If forgiveness is the answer to anxiety, frustration, anger, shame, hatred, blame, and so many other feelings why is it so hard to do. Why are we unable to the the vast benefits to our health; mental and physical? Why is that not a driving force to launch us into a mental change?
Well change is hard.... it is hard to do it and even harder to sustain it!
The other night I was frustrated with with myself. No I was not frustrated, I was pissed!! All I could think about was getting home and taking a nap, but I have so much to do, chickens to feed, dog to play with floor to mop, dusting, exercising ect... the list could go on forever! Well instead of challenging myself and forcing myself to get moving, make good choices, I started to wallow and take a nap. All the while o was thinking "I HAVE TO get up!" "I OUGHT TO get my chores done!" What I didn't realize was that I was just "ShouldING" on myself and my self worth! I spent so much time being mad at myself and playing the victim role, that I wasn't able to take action. I knew that if I were to think about it in a way that was more oositive, such as "I would feel so much better and I would sleep better if I ........" but I didn't. I know you are probably wondering why I would write about this when the topic is forgiveness?!? Well this scenario is probably one of the most common I see on a daily basis while working with clients. THE INABILITY TO FOGIVE YOURSELF.
This doesn't mean that I just forget about what I did or did not do. It means that I am able to remove quilt blame and shame from myself and focus on more positive feeling and building positive relationships. I can practice keeping my thoughts, actions, and words congruent. Ensuring that I am focusing on being positive, by slowing my thoughts and redirecting the negative thoughts to positive thoughts! When I focus on too much megative, I start to feel like a failure, I start to dig myself into a depression pit that is difficult to get out of! I DO NOT like to be there!
With this short scenario, I have founds a great list of what forgiveness is NOT from psychology today:
- Forgiveness doesn't mean you are pardoning or excusing the other person's actions.
- Forgiveness doesn't mean you need to tell the person that he or she is forgiven.
- Forgiveness doesn't mean you shouldn't have any more feelings about the situation.
- Forgiveness doesn't mean there is nothing further to work out in the relationship or that everything is okay now.
- Forgiveness doesn't mean you should forget the incident ever happened.
- Forgiveness doesn't mean you have to continue to include the person in your life.
- ... and forgiveness isn't something you do for the other person.
Remember that forgiveness is big and small. Remember to keep positive and forgive so that you can be forgiven. All humans have faults, let them happen, learn and move on. Find unconditional self acceptance and unconditional other acceptance!