Living the Virtues Series: Forgiveness of Self

August 07, 2014

Forgiveness of Self

       Last month, I talked about the virtue of acceptance. I wrote on how to apply it to yourself, your life, others around you, and as a spiritual principle. The reason I am doing this is so that you can have this wisdom and instill it into your life, for the greater evolution of yourself.  This month I am looking at forgiveness. This, along with acceptance are two of the most important virtues to begin with if you want to change your life and reach higher levels of consciousness. What I have learned over a decade of private sessions is that forgiveness seems to be at the root of almost every symptom brought forth in my sessions with clients. Even when someone comes in for smoking cessation, it is likely that the root of their problems lies in the need for acceptance and forgiveness. A lot of times, people start smoking at a really young age to feel accepted. That lingers on throughout their lives over the years in the subconscious levels of the mind. I teach them how to accept who they are and forgive their pasts. It is not just my smoking cessation clients though. Practically every ailment in which I aid clients goes back to acceptance and forgiveness. This is the first installment of forgiveness for the month of August.

        The quote that I have chosen for forgiveness of self really hits the nail on the head. Alden Nowlan said: “The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.” I have truly seen this quote materialized in my clients’ lives over and over again. There does appear to be this evolution and I have never really heard it stated so perfectly. I can recall as a child having that moment when I realized that my parents weren’t perfect. It was quite the eye-opener to truly see that. There is a shift that happens when one comes to those conclusions above. Alden would have said that that is when a child becomes a little bit older and a little bit more knowledgeable about the way in which this world works. The day that that adolescent forgives the parent, he becomes an adult. Learning to accept and forgive are two major schools of thought on empowering your life and gaining enlightenment. I am sure that you have heard over and over again how parents must bear with the teen-years, and that once they are an adult, they will like you again.

       When adolescents gain insight and introspection with their own challenging life experiences, they can look at parents in a different light and see that they really have had the best interests of their children at heart. I would even venture to say that you come to an understanding as well. You might come across information that made your parents who they are and how they treated you that may end up being helpful in forgiveness as well. As Alden said, the day the adult forgives himself is the day he becomes wise. A lot of people struggle with forgiving themselves. A lot of people feel like the bad choices in their lives do not warrant forgiveness. I deal with many clients that harp on the past and wish they could have done things differently instead of forgiving, accepting, and moving on. These are the same clients who are full of regret. What you should know is that as long as you are carrying that with you, it will cause you pain, discomfort, unhappiness, anxiety and even depression.

       Nowlan couldn’t have stated it any clearer: “The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.” Ultimately, forgiveness is a choice between remaining stuck in the past and moving forward. Learn how to forgive yourself. Learn tools and techniques you can use in order to implement forgiveness into your life. Experience greater insight and wisdom that will help you to move forward in your life. If you are struggling with forgiveness pick a daily affirmation such as: “The past is gone. I live in the present. I forgive myself and all my past imperfections. I realize that no one is perfect and I strive to live in each present moment.” If you repeat these several times a day or meditate on these things, you will start seeing an improvement in your life. Forgiveness is a hard life lesson but a rewarding virtue. If you need help with this virtue, don’t hesitate to contact me. Thanks for reading. InJoy your day!

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