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You ever get stuck in your own head just berating the crap out of yourself over some dumb shit you may have done? Yep, that’s a normal part of human nature. The thing is, if you have depression or anxiety – this voice can be a consistent repeating loop running through your brain on auto-pilot. The good news is you can overcome that voice, learn to forgive yourself and make a monumental change.
Let’s dig into exactly how to do that.
Take Responsibility for Your Actions
This part can really be the tricky depending on what exactly you need to dig deep into what to forgive yourself for. But we’ll dig into exactly how to take responsibility – even if something wasn’t your fault.
I want to be clear, just because you take responsibility does not mean you’re necessarily to “blame”. I hate the blame game. It’s usually a vicious cycle assigning control of any situation on someone else. Or when we blame ourselves for actions of someone else.
Yes, we have choices. We may not have put ourselves in certain situations or “asked for” something to happen to us. But we are responsible to heal ourselves, set boundaries and make our lives better.
Taking responsibility in any kind of situation, just means you are taking back control of the part you play in the situation. It also sets you up for any action you should take needed to make it better.
Taking responsibility isn’t a blame and shame game. It’s a time to become aware of your part and take ownership in a remedy for yourself. Be graceful, gentle and kind to yourself in this process.
Apologize to Others You May Have Hurt
Okay, before you say “there’s no f-ing way I’m apologizing to my ex for all the abusive shit he did to me”, hear me out.
I get it. Having been in an abusive first marriage, I struggled with apologizing to my ex. In fact, I didn’t apologize to him directly.
What I’m going to ask you to do, is more of an exercise to break the link you may still have with the other person. It’s a step in the process of releasing yourself from this person or situation.
Now if it’s someone you did hurt, you know you hurt them and you do need to really apologize, I suggest writing them a heartfelt letter or email and physically sending it.
If it’s someone you can’t apologize directly to for whatever reason (they’re no longer alive, you have no contact, or you do want any contact for safety reasons), write a letter, but keep it for yourself.
How to Write an Apology
Write the apology taking full responsibility for your own part in it. Sometimes that could just mean that you “happened to be there”. Try writing it in a non-accusatory way. Meaning do not apologize and shift blame to the other person as a reason for your own wrongdoing. Write it in a professional business-like manner. Do not be self deprecating and do not disrespect yourself or them in any way.
Once you have the apology written, send it or release it. To release it, delete it (if you wrote it electronically) or burn it if you wrote a physical letter. After sending or releasing it – say out loud – “I release you”.
Apologize to Yourself
Your going to do a similar exercise here as above where you wrote someone else an apology. The difference here is your going to write to a past vulnerable version of yourself.
When I do this exercise I like to think of myself at 6 or 7 years old.
The reason for this is you will be more caring and loving towards yourself in a way that allows you to get what you need in a safe way.
This time physically write the letter taking responsibility for your actions. Identify and detail all the ways you may have hurt yourself. But remember – you’re talking to a child so you need to be mindful of the language you use and again – no self-loathing, no talking negative about yourself (like I’m such an idiot) and no being disrespectful of yourself or anyone else.
Forgive Yourself (and others)
Now it’s time to forgive yourself and anyone else you need to forgive as well. To do this – we’ll make two lists.
The first list is everyone you need to forgive.
So ask yourself, who do you need to forgive? Who has wronged you in any way?
It could be someone who wronged you in a minor way, like the woman who cut you off in traffic the other day. Or something major, like your abusive ex-husband. Write down the name of every single person you need to forgive.
I want to let you know, forgiveness isn’t about them. Sometimes we have to forgive someone who wronged us who will never apologize to us. Forgiveness is about releasing the mental hold they have on you.
The Second List is Everything You Need to Forgive Yourself For
This second list might take you a bit longer. List everything you blame yourself for that you’ve been holding on to. Everything that’s been holding you back.
Now go through the entire list, envision and feel forgiveness for each person and each incident.
For more in depth work on forgiveness that is covered in Day 3 of the 5 Day Bliss Challenge. The challenge is free and you can sign up using the form below.
Promise to Change the Behavior
Make a commitment to yourself as well as declare (out loud) your intentions. That can be by making a promise to yourself to make a change and share your intention to change with someone (safe) who will help keep you accountable.
List Your Reasons Why You Want to Change
You’ve probably heard this technique used in other areas of personal development and there’s a reason for that. It will be your motivator when things get a little tough. So list out all the reasons why you want to change.
- It can be to set the example for your kids.
- Because you’re unhappy or
- Because you’ve hit rock bottom and have no choice.
Whatever the reason is, it has to align with your priorities in life.
List Your Limiting Beliefs
List all the limiting beliefs that come up around the change you want to make. Trust me, a lot will come up. So list it all out so you can can change the story around those limiting beliefs.
Take Inspired Action to Change
After you’ve listed your limiting beliefs and change the story around those beliefs, now it’s time to take action. Forgiveness will help with clearing the blocks that hold us back from taking any kind of inspired action.
By taking action towards change, you’ll also be taking steps toward healing yourself.
In addition to taking inspired action, you’ll want to keep yourself accountable towards these changes. You can do that by having someone close check in with you on your progress. Or you can do it in the Obtaining Bliss (Private) Facebook Group (only for women, sorry guys).
Don’t forget to celebrate yourself, your accomplishments and reflect on how far you’ve really come. Instead of getting down on yourself for not being farther than you are; look at all you’ve accomplished. Look at how much better you are than last week, last month, or even last year.
If you want to dig really deep and use the next 5 days to really do some healing, forgiving, feeling gratitude and finding some bliss, sign up for the 5 Day Bliss Challenge below.
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