How to Forgive Ourselves

 

As a student of The Course in Miracles, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about forgiveness. Usually when I read or think about forgiveness, it’s in the context of practicing it towards other people as a means of remembering my interconnectedness with everyone and everything. And for some reason, this has generally been relatively easy for me to practice towards other people.

Yet I discovered one critical area has been lacking in my understanding of the word.

What do you do when the person who you need to forgive the most is yourself? 

I found myself recently in one of those situations where there was simply no one outside myself to blame for the suffering I was feeling but me.

Unsure of what to do with the tremendous amount of energy and anger I felt coursing through my body, I had an instinct to combine the ancient Hawaiian forgiveness practice of Ho‘oponopono (pronounced “ho-o-pono-pono”) with EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique).

And the results were rather amazing.

I felt an immense sense of relief from the anger, judgment and hostility I was carrying towards myself. I think many people can relate to the challenge of forgiving oneself and the many forms that this takes, from holding on to regrets or disappointments, to rehashing our “woulda, shoulda, coulda”s over and over again.

So I’m sharing the points I tapped on when this impulse arose in me, and a rough outline of the scripts I created for you to use whenever you’re feeling any of the forms of pain that self-judgment and self-blame can take.

Here are some of the EFT Tapping Points traditionally used and the sequence in which you move through them (you can tap with one or two fingers; I use my middle and pointer fingers).

Use the chart below to tap on the points on your body as you say and feel the phrases below. 

(Please note that there’s really no wrong way to do this process as long as you’re being honest with yourself as you say and feel the words. So feel free to modify them in any way that helps you move your energy in ways that feel good to you).

Begin for a moment by focusing on how badly you’re feeling right now towards yourself on a scale from 1-10 (it can be how you feel about yourself in general, or how you feel about a specific part of you).

Write this number down. This is the target feeling and its associated charge that you’ll be allowing yourself to feel and release as we go forward.

Say the bold text below out loud as you tap (or silently if you have roommates and thin walls).

(“Say your name”) – I’m sorry. (Feel into what you might be sorry about – for not tuning into your inner feelings and needs more often, or for chronically putting the needs of other people ahead of your own etc).
Please forgive me. (Allow yourself to feel you authentically forgiving yourself for whatever you identified above, consciously bringing compassion in towards this part of yourself – to the part of you who tends to forget to check in with you when life gets busy etc).
Thank you. (Feel this part of you telling you “you’re welcome” with sincerity).
I love you. (Feel this part of you telling you “I love you too” with sincerity). 

***Note you can and should tap on this round or any of those below as often as you need to in order to release whatever charge you identify in your body around these areas.

Also note that tears around work like this can be a very good thing. We can only feel as high as we are willing to let ourselves feel low (and I know you’re secretly wanting to feel friggin’ awesome so why not go for gold?)

BODY – I’m sorry. (For not treating you like the sacred vessel that you are, for judging you, for neglecting you, or for abusing you etc.)
Please forgive me.  (Allow yourself to feel you authentically forgiving yourself for whatever you identified above, consciously bringing compassion in towards this part of yourself).
Thank you. (Feel this part of you telling you “you’re welcome” with sincerity).
I love you. (Feel this part of you telling you “I love you too” with sincerity). 

HEART – I’m sorry. (For not listening to your wisdom sooner, for skipping over your deeper desires for short-term gain, for pretending you matter less than my logic, for abandoning you etc).
Please forgive me.  (Allow yourself to feel you authentically forgiving yourself for whatever you identified above, consciously bringing compassion in towards this part of yourself).
Thank you. (Feel this part of you telling you “you’re welcome” with sincerity).
I love you. (Feel this part of you telling you “I love you too” with sincerity). 

MIND – I’m sorry. (For limiting your imaginings or vision, for comparing you to others, for judging you unkindly, for making you responsible for decisions in a silo disconnected from spirit etc.)
Please forgive me.  (Allow yourself to feel you authentically forgiving yourself for whatever you identified above, consciously bringing compassion in towards this part of yourself). 
Thank you. (Feel this part of you telling you “you’re welcome” with sincerity). 
I love you.  (Feel this part of you telling you “I love you too” with sincerity).

And so on…

Now look again at your target phrase.

How badly are you now feeling towards yourself on a scale from 1-10? 

For many of you the charge will have decreased. That’s terrific. Good job at giving yourself the gift of self-forgiveness that so many people refuse or simply don’t know how to give themselves.

For others, the charge may have increased. That’s also good news. You’ve just given voice to a part of you that you probably haven’t let speak before. Keep tapping.

Hopefully after about 15 minutes of this, you’ll likely feel a little or a lot better.

And hopefully all of you are starting to feel some compassion for yourselves in places where once there was little or none before.

And that beloveds, is how we start to forgive ourselves.

With Light and Love,