Recently in my walks with Angela, we have been musing on the topic of forgiveness. At this stage of life, it is eminently clear that if you are harboring negative feelings about another person, forgiveness is necessary to move forward because the only person who is negatively affected by your holding onto the past is you. This is sometimes hard for people to digest, as, having been wronged, it is so hard for some to let go of a sense of righteous anger or sadness, but it is the truth. No matter how heinous the injustice, that person is completely unaffected by whatever negative emotion you are holding onto.
The more difficult issue to tackle, however, is self forgiveness. Time and time again, I talk to people who blame themselves for some past action or even believe that they were in some way complicit in or responsible for having been mistreated. In our perfectionist society, our greatest critics are often ourselves, and offering love and kindness to OURSELVES is so difficult.
This week, I suggest trying a simple self forgiveness exercise, which is based on an activity I learned from my friend Miranda Chapman. Grab yourself a mirror, gaze lovingly into your own eyes and say to yourself "I forgive you." Like all such practices, maybe it will work and maybe it won't, but you might be surprised by just how powerful this is in creating a sense of lightness and the ability to move forward with grace.
Copyright 2018 Nancy C Murray