This week I have been reminded of the need for self-forgiveness as an essential component of the Becoming the Greatest Expression of You process. It’s been a conversation that clients have discussed, and this week I’ve especially experienced the need for self-forgiveness myself.
Still have a pulse
Check – do you still have a pulse? If you are reading this, you obviously do. And that means you are still human. Sorry, but you are not walking on water yet, so you are still experiencing the human condition. You will have those moments where you are less than your best self and at times judge yourself with shame, guilt and remorse.
Shame, guilt and remorse are normal human emotions and they can be healthy human emotions. All human emotions are good. They are as good as your senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. They are like the lights in the dashboard of your car. They are there to give you feedback. They are there to give you guidance.
Your job is to receive the guidance in the case of emotions like shame, guilt and remorse, make course corrections and carry on. Unfortunately, sometimes you get stuck in the muck of these emotions, wallow in them and then compound the situation by judging yourself as wrong.
In the Bible, Mathew chapter 7, versus 1 – 3, we are told “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” I think that this teaching can apply our own self-judgment. It’s not our job to judge.
When we repeatedly judge ourselves as wrong, not good enough or whatever the judgement may be, we are firing and wiring neurons just as if the events were occurring at that moment. Most likely, the reality is that in the moment of judgment, you are OK. You are going about daily activities, lying in bed, or doing the other activities that you do.
The event isn’t actually occurring except in your own mind – in your own imagination. And yet your body doesn’t know the difference as if it is happening in real life or in your imagination. Your body responds either way by producing the same stress chemicals which overtime can be harmful to your health.
What self-forgiveness isn’t
Self-forgiveness isn’t making something OK that isn’t OK. It’s not creating a fairy tale out of past events making them different than what they were. Self-forgiveness isn’t about hoping that time will heal old wounds.
Self-forgiveness is letting go of your judgements
Self-forgiveness is letting go of your judgements of yourself and of others. When you are playing those old memories over and over in your mind, when you are shaming and guilting yourself, you are being back in the moment when the event happened.
As I have previously stated, the problem is that in this moment, that event isn’t happening except in your own imagination. You experience it throughout your body as if it is happening – but it’s not.
It’s not the event itself that is the problem. Now it is your judgment of yourself or someone else that is the problem. When you let go of the judgement, you can acknowledge the event for what it was and learn from it.
You can learn how you can be and do differently in the future and move on. Letting go of the judgment allows you to be the Greatest Expression of You in this moment. You are no longer living in the past.
Your Hypnosis Health Info Hypnotic Suggestion for today:
I choose to be in the moment and accept the joy of now.
The following exercise is one that I learned in graduate school at the University of Santa Monica. It is one that I have taught to hundreds of clients over the years.
Fill in the blanks:
I forgive myself for judging myself as ____________________________.
In the blank line, you write the judgment.
Examples: I forgive myself for judging myself as not good enough. I forgive myself for judging myself as unkind. I forgive myself for judging myself as angry.
Next, you write a person’s name and the judgment you hold of them. I forgive myself for judging _________________________________ as _________________________________.
Examples: I forgive myself for judging my spouse as abusive. I forgive myself for judging Bob as hurtful. I forgive myself for judging Mary as skinny.
You see, your actions are your actions. They occurred, right or wrong. Whether these actions occurred one minute ago or 30 years ago, it is your judgment about the action that eats at you, that decimates your self-esteem. It’s not up to you to judge, and by letting go of the judgment you free yourself from the continued abuse of the action.
Your job is to let go of the judgment, be in the moment and accept the joy of now. Of course, this exercise is much easier when you are Being the Greatest Expression of You!
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