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Forgiving Yourself

Posted by Roberta Grimes • February 14, 2017 • 17 Comments
Book News, Human Nature

jesus-blessing-someoneForgiveness is the most essential and also the most difficult spiritual exercise. Most of us still are vibrating at a fear-based more than a love-based level, which is why humanity is in such turmoil; and we are being told now by beings not in bodies that unless we can raise this planet’s consciousness, human life is on a downward course. That should be reason enough for us to make learning how to forgive a priority! But on a personal level it is important to add that living in forgiveness also makes you happy.

I have blogged several times about radical forgiveness, including here and here. And I have written about self-forgiveness here, but it seems to be time to talk about it again. Aside from questions about the loss of pets – which I get almost daily – the most anguished contacts I receive come from people who have read The Fun of Growing Forever and are stumbling over their need to forgive themselves. For them, in particular, finally forgiving our entire lives forevermore can be the ticket to a much better life!

Forgiving everything in advance is a mind-trick. It works because our minds are not the efficient computers that we imagine them to be, but rather they are:

  • Lazy. Our minds generally don’t analyze things. Instead, for the most part they blindly react based on the patterns that we have inadvertently set by reacting to similar stimuli.
  • Habit-Driven. If we had to think through opening a door or driving a car or composing a sentence each time we did even basic things we would be spending our days that way and we’d have little mind-space for anything else.
  • Highly Adaptable. The habitual links that we have established are only what our minds have found in the past to be the easiest pathways. Think of water flowing in a rocky stream: when we move a few rocks, the water at once flows differently.

So forgiving everything, once and for all, is just a matter of retraining our minds to neverstained-glass-jesus-with-lamb again react negatively to anything. And yes, it really is that simple!

In The Fun of Growing Forever and in this blog post I explain the easiest process for retraining your lazy, habitual, adaptable mind. The forgiveness-ball-and-mantra technique really works! It astonishes me to tell you that my life remains full of things that used to bug me, but now that whole reactive emotional overlay that once plagued my days is gone.

But for some people, self-forgiveness is especially difficult. Most of those who contact me about having trouble forgiving themselves will point in anguish at some particular thing they have done that they found unforgivable; and the things mention always seem trivial to me. They should have been addressable when they occurred. But by now, these people have trained their minds to obsess over them, so that stimulus-response pathway has become a thoroughfare. They might try forming forgiveness balls, but they insist that even doing that cannot begin to assuage their overwhelming guilt.

If this feels like a problem that you might share, then I suggest that you energize your forgiveness work! Still form forgiveness balls and say the mantra, yes, but also:

  • Remind yourself that this is about just you. If others who were involved are dead, then apologize aloud and at once; but if they are living, it generally is best not to apologize until after you have forgiven yourself.
  • Make a point of forgiving your entire childhood. Many of us have medieval-angeldeveloped wrong programming in childhood that tends to make our self-blame worse; so while you are at it, forgive your childhood. Forgive your parents, teachers, siblings, friends, and everything you did that you now regret. The forgiveness-ball technique works best if you use it individually on people and events, so doing this right can take awhile.
  • Try to avoid stressors for at least six months. To the extent that you can, avoid people or places that are likely to make you feel worse about yourself, even if that means skipping some family holidays.
  • Read and write only peaceful wisdom. Read whatever uplifts your heart. And write! Some people find that it helps to write down whatever is bothering them today, then build the forgiveness ball, say the mantra, and burn that piece of paper. Do whatever you can to get all the poisons that you have spent your whole life building flushed altogether out of your mind!
  • Learn how to be good to yourself. Many who carry long-term self-blame will design unnecessarily difficult lives. They will make much of setbacks, deny themselves for others, and in various ways build up resentments that make them feel even worse about themselves. Building forgiveness balls around these obstacles as you notice them can be a help in cleaning out your mind; and even beyond that, insofar as you can, really get to know and like yourself. Try to do more of what makes you happy while it also betters the lives of others. With time and patient work, you can turn it around!

Forgiving yourself is essential, since until you have learned uncritical Sunriseself-love you cannot really love anyone else. Self-love doesn’t mean having a needy ego, but rather it means feeling so good about yourself that you hardly seem to have an ego at all! Once you have fully forgiven yourself, you will see yourself as you truly are: you are the eternally best-beloved child of the all-powerful Godhead that is all that exists. When you fully grasp the enormity of your own particular preciousness, then peaceful joy will become your mind’s set-point. Forgiving yourself forevermore makes you the happiest that you can be!

 

(I apologize for my month away from blogging! I’ve been doing a speaking tour and finishing The Fun of Living Together, about which I’ll tell you more next week).

