Are You Bold Enough To Forgive Yourself & Others?

In life, pain is inevitable, the suffering is optional...
Creative Commons License photo credit: tapperboy

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 Is there someone of something that has been weighing you down? Are you in conflict with someone you love? Are you angry with a boss who let you go or a friend who let you down.

If so, you may want to lighten your load with a dose of forgiveness. Forgiveness means you surrender the situation or person, your release it,  no longer playing scenarios in your mind of “what she said, what he did, how could they, and I’ll get even because.”

Life is too short to carry around a ball and chain. Life is too short to be upset with anyone about anything.

Below are some examples of how to forgive, why you want to forgive and what others say about forgiveness.

My friend Barry Nobles, a retired high school counselor gave me this affirmation on a yellow index card last fall when I was struggling with forgiving myself.  I kept it in my pocket as a reminder until I didn’t need it any longer.  When I needed to change my self-defeating and condemning thoughts I read it over and over.

“I forgive myself for judging myself for_____________.
When I see myself through the eyes of ___________ I forgive myself for judgeing myself for____________.

Another friend Katherine Nuyens offers this lesson in forgiveness on her website:

“I completely forgive myself for taking on this particular situation. (Name it.) I know I was only doing the best I could at the time. If I was in another state of mind, or if I had more information, I may have acted differently. (As you are ready) I ask Spirit to help me reach the place of forgiveness for myself and for anyone involved in this situation.. I realize they were only doing the best they could also. I love and accept myself with all of my problems and perceived limitations. I don’t need this (name negative emotion) any longer. I am now able to replace it with (positive emotion). ”

Something I found a very long time ago that has helped me and I continue to share it with others:

“I bless you I release you I set you free. I allow you to be you and me to be me. ” Repeat this when the offender comes to mind.

A Course In Miracles offers these lessons:
Love holds no grievances.
Forgiveness offers everything I want.
God is the Love in which I forgive.
Above all else I want to see things differently.
I could see peace instead of this.

The Bible On Forgiveness:
 “But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you…”Matthew 5:44   

 

 

“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Untill seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”–Matthew 1:21, 22

Other quotes on forgiveness:

“We forgive to the extent that we love.” — Francois de La Rochefoucauld

“Life is an adventure in forgiveness.” — Norman Cousins

My favorite! “No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.” -Voltaire

“Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were.” -Cherie Carter-Scott

Like all things in your life, forgiveness is a choice. By making the choice to grant unconditional forgiveness, you will have brought yourself one step closer to living a life of fulfillment, joy, and deep inner peace. –Chuck Danes

Decide to Forgive by Rober Muller

For resentment is negative
Resentment is poisonous
Resentment diminishes
And devours itself.
Be the first to forgive.
To smile and take the first step.
And you will see happiness bloom
On the face of your human
Brother or sister.
Be always the first
Do not wait for others to forgive
For by forgiving you become the master of fate
The Fashioner of life
The doer of miracles.
To forgive is the highest,
most beautiful form of love.
In return you will receive
untold peace and happiness.

More Forgiveness Exercises from my book, “Flying By the Seat of My Soul.”

1. Think of someone who irritates you. Write down the things you dislike about this person. Ask yourself, “how do I do these things myself?”  If the quality you write is judgment, begin to notice how you also judge others. What we judge others for today we will find ourselves doing tomorrow!

Then affirm, “I release the need to judge others and myself.” Be vigiliant for these times and repeat your affirmation as needed.

2. Make a list of all the things that hurt you, that caused you to feel pain, distrust or fear. Now write a letter to a particular person. Tell them, I forgive you.” Decide to make forgiveness a way of life.

3. If you haven’t forgiven yourself make a list of any mistakes you hold against yourself. Remind yourself that you have been forgiven when old issues surface. Be gentle with yourself. Learn from your mistakes. Do something nice for yourself today.

4. Ask yourself the following questions and journal your answers:

Do I judge others?
Do I judge myself?
Do I condemn others?
Do I condemn myself?
Learn to catch yourself, stop and replace the judgement with wishing that person well.

5. Write a love letter to yourself. Thank yourself for how far you have come in life, what you have learned, accomplished and overcome. Put it away for a couple of months and then mail it to yourself.

I would like to end with a favorite quote by Anne Frank, “In spite of everything I still believe people are good at heart.”

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Robin March 19, 2009, 8:55 pm

    Wow – what a comprehensive post about forgiveness! I like the fact that you are discussing self-forgiveness, as well as forgiving others. Life is too long to carry around a ball and chain! (heheh)

    Robin’s last blog post..Happy Birthday, Let’s Live Forever!

  • Daphne March 19, 2009, 11:38 pm

    Hi Tess, thanks for this reminder to forgive. I like the point that both I and the other person are simply doing the best we know how. This is so true. If we focus on the intention and the effort, it’s easier to forgive the fact that the results aren’t always to our liking. Great post!

    Daphne’s last blog post..How To Find Happiness in 5 Minutes

  • Hilda March 20, 2009, 5:28 am

    What wonderful resources! I believe forgiveness is essential to our wellbeing, but it can be so hard to do. I think it is an art that requires practice, and affirmations such as these can help us get there. Well, they help me anyway.

    I particularly love the one by Katherine Nuyens and “I bless you I release you I set you free. I allow you to be you and me to be me. ” I’m going to use these.

