WHEN I was a little girl, my parents taught me to “forgive and forget”. For me, this was a very challenging to understand this concept because I never understood how I could actually forget the pain that was afflicted onto me. With that type of thinking, I spent most of my life having a difficult time forgiving people who hurt me.
Forgiving people who harmed you can be very difficult; resentment invades your heart and spreads through your skin, your blood, and all of your emotions. However, at times it’s actually easier to forgive others and far more difficult to forgive yourself.
You must take responsibility for the energy that you bring into a space. When you are unhappy, you spread unhappiness to everyone around you. When you are bitter, you transmit bitterness, and when you are sad you transmit sadness. In this way, you are not only hurting yourself but everyone around you. If you believe you deserve to suffer than you’ll suffer. The key to ending this vicious cycle of pain, is to stop hurting yourself and others altogether.
Sometimes you feel so ashamed of your past, and you have feelings of guilt because you failed others or you failed yourself. Sometimes, the negative thoughts become so deep and over-powering that every time you look in the mirror, all you think about is the pain of your past.
“See they not that they are put in trial once or twice every year (with different kinds of calamities, disease, famine)? Yet, they turn not in repentance, nor do they learn a lesson (from it).” – Quran (Surah At-Taubah, Verse 126)
When you don’t forgive yourself, negative energy and feelings can devour your soul; pain, guilt and sorrow gain control over your life, you become despondent, absent and depressed, this mortification fills your spirit with disappointment and disgust.
Forgiveness is the only way to release the guilt and pain that you have held onto all your life. It’s important that you learn to forgive others, and to forgive yourself. Your life can be fantastic once you learn how to forgive.
Tips to help you let go
1. Identify what is bothering you
Ask yourself what is it that you did that was so bad that doesn’t allow you to feel good with yourself, think why you did it. When you do this you are confronting the problem. Ask Allah swt to forgive you. “…And beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.” – Quran (Surah An-Noor, Verse 31)
2. Admit your fault
Recognize what you did, accept it and let all your rage, your sorrow, your anguish, and even all the dark feelings flow freely. Release your pain by crying, journaling, and screaming in the shower. A good tip for when you journal is to write a minimum of 30 pages – especially if this trauma includes being a victim of abuse. Writing 30 pages will allow all the suppressed pain to rise up and be released in a healthy way. Do not be afraid of the tears, and if you get stuck, you are free to use all the profanity you desire. Remember to burn all these pages as soon as this exercise is complete.
3. Be gentle with yourself
You are only human. What makes you marvelous and amazing are precisely all of your imperfections. When you feel guilty for something you did in the past – know this: You did the best that you could have done, at that time, knowing what you knew. “Indeed Allah loves those who repent and purify themselves.” – Quran (Surah Al Baqarah, Verse 222)
4. Stop blaming yourself
Accepting your mistake is good and important but it’s time to stop now. You have carried this for enough time now; it’s time to put an end to it. A good affirmation to repeat is: “I am doing the best I can do to let go of the past”.
5. Go deep into your soul
Only from there you’ll be able to start healing this emotional wound that is impeding you to be happy and having a fulfilling life. Take time to get to know yourself. What are your likes and your dislikes. Take time to get quiet. Set aside specific time each day to contemplate on your life and what makes your soul sing.
6. Let go
The past is the past and there’s nothing you can do about it. Think about the present, this is the only thing that matters now, your present life, living happy today. Deepak Chopra said: “In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.”
7. Decide to heal
Make the choice, reliving the pain over and over again will not make the wound heal, it will not make you feel any better. Make the decision or else the blaming and guilt will pull you into a profound abysm from which it’ll be hard to come out. “The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.” – Marianne Williamson
8. Love yourself and forgive yourself
You are a marvelous creature, with a mission and a purpose in life. Enjoy your company, look at yourself in the mirror and be delighted with what you see. You are amazing! Carve out time for self-care. Book a massage, go for reflexology, join a class, learn something new, start exercising, and meet some new people. Forgiving yourself is anti-aging. The more your forgive yourself, the happier you will be.
9. Be grateful
Every day when you wake up, be thankful for your life, for everything you have, for all that you’ve accomplished, for everything, for every smile, every tear, every mistake that has made you the person you are today. Everything you had to go through is an experience that helped you get to where you are now. Every day, in your journal, write down everything that you are grateful for. Appreciate your talents, beauty, and brilliance. Love your imperfectly perfect self.
10. Talk yourself happy
Use affirmations to train your mind to become more positive. Put a wrist band on your right wrist. When you’re participating in self-abuse of any form, move the band to your left wrist. When you use powerful affirmations, you start to own your own potential. Love yourself enough to believe in the limitless opportunities available to you. Take action and create a beautiful life for yourself, which is an essential element in life success and good health. With this power you can turn failure around into success and take success and drive it to a whole new level. Your positive attitude is the fuel for your success.
11. Seek professional help
Self-rejection and neglect is painful. You deserve to be happy. You have a right to be accepted and loved. If necessary, seek help from a support group, counselor, or coach. It’s the best investment you can make.
Live a Fulfilling Life
“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.”
–Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
Blaming yourself for things that happened in the past is a waste of energy; you could be using this energy in other things. Forgive yourself and transform this into creativity, love, optimism and bliss. Leave the past behind and start living in the present; live a life with purpose and meaning. To realize that there is nothing that you can ever do to go back into the past and relive it, is a very powerful epiphany. Yesterday is gone forever. Tomorrow has not arrived. We have only today.
Smile, love, help others, smell the flowers, enjoy the sun, get wet and run in the rain, eat chocolate, visit the sick, pray, make friends, cook, hug, take a bubble bath, travel around the world, swim in the ocean, go shopping, sleep until late, read a book, learn something new every day.
Never give up in the promise of your Lord –
“Verily, He is the One Who forgives (accepts repentance), the Most Merciful.” – Qur’an (Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 37)
Today, I have a completely different definition of forgiveness. This is my opinion now. “I will never ever forget the pain that you caused me, because this is a lesson that I will learn. I no longer wish to be a prisoner of my past, so I let go of all the emotional charge related to this event.” This definition has freed me from the shackles of my pain. I don’t need to hold a grudge or hate someone for what they did to me. I can carry on with my life, and create a beautiful future for myself and the people in my circle.
You deserve to be happy; leave the past behind and enjoy your present. Life is meant to be fantastic; you can live your life the way you choose to do it, be delighted and enjoy your journey.
“Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me.” – Anonymous.