Monday, June 23, 2014

Can you forgive yourself?

We hear a lot about the importance of forgiveness. Much of it is focused on the resentments and anger we carry about what others have done to us. And that is extremely important. We do need to forgive others for things they've said or done to us, whether unintentional or intentional. It's important for our own mental health—and, yes, our physical health, too—that we forgive and let go of all the baggage surrounding whatever happened.

Every bit as important, however, is something not discussed as often: forgiving ourselves. Are you still carrying around guilt or shame about something you did or said in the past? Isn't it time to forgive yourself and let it all go? For most of us, that's the toughest of all.

I don't know how that works for you. Sometimes it helps me to write down what I'm feeling around that past event—the guilt, shame, anger, resentment, whatever emotions have built up around it. Get it down on paper and out of your body. That helps me let go and forgive myself (and others, too). Some people say, "Let go and let God." That works, too. Let God take away the old resentments and baggage. God has already forgiven us, long before we ever reach the point of forgiveness.

Is anything weighing you down today? Try forgiving and letting go. You'll feel so much lighter. In fact, I've heard it said that doing so can actually help with our weight issues as well since we often eat our emotions. As I learned in Weight Watchers, "Feel the feelings, don't feed the feelings."

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