The importance of Self-Forgiveness

 

Have you forgiven yourself for your past mistakes? Or are you still holding onto what you wish you’d done differently?

Living in a constant state of guilt is tormenting. Your mind replays what you did wrong and how things could have been different. It leads to self-sabotage and negative self-talk. You can believe that you are not good enough for certain positive experiences because you weren’t able to change what happened. We may overcompensate to fix the issue but the thoughts still linger in our mind about how we messed up.

Guilt takes away our ability to practice self-compassion. You may end up using harsh words towards yourself as a form of punishment. 

At some point in our life, we might do something that causes harm (intentionally or unintentionally) to others. Having to deal with the reality that our actions have contributed to someone else’s pain is a hard pill to swallow. Forgiving oneself is a practice of self-preservation, kindness, compassion, and love. It’s a commitment that despite your mistakes, you will not give up on yourself.

The guilt arises when our actions are out of alignment with our values. If you value being kind, honest and respectful to others, being deceitful and malicious created an internal conflict. We know better but chose not to at that moment. Carrying guilt stops you from practising self-redemption. We all can change, even when our actions are seen as ‘unforgivable’ in society’s standards.

Often the thing that we don’t forgive ourselves for, we would forgive others doing the same thing. Be willing to offer yourself the same level of compassion that you would to a friend.  If you believe you have changed, you don’t need to hold yourself hostage to mistakes that were committed by an old version of you. If you had known what you knew now, you wouldn’t have done what you did- you made choices in the past at the level consciousness you had at the time. You know better now. Be willing to see this situation differently. Your mistakes have given you clarity about the type of person you want to be and the situations you will avoid next time.  Some life lessons are harsh but necessary to become a better version of ourselves. 

How to Forgive Yourself: 

Be honest with yourself

What situation do you hold guilt about? Have an honest conversation with yourself about what you feel guilty/ shame about and how it makes you feel.

Admit your messed up

Self-acceptance is a practice of self-love. You need to accept that you messed up and take full accountability for that situation. 

Practice self-compassion

Check if you are missing something. Did you know everything about a situation at hand or was you not in the mind frame to comprehend the harm you caused? Was fear one of the reasons why you made the decision you did? Offer yourself some compassion for not knowing what you know now.

Apologise to anyone who you hurt

Take a risk and contact the person you hurt and apologise. Tell them exactly what actions you take accountability for and why. However, don’t hold onto the expectation that they will be forgiving. Give the person space to express their feelings and don’t go on the defensive. If you are struggling with forgiving yourself for allowing someone else to inflict pain onto you, maybe write an ‘I’m sorry for’ letter to yourself.

Write yourself an apology

Write a letter of forgiveness to yourself.

Give yourself time

It’s okay to feel guilty for what you did. When a situation happens it’s difficult to move on especially if it’s life-altering. Give yourself the time and space to let go of the past. Start by being more present every day and reminding yourself of why you deserve to self-forgiveness.

Quotes of Self Forgiveness:

“Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know until you lived through it. Honour your path. Trust your journey. Learn, grow, evolve, become.” – unknown.

“Forgive yourself for not having the foresight to know what now seems so obvious in hindsight”- Judy Belmont

“Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives”- unknown

You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens. – Louise L. Hay

“Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it.” — Maya Angelou

“I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than him.” – C. S. Lewis

 

Discomfort- A shift is happening

Hey guys,
I hope you are having a blessed 2020 so far. I wanted to share my thoughts some of my thoughts with you. January has been great so far but I’ve been feeling very uncomfortable. Am I the only one or have you been feeling the same?
I feel like there’s a universal shift going on and we are being forced to make changes. Old ways of thinking and being no longer serve a purpose in our lives. We are being called to let go of things, people, patterns that no longer add value to our lives. We are being called to look into the foundations we have built over time and reconstruct what no longer works.
We are feeling more uncomfortable doing things that we once we accepted and possibly enjoyed. We are being called to let go of those excuses that kept us away from our true lives calling. We are being called to hold ourselves more accountable.
Sometimes we have to go through discomfort for a better version of us to emerge. Don’t give up in this period of discomfort. Hold on and trust the process. What is coming will be grander than what’s past.
Question to you:
What are you being called to let go of and embrace in this new year?
Would love to hear your personal reflections!
Love Ash, xx

Moving from Hopeless to Hopeful

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (11)

How do you get from hopeless to hopeful? How do you bridge the gap between wanting to give up and deciding to try again? When you are in a state of feeling like giving up on life, the idea that you will one day feeling better again sounds like a far-reaching idea. Sometimes we go through difficult moments in our lives and it feels stuck in our pain. For some people, the pain becomes unbearable and convinces them to give up on life itself.

