One of the first steps we can take to empower ourselves is to learn to let go of the past and cultivate forgiveness. Forgiveness of ourselves as well as others.
This can be easier said than done as upbringing and life experiences will no doubt have had an impact on who we are and who we have become, however, the past does not need to define us or our future.
Instead of dwelling on the past, we can gently ask ourselves the following questions:
By asking ourselves these questions, we will likely begin to realise that holding onto and clinging to unpleasant memories does not serve us. Perhaps you recognise this already but don’t yet know how to purge the emotional patterns that you have adhered to and adopted over the years - and I totally get it. It is easier said than done to forgive, release and let go. A serious amount of time and strong intentions to move forward are required to release any pain and behavioural patterns that may have been adopted over a lifetime.
To move forward towards forgiveness, I have found that it is important to view, acknowledge and recognise past experiences and their corresponding emotions from a place of compassion and kindness. This doesn’t mean merely forgiving and forgetting and putting any painful incidents into a nice tidy box in the back of your brain, never to be thought about again. But, rather, what it does mean is that we can keep the memory of the experience but let go of the emotion attached to it. And, ultimately, with time, we can work towards forgiving those that hurt us.
Again, to reiterate, this process in my experience does not occur overnight. Furthermore, it is essential to note that in some cases, the forgiveness process may require significant work with a trained psychotherapist. And that is okay – whatever method works for you in the journey of forgiveness is acceptable.
In my own forgiveness journey, I have come to believe that everyone is doing the best they can at their own level of consciousness. And, while I don’t condone certain behaviours and actions, I do try to adopt a compassionate mindset towards individuals who have upset me – because I believe everyone is doing the best they can with the tools they have in their own personal tool kit.
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