Imagine if you will a relationship. Within the relationship, one party constantly berates, criticizes, and emotionally abuses the other. The “abuser” meticulously reminds “the abused” of past mistakes, shortcomings and weaknesses. Ask any logical individual and he or she would readily tell you that this is an unhealthy relationship and yet; several people are experiencing this type of relationship with the man or woman in the mirror everyday.
Self -love often starts with self-forgiveness.
It is difficult to embrace oneself while simultaneously rejecting oneself. Without forgiveness, we reject the other party by holding emotional grudges. In this scenario, an individual holds an emotional grudge against him/herself. The problem with emotional grudges is that they emotionally paralyze us.
Without being able to move forward, we are literally stuck in our pasts.
Many people try to form meaningful bonds with others and yet this becomes a fruitless effort when said individual does not first create an environment of self-love through forgiveness.
In order to form and nurture self-love through the process of forgiveness, individuals must be willing to
1. Love oneself “flaws and all,”
2. Acknowledge; yet not be defined by past mistakes, and lastly,
3. Be open to the freedom that self-forgiveness produces.
To be able to look at oneself and make a deliberate choice to be loving and kind despite imperfections is the most basic (yet often most difficult) step to self forgiveness. By realizing the uniqueness of imperfection, we give ourselves permission to be human. Once we accept that it is “okay” to have flaws and make mistakes, we then are ready to acknowledge lessons learned from past mistakes. Rather than viewing mistakes as problems to overcome, we start to see them as opportunities to learn and grow. Once we remove the weight of the pressure of un-forgiveness, we experience freedom. That freedom, ultimately leads us to the permission to love ourselves “on” and “with” purpose.
Dr. Kirsten Person-Ramey
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