How forgiveness moves us forward

 In America

Forgiving ourselves and our childLately I’ve been needing to forgive myself for a mistake I made with my daughter. It’s been very hard because I should have known better (the one time I believe “should” is apt), and because I’ve made the same mistake before.

So, it’s been hard to forgive myself, yet as a coach I understand that forgiveness (both of ourselves and others) helps us to move forward more quickly. We don’t stay mired in the spiraling energy of guilt and shame–which helps no one–least of all ourselves.

I’ve been contemplating the concept of forgiveness. It is a core principle of Christianity (and perhaps of other religions but my knowledge is limited), and one of the toughest to practice if the damage is deep.

Why is forgiveness so important and so stressed as a path towards emotional and spiritual freedom? Because it releases us from the negative stories that fill our brain and poison us emotionally. To ruminate and obsess over how others have mistreated or disappointed us only triggers feelings like self-pity, blame, anger, self-righteousness etc.

All the same can be said when we need to forgive ourselves.

We SHOULD acknowledge the truth if we’ve harmed someone and feel appropriately sorry, regretful etc. But letting that spin into rumination about our “badness” is not helpful.

Feeling guilt, remorse etc. are okay in small amounts and when felt with intention; but beyond that we become hostages to them.

As we forgive ourselves, we embrace our overall goodness, our inherent worthiness. We dig into our confidence, and we do whatever is necessary to move forward, make amends, make changes, etc.

This is how forgiveness helps us move forward.

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