4 Ways to Forgive and Release Yourself from the Past
Do you believe that you deserve to be happy?
Do you have an area in your life where you’re subconsciously holding yourself hostage or keeping yourself from experiencing true happiness because you’re still blaming yourself for a past decision or mistake (like that failed business, marriage or a relationship that did not go so well)?
Sometimes we screw up so bad that we no longer feel worthy of happiness. And when new people and opportunities come our way, we sabotage ourselves because we are convinced that, because of the past decisions, mistakes, or the role we played in a failed relationship or challenging situation, we no longer deserve it.
It’s high time you thought about how to stop blaming yourself for the past and allow yourself to be happy. Here are my four strategies to help you achieve this.
#1 Love Yourself
If I ask you, “Do you love yourself?”, your answer will most likely be “Yes, I do.” But do your actions and decisions prove that you love yourself?
One of my favorite authors is Louise Hay. In her book, ‘You Can Heal Your Life,’ she states that
“If we deny our good in any way, it’s an act of not loving ourselves.”
This is the equivalent of knowing what’s good for you and then NOT doing it, like passing on an opportunity or ignoring your body’s health signals. You see where I’m going with this.
Now I’ll ask you again…Do you love yourself? Think deep!
#2 Forgive Yourself and Stop Blaming Yourself for the Past
Sometimes we sabotage our happiness because we have somehow convinced ourselves that, for whatever reason, we do not deserve it. We blame ourselves for past decisions, actions, mistakes, and the role we might have played in a bad situation.
I shared my own example of this in my book, where I almost missed out on my happiness and getting remarried because I was still blaming myself for a failed marriage.
Yes, others can forgive us, and we can forgive others, yet we have a hard time forgiving ourselves which can block goodness from coming our way.
#3 Be Your Own Best Friend
Close your eyes and imagine right now that you’re on the phone with your best friend or your child. They’re crying uncontrollably and upset over a huge mistake they have made. Their mistake has an adverse effect on their lives and those around them, possibly even you.
What do you say to your best friend or to your child at a critical moment like this?
Most likely you will begin to try and comfort them. Tell them that everything is going to be okay and that they will get through this. You may even help them brainstorm possible solutions to the problem.
You tell them that you love them and that you will do whatever you can to help them through this difficult time.
You are loving, kind, and compassionate because you genuinely love them, care about their well-being, and want nothing but the best for them. Even when they are dead wrong, you can still manage to muster up some support and empathy.
Now imagine the same scenario, only this time it is YOU who has made the costly mistake. What do you say to yourself?
I am going to go out on a limb and say that your self-talk will be vastly different than the first scenario. And it even may sound a little like this:
“How could you be so stupid?”
“You know better than this!”
“You had no business doing that!”
“You are an idiot!”
“I HATE you!”
Does this sound familiar? Even if you don’t go this far, you are still most likely to be harder on yourself than you would be with your best friend or your child.
Why is it that we are so nurturing and encouraging to other people, and so negative and hard on ourselves, especially when we make a mistake?
We punish ourselves and don’t give ourselves the same grace.
You wouldn’t hold a grudge against your best friend or your child, not for long at least. So why hold a grudge against yourself?
You have to treat yourself like a friend. Be your own best friend.
#4 Choose to be Happy
The truth is, happiness is a choice, and you always have the power to make a new and better choice. Choose to be happy.
Do you deserve to set yourself free?
Do you even feel you deserve to be happy?
Are you willing to give yourself a second chance at happiness?
In case you missed it, the right answer to each question is YES! Everyone deserves a second chance, and everyone deserves to be happy, even you!
So, first things first, stop blaming yourself for the past. Then give yourself permission to be happy.
Be sure to share this post with others who are holding themselves hostage and still blaming themselves for their past mistakes.
I would love to hear from you. Comment below to let me know how you put these strategies to use in your life.
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