Loving Yourself By Forgiving Yourself and OthersBy Dr. Margaret Paul
October 17, 2017
Have you struggled with forgiving yourself or others? Discover how to reach forgiveness and the joy and freedom it can bring.
I’m often asked how forgiveness fits into Inner Bonding. My experience is that as we learn to see and value who we really are in our essence, and we come to understand why we made the choices we’ve made – many of them coming from our false beliefs, we are easily able to forgive ourselves for past choices that may have hurt us or hurt others. We realize that we were doing the best we could at the time, given what we knew and understood. If we could have made better choices, we likely would have.
Letting Go Of Judgment
The more we understand this about ourselves and let go of our self-judgments, the more we understand and are able to let go of judgments toward others as well. True forgiveness toward ourselves and others occurs when we accept our own divinity and the divinity of others – that our souls are individual expressions of Divine love, and that we are all One.
The wounded self wants to hold on to anger and resentments toward others for how they have hurt us, but all this does is hurt our own soul. Just as self-judgments hurt our soul, so do judgments toward others.
But we can’t will forgiveness. We can say we forgive someone, but unless we have truly forgiven ourselves, through our compassionate understanding of our unloving behavior coming from the false beliefs of our ego wounded self, we won’t fully, with an open heart, forgive others who have hurt us.
A major aspect of loving ourselves is to fully accept all of who we are, and this happens over time as we practice Inner Bonding. The more we can see and fully accept ourselves, the more authentic our forgiveness is toward ourselves and others.
At some point, when we have done enough Inner Bonding work to deeply value ourselves, we can make the conscious choice to forgive ourselves for our past unloving behavior, and this opens the door to fully forgiving others.
How To Know You Have Actually Forgiven Someone
You know that you have fully forgiven someone when you feel a sense of relief and a joyful lightness of being when you say to yourself, “I completely forgive ___________(my parents, my partner, my ex-partner, my children, my friend, my boss, my employee and so on).” Until you feel that relief and joy when you say you forgive that person, you have not actually forgiven them. Saying you forgive someone just isn’t the same thing as feeling the forgiveness deep within your heart and soul.
Forgiving Doesn’t Mean Condoning
Forgiveness isn’t the same thing as condoning someone’s unloving, hurtful behavior. Forgiveness actually has nothing to do with condoning behavior. Forgiving others is something we do for ourselves, to be loving to ourselves. Anything we do that brings us deep joy is loving to ourselves, and there is such a deep joy in finally being able to forgive someone.
Whether or not you choose to see that person, or you choose to keep them at a distance or never see them again, forgiving them is a freedom for you. Forgiving them doesn’t mean that you want to spend time with them – it means that your anger and judgments toward them are no longer poisoning your soul and keeping your frequency low.
Is there someone in your life you haven’t yet forgiven? You might want to notice how hanging on to judgment toward them is actually keeping you limited in your own joy and freedom. You might want to explore what the false beliefs are behind continuing to judge them, and work with your guidance to let go of these false beliefs.
You will be amazed at the joy and freedom you will feel when you are finally able to fully forgive yourself and others!
Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."
Join IBVillage to connect with others and receive compassionate help and support for learning to love yourself.
Photo by Alexandre Sampaio
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