    Thanks Tess.

    Hilda’s last blog post..My Personal Creed

  • Sara B. Healy March 20, 2009, 1:56 pm

    Tess,

    This post is like opening a cupboard full of forgiveness food! I loved all the suggestions and the quotes:~) I liked the Muller poem, especially these words…

    To forgive is the highest,
    most beautiful form of love.
    In return you will receive
    untold peace and happiness.

    I also agree that finding ways to forgive ourselves as well as others is important. I once wrote a forgiveness letter to myself for something I did, but couldn’t make amends for. It really helped me let go:~)

    Sara B. Healy’s last blog post..The power of make-believe

  • Alik Levin | PracticeThis.com March 20, 2009, 9:29 pm

    Tess,
    Good topic! While I am a big fan of changing the world – LOL – there are situations that indeed it’s better to accept it, forgive it, forget it and move on. It’s better to spend my precious energy for something creative vs draining myself emotionally and as a result bring my personal power down .

    Alik Levin | PracticeThis.com’s last blog post..My Favorite Flickr Images For Blogging

  • Stacey / Create a Balance March 20, 2009, 9:52 pm

    This is an amazing list of resources to help us manage the need to forgive. I’m bookmarking it on my computer and consider it stumbled!

    Stacey / Create a Balance’s last blog post..Authentic Happiness Series – Part One

  • Tess The Bold Life March 21, 2009, 2:40 pm

    Robin,
    Yes it’s always difficult to forgive ourselves unless we practice it regularly!

    Daphne,
    Yes it was enlightening to me when Louise Hay came up with that concept years ago.

    Hilda,
    I’m glad you found something helpful. I use it as well over and over!

    Sarah,
    I like the Mueller poem as well. It’s in my ebook.

    Alik,
    Isn’t that the truth!

    Stacey,

    Thanks, I’m always looking for forgiveness hints to pass along.

    Tess The Bold Life’s last blog post..Are You Bold Enough To Forgive Yourself & Others?

  • Jannie Funster March 21, 2009, 6:25 pm

    Is it Monday yet?? Hey – it is Monday, right?

    What, 2 days early for the Fabulous Monday Comment Posting?

    Will I EVER get this right??

    Just passing thru (hey, like Betsy Wubaker, hee, hee.)

    But I will savor this post soon. I have a feeling it’s about forgiveness and I am a very very good forgiver – I have to be, I screw up so much on a regular basis, I need to give as I get.

    xoox

    Jannie Funster’s last blog post..After May 10th

  • Giovanna Garcia March 21, 2009, 10:19 pm

    Hi Tess

    I love the “Write a love letter to yourself.” Great post, we have to forgive so that we can move on and be free of the past.
    “When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.” ~ Catherine Ponder
    Thank you,
    Giovanna Garcia
    Imperfect Action is better than No Action

    Giovanna Garcia’s last blog post..Mistakes are Good!

  • Tom Volkar / Delightful Work March 22, 2009, 5:46 am

    “I bless you I release you I set you free. I allow you to be you and me to be me.” What a powerful statement to make in any relationship.

    This reminds me of Neale Donald Walsch’s marriage vows. Each day he and his wife commit for that day. It brings a powerful level of consciousness to the relationship.

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work’s last blog post..Starting Over

  • Tess The Bold Life March 22, 2009, 8:07 am

    Tom,
    I think I’ll do that as well. What a fantastic idea. In fact I think I’ll use it with everyone not just those I need to forgive.

    Jannie,

    You are so funny! Monday is tomorrow by the way! Yeah for you on forgiveness.

    Tess The Bold Life’s last blog post..Are You Bold Enough To Forgive Yourself & Others?

  • Albert | UrbanMonk.Net March 22, 2009, 8:56 am

    Tess, I love those exercises. I wish I had read it years ago – it took me a long time of searching to understand that forgiveness is the foundation of every spiritual exercise out there. And then it took me even longer to find some no-BS exercises that worked!

    Albert | UrbanMonk.Net’s last blog post..Unconditional Acceptance for Our Totality, Part 2

  • Tess March 22, 2009, 1:17 pm

    Albert,
    I’m glad I could help. If we are on earth to love unconditionally then we are on earth to learn forgiveness.

  • Lance March 22, 2009, 7:40 pm

    Hi Tess,

    Forgiveness can be hard…well, it can for me, anyway. I’m in a pretty good position right now – at least until the next person comes along that results in the need for forgiveness. I’m hanging on to this post – so many powerful ways to release that which is built up inside.

    Tess, thank you for this…

    Lance’s last blog post..Sunday Thought For The Day

  • Carla March 23, 2009, 11:49 am

    Its so much easier for me to forgive others than to forgive myself. I can make excuses or reasons for other people, but me, I absolutely have no excuse for whatever I did to myself or others. Thank you for that lesson and reminder.

    Carla’s last blog post..Eco Fashion: The Cost of Eco Fashion

  • Tess The Bold Life March 23, 2009, 2:19 pm

    Carla,
    Your excuse is that you’re human! Practice lightening up when you make a mistake. Gently remind yourself you are human.

    Tess The Bold Life’s last blog post..Magic Monday: Jonathan Mead, Reclaim Your Dreams

  • ladybug January 31, 2010, 11:53 am

    how do I join this group

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