What is it that you won’t let go of? What can’t you forgive yourself for? For me, one of the most painful things I had to forgive myself for involved my sweet, wonderful brother. Danny was a Special Olympian who lived in a group home in New York most of his life. While he was there, I lived in Philadelphia and South Carolina. I didn’t see him often.
When he died 8 years ago, I had to make peace with not seeing him often. I thought to myself, “Paula, you saw him as often as you could; you did the best you could; let it go.”
Painful? Difficult? You bet. A necessary step to live a happy, healthy life? Absolutely.
We need to look at the tough stuff, the thoughts and feelings that stand in the way. Or, ignore them and watch as they hold us back, and limit our ability to connect with ourselves and others.
Forgive yourself. Forgive them. Set yourself free.
Here’s the twist though: the first person you need to forgive is yourself.
You know all that negative self-talk – the critical voice that interferes with your happiness and peace? Start to notice that voice and how it makes you feel badly about yourself. It is very active when you won’t forgive yourself or others. That negative self-talk lowers your self-esteem, which limits your confidence and effectiveness. Let it all go.
Then choose to forgive – yourself and everyone else. This is setting yourself free. Your lack of forgiveness only hurts you – not the other person.
And, if you can’t forgive them – say to yourself, “I am doing the best I can right now.” Or as Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.”
Forgive yourself, forgive everybody else. This is setting yourself free.
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