Roberta Grimes

Roberta Grimes is an internationally recognized expert on death and the afterlife. Learn More

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17 thoughts on “Forgiving Yourself

  1. This is so helpful! I resonated like a tuning fork with the wisdom of your sentence:
    “Many who carry long-term self-blame will design unnecessarily difficult lives.”
    Self forgiveness is something that is ungoing for me. How lovely that there’s the hack of the ‘mind trick’ of forgiving everything in advance! I need to get your book as I don’t know what forgiveness balls are.
    Heartfelt thanks, Roberta.

    1. I’m so glad to be able to help you, Sabrina! And I don’t want you to feel compelled to buy the book, so I’m going to send it to you in PDF. Please let me know how it goes for you!

  2. Hi Roberta, I wanted to read the post again before responding. When I was in high school I read “The Stranger” and “The Myth of Sisyphus” by Albert Camus. Whether I interpreted them correctly or not, I came away with the philosophical inclination that we are the sum total of our decisions and actions. Wow! Live long enough and that’s a lot of baggage to live up to! It took me a while to come around to realizing that in fact I’m not the same person right now as I write this that I will be at 2 o’clock in the afternoon….I’m not the person I was yesterday, and from the perspective of the infinite, there is no time anyway, so I can’t be the sum of any collection….In a culture that identifies itself with conflict and competition, forgiveness becomes a very hard problem. I’ve heard a lot of people say they can’t forgive something because it lets the other person (or in the case of myself — ME) off the hook, and that would be like letting them win. When material prizes are the only prizes, forgiveness is very problematic indeed. One day, not too long ago, I realized that forgiveness is more about choosing to have a different relationship with a person or thing, not about letting anybody “off the hook.” Since we perceive ourselves, other people, events and things in terms of our relationships with them, then until we make a conscious effort to have a different relationship, we will not make a conscious effort to see differently. No wonder growth depends so much more on forgiving than holding people accountable. As long as I insist on holding people (especially ME) accountable, with a goal of coming out ahead as a result, I’m stuck. What do you think?

    1. I often hear from people who tell me that this or that event really was unforgivable for them. How tragic! What they are doing is choosing to go through the rest of their lives bent over under the weight of that event, when it would be so easy to free themselves from it!

  3. Hi Roberta, I wanted to reread the blog post before responding. When I was younger, I read various works of Albert Camus and came away with the philosophical inclination that we are the sum of all our choices and decisions. Wow! If you live long enough, that’s quite a long chain of baggage to drag behind as one’s “identity.” Gradually I came to understand that I’m not the same person as I write this as I was this morning when I woke up, and tomorrow I’ll be a different person again. And since moments in time don’t really have meaning outside of time, I’ll never be who I think I am and I’ll always be all of those people at once (it boggles the mind). Forgiveness in a culture that identifies with individual acts, conflict and competition becomes a problem. I have heard people say that they can’t forgive someone because it lets that person (or in the case of myself, it lets ME) “off the hook.” But without forgiveness, we continue to choose a relationship with a person or thing that actually has no reality . When we forgive, we don’t so much let someone or ourselves “off the hook” as we choose to move on from a relationship that is holding us back. What do you think?

    1. Forgiveness has nothing to do with “the other person”; it always is for yourself, and only for yourself. It is the gift that you give yourself! The person you are forgiving usually doesn’t even care, but when you forgive others you can lighten your own load unbelievably.

      1. Looks like my original version of my comment (which I liked better) got through after all! I thought I had lost it. Anyway I agree. It is for our own benefit that we choose forgiveness over holding on.

  4. I heard you on Coast 2 Coast and ordered your latest book. I sought out your website and was VERY interested in reading about “forgiveness”…I look forward to reading your book. You were a terrific guest with George Noory…thank you.

    1. Wow, thank you, Maureen! I love George – he is the best interviewer ever. Being on C2C just feels like having a happy conversation with a good friend! And if you are interested in forgiveness, my book that addresses it is The Fun of Growing Forever – please let me know how it goes for you!

  5. I heard you on Coast 2 Coast. I agree with Maureen, you were a terrific guest. I also love George Noory. I know when I listen to the program I will hear kind words and encouragement from George and his guest. I totally agree with your views of Jesus and God. Thank you for sharing. You mentioned that it’s possible to get to the point where negative situations do not have to bother you. Please let me know in what book you discuss this topic.

    1. Hello Rosanne – thank you for all your lovely words! The book that teaches you how to raise your personal vibration sufficiently that you can get beyond having things trouble you is The Fun of Growing Forever. Please let me know how it goes for you!

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