I know all too well the feeling of hopelessness. I remember years ago when I was depressed, I felt like my life couldn’t get any worse. For a person who feels hopeless, it feels like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. They resign to defeat and despair of their situation, believing that their circumstances are too difficult for them to overcome.

Going from hopeless to hopeful isn’t easy but it’s possible with a thing called faith. Hope arrives when you declare that you will continue to keep trying even if you can’t foresee what triumph looks like in the present moment. Faith is a declaration that no matter what happens, you will be okay eventually. It’s a knowing that you are infinitely loved and protected and that irrespective of your current pain, the universe/God/higher self, has your best interest at heart. Having faith is a constant reminder that moments of uncertainty will pass and that you are not here to suffer.

To go from hopeless to hopeful, one must also relinquish the comfort of despair and choose again to fight through the discomfort of low moods for a possible victory. When we are in a space of feeling low about ourselves it’s very easy to throw a pity party and become consumed with feeling sorry for ourselves. Naturally, the thought of trying to make a change and feel better is draining and often we find ourselves stuck in not knowing how to improve our situation. Our feelings of hopelessness end up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy with us constantly feeding into this narrative of despair and powerlessness. Choosing to ignore our power and our ability to help ourselves is easier than trying because trying means having to sit in the discomfort of one’s feelings to one-day hope to alleviate them.

In saying this, it’s important to recognise when you need to seek help. Depression/ low mood can make it extremely difficult to take action steps towards their recovery and require professional assistance and/or medication to do so. This is nothing to be ashamed about if you need intervention- It’s about taking any necessary steps to feel better.

Tips to help you regain hope:

Practice unwavering faith- Your reality does not have to match your conviction. Start to believe that things will get better even if you don’t see it now. Visualise your future self-making peace with your present situation and hold onto the vision and have faith that it will eventually become reality.

Reach out for help- It’s hard going through low moods alone and not having anyone you can confide in. Talk to a friend or family member and tell them how you’re feeling and what ways they can support you. If you need extra help or don’t have that support system, look for a support group near you or ask your GP to get you in contact with a therapist/counselling service.

Affirmation challenge- Lisa Nicols has an excellent affirmation challenge she did for 30 days that helped with her recovering from depression:
I’m proud that you x7 (things that celebrate yourself for)
I forgive you for x7 (things to cut the shackles of blame, shame, guilt and blame around)
I commit to you that (things that you will do for you)
Write affirmations on post stick notes and put them around your room. Make sure that the words resonate with you and move something inside of you make you feel better.

 
Small steps forwards- Challenge yourself to go on a walk, or do a breathing exercise for 5mins, watch something about how you are feeling. You don’t need to jump up and radically change your life (unless that’s what you want to do). You just need to take steps in the direction of feeling better. Make it your priority to make small progress each day.

Journalling- Write about how you are feeling. Allow the pen or keypad to just flow with the thoughts on your mind. Let all your feelings out regularly. Once you’ve gotten into the routine of writing your thoughts, begin to go over them and identify any ways of thinking that may be unhelpful. Ask yourself: Are these thoughts rational? What alternative ways can I think about this?

Affirmations:

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” ~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

“You were not bought onto this earth to merely suffer. It is your birthright to experience, joy, love, peace and prosperity. You are special by virtue of being you and no one can take that away from you. You have a special calling on your life and the world needs you to show them what overcoming any obstacle looks like. You are magnificent and powerful. Keep fighting through because the other end looks bright for you.” ~ Ash Alves

Question to you: 

What advice would you give to someone who has lost hope in life?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! 🙂

 
Love Ash, xx