What would you say is the most complicated relationship that you have in your life? I think most of us would immediately think about relationships with partners, spouses, parents, or children. But really, the most complicated relationship you will ever have in your life is the relationship you have with yourself.
It is so complicated, so nuanced. One thing that is constant is that you can never get away from being with yourself. We all struggle with forgiving ourselves, letting things go. All too often we beat ourselves up with the things that we should have, could have, would have done – the things that we regret, the things we wish we had said, the things we wish we hadn’t said.
And yet, that is one of the heaviest energies that you can carry with you. I did a podcast episode where I talked about something my mentor said to me. He talks about the concept of treating life like a backpack. Every day you put on your backpack, and you put things in that backpack. These are the things that happen – the regrets, the things that make us mad, the things that make us happy. He says that at the end of the day, we need to take that backpack off, empty it out, and treat the next day as a new day. Unfortunately, when it comes to regrets, shame, and guilt, we carry those in our backpack every day we get up, and they weigh us down.
I was reading something recently that is from Dr. David Hawkins. He was a psychiatrist, physician, and a spiritual teacher. Dr. Hawkins talks about the fact that our emotions are energy, and that depending on what emotions you’re feeling and carrying around with you, they can either be very heavy and vibrate at a low level, or they can be light and vibrate at a really high level. He talked about the fact that some of the lowest vibrations that are the densest and heaviest are feelings of shame, guilt, apathy and of fear. Those tend to be the things that we’ve used to beat ourselves up. Those tend to be the things that we hold on to. The emotions that have the light vibrations are the things that are higher up on the vibrational scale, things like love, and peace and joy. These are what we need.
How much of our time do we spend in those low vibrational areas? How much of our time do we spend lacking forgiveness for ourselves?
I would say that the greatest gift that will free us and allow us to be all that we’re meant to be is forgiveness of ourselves. A book that I always come back to is called Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant. I highly recommend this book when it comes to reestablishing a relationship with yourself if you’re struggling with self-worth and self-love. This is such a great book. He has such practical exercises in here that you can do and it’s his story of how he found self love. Here’s what he says about forgiveness. He says before you step into the future, you must release the shackles of the past.
I don’t understand why we work so hard to forgive others, but we’re bad at forgiving the only one we have any power over – ourselves.
All freedom starts within. Even if you want to forgive others, you must forgive yourself first. Only the free can free another.
It took me a while to understand this. But once I applied it this added a level to loving myself I hadn’t experienced before, it’s easy and absolutely liberating. Imagine letting go of what you’ve held against yourself. That’s what this does.
How do you forgive yourself?
One of the most powerful exercises I’ve ever done for forgiving myself was first and foremost writing a letter to myself. I wrote a letter where I wrote out all of the things that I wanted to forgive myself for – all of the shame that I held, all of the guilt that I had. I wrote a letter to myself telling myself why I wanted to let go of these things. I wrote a letter to myself saying how they were holding me back, how they were weighing me down. This is something that quite honestly can bring up a lot of feelings and emotions. It’s something that you might need to come back to, over and over again, because once you start allowing yourself to feel those feelings and you start allowing yourself to realize the things that you need to forgive within yourself, it can truly be a really emotional exercise. I suggest that maybe this is something that you want to do a few times repeatedly.
Then, what I did with that letter is, I actually tore it up. I know, there are many practices that say, burn it or flush it, but just that exercise of tearing it, up the energy of tearing it up, it’s letting it go and freeing yourself.
I want you to recognize and to remember that you cannot move forward if you haven’t recognized from a place of: What is it that you need? What is it that’s holding you down? What is it that’s anchoring you down? You cannot move forward, unless you’ve released yourself.
Things are what they are, you cannot go back and change the past. And all too often we beat ourselves up and think about “Oh, if only I should, I could, I would…” but here’s the reality. Things weren’t different, things happened as they did. You can never go back and change them because it’s the past, it only exists in your mind. The past only exists in your mind.
We often hold ourselves down, we anchor ourselves because we keep reliving the past. And when you write a letter to yourself, journal, or go to the person you wronged and ask for forgiveness, it has to be a place of releasing yourself recognizing that you can’t change what happened in the past. All you can do is to judge yourself on who you become as you move forward and who you choose to become as you move forward.
So truly, the greatest gift that you can give yourself today is to let go of those things that you’re beating yourself up for. Forgive yourself for those mistakes. Forgive yourself for those things you wish you’d done differently and allow yourself to free yourself to move forward.
Give yourself the gift of forgiveness.
I want you to always remember that regardless of your past, regardless of what you’ve done before, regardless of the shame and guilt that you carry, you are worthy. You are worthy to be, to do to, have whatever it is your heart desires.
Sandra has a podcast episode on this topic in the WORTHY Podcast:
You can also watch it on YouTube: