January 17    

Today's quotation:

Forgiveness of self is where all forgiveness starts.  If I am unable to forgive myself, it is impossible for me to truly forgive others.  And I must forgive others.  What I give out is what I receive.  If I want forgiveness, I have to give forgiveness.

Betty Eadie

Today's Meditation:

Every once in a while, I'll think of some way that I hurt another person in the past, and it's like I've gotten smacked in the head--I suddenly feel a jolt of something akin to shame and regret and anger at myself.  I have to talk myself out of being mad at myself.  After all, I made a mistake, and life went on.  It would serve no purpose for me to ruin my today because of a memory of something I did wrong ten or twenty years ago.

I mention this because I know how easy it can be not to forgive ourselves, to continue to hold a grudge against ourselves or to condemn ourselves for some past action or lack of action.  And this inability to forgive ourselves for our own issues means quite simply that it's also not possible for us to forgive others for their so-called "transgressions."  And when we don't truly forgive them, there's always a barrier between us that keeps us from relating to each other truly and completely, unfortunately.  And we need our connections with others to make our lives full.

Is there any aspect of your life for which you still haven't forgiven yourself?  Do you still get mad at yourself for your mistakes and your problems?  Could you be more understanding and compassionate with yourself?  It's important that you forgive yourself for your own sake, so that you give yourself a break and face life without the baggage, but it's even more important for the other people in your life who would truly benefit from your forgiveness--the forgiveness that you're holding back because you haven't forgiven yourself yet.

You can't give driving lessons unless you drive yourself.  You can't teach someone to play guitar unless you're able to play.  It's very difficult to share love if we don't feel love.  And it's very hard to forgive those who can benefit from our forgiveness if we haven't yet forgiven ourselves.

Questions to consider:

Why might it be so difficult to forgive ourselves?  Do we set our standards higher for ourselves than we set them for others?

Why is it so hard to forgive others if we haven't forgiven ourselves?

What might be the first step in forgiving ourselves?  Does forgiving ourselves help us to be kinder, as Sylvia says below?

For further thought:

Lovingkindness depends on forgiveness.  It definitely works reciprocally.  When I am able to forgive myself--which is not always easy--I am kinder to everyone.  Including myself.

Sylvia Boorstein

more on forgiveness



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