Joy Ignites Success

Is it time to forgive yourself?

By - Tuesday, August 19, 2014

This post was inspired by a question from a facebook friend. It's the third in a series of three. Please share your thoughts and ask your questions!

Can you tell your older self that it's time to forgive your younger self?

Yup, but it probably won’t work. When we are caught in the cycle of non-forgiveness telling ourselves to stop is pretty ineffective. There are two strategies I particularly like for breaking the habit of punishing yourself for perceived wrong-doings.

1.    Go for it! When we are not forgiving ourselves, it is as if one part of us is mad at another part. Could be an older and younger self, or it could be two current selves with different opinions. Doesn’t matter. Give the part of you that’s mad and unforgiving permission to really let the other one have it. You might want to imagine (imagine being the key word) kicking her or punching him. Say all the things you’ve been holding back. In other words, go bigger with your insults. If you are cringing inside just reading this suggestion, remember that this is what you’ve been doing for years on a subconscious level. Making it conscious will help it to move and release. Ask yourself if the anger is coming from wanting approval, control, security, separation or oneness. Whichever wants you are aware of, let them go. Then check and see if there’s more anger. Keep going until you feel peace about the issue.
2.    Notice that you are punishing yourself for your perceived bad behavior or wrong-doing. Ask yourself how long you think you need to be punished. If you decide you’ve been punished enough, just let go. If you think you need more punishment, ask yourself “how much?” And “for how long?” If you get a somewhat reasonable answer, (i.e. one more hour or one more day) go for it consciously. If you get an unreasonable answer (for the rest of my life), please get some professional help.

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Melanie Smithson Institute is dedicated to enriching lives through embodied education and training; using movement, play and releasing to connect with innate wisdom and joy.  

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