We’re going to screw up.
We just are. We’ve got certain standards we want to live up to and when we fall short, it hurts. We can try our best not to judge ourselves but we will. And then judge ourselves for judging ourselves! It’s okay. We’re human.
You are going to have those moments when you feel bad about something you’ve done (or not done). You feel guilty. Guilt is simply an indicator that you have disappointed yourself.
Maybe you feel it in your chest or the pit of your stomach. Maybe your brain goes on a negative self-talk loop. Maybe you become highly emotional or perhaps you withdraw. Whatever your personal brand of self-judgement looks like, you find yourself stuck in it.
You can stay there. Over time, the ego will tell a story about it to ease your pain or bury it down and pretend like it didn’t happen. But that toxic energy remains within you and it’s not healthy. It can make you physically, emotionally, or mentally sick. And spiritually, it douses your light. We need a way to release ourselves from that.
Not long ago, I was in the midst of a huge spiritual shake-up. I was chest deep in the work of forgiving myself and healing my heart so that I could love more fully.
I wasn’t really sure how to approach it, so I asked a brilliant friend and coach for advice. She shared with me a Hawaiian practice of forgiveness called Ho’oponopono. There are four steps and each is important for a different reason.
1. Apology… I’m sorry.
Acknowledging what you have done is not so easy. So many people walk around with the inability to admit when they’ve done something wrong. And it isn’t that they are all evolved and don’t see it as a “mistake”. It is just too painful for their fragile self-worth to face their mistakes. But it IS important. You are releasing some of that energy in the confession alone.
2. Forgiveness… I forgive you.
This is the big goal, right? This is the way we fully release ourselves.
3. Gratitude… I thank you.
When we say thank you for the experience, we are giving it meaning and purpose. That makes all of the difference in the world. It turns that mistake into an opportunity to grow in some way.
4. Love… I love you.
Our spirit lies apart from our actions. We need to constantly connect with it and give ourselves the love we deserve. Our actions do not define us. They do not have any influence on our worthiness. It’s important to remind ourselves of that with these simple and powerful words.
I adopted this practice immediately to help me through my spiritual turmoil, and I still use it all the time. I have to, because I screw up. I’m human. And when I do, I want to release myself from guilt and judgement because I have made a commitment to love. Self-judgment, self-rejection, and neglecting forgiveness create blocks and make it harder for love to flow. So, I place my hands on my heart and gently say…
I am sorry.
I forgive you.
I thank you.
I love you.
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