and difficult but the freedom you earn by becoming victorious over these struggles surpasses the pain tenfold.
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments or contact me directly. In my journey, I discovered I had a gift for helping others and showing them how the negative things we thought about ourselves are typically what holds us back. Change happens when we change the way we feel about ourselves. This does sound like a simple statement but in the next post, I’ll explain how this works to give us more self-confidence or create greater unworthiness. As always, your comments are appreciated and thanks to E. Rachel Thompson for the beautiful photos.