You can read this post today, only because back when I was a 15-year-old on trial for armed robbery, there was a public defender and a judge, who believed I was worthy of redemption. I’d like to believe I turned out to be worthy of that belief. One of the greatest gifts of humanity is our ability to forgive others and allow them the opportunity for redemption. Last post we explored the power of forgiving those who have wronged you for any reason.
Now we need to talk about forgiving yourself…
When I ask the people in my prosperity seminars who is the one person they have the most difficulty forgiving, 99 percent say it’s themselves. (And I’m pretty sure the remaining one percent are probably just too embarrassed to admit it.) This was certainly the reality for me.
Here’s the most important thing to understand…
You know every bad thing you have ever done, and every fleeting petty thought you’ve ever had. You remember the time you stole $2 from your mom’s purse, you lied about who broke the dish, and you secretly had a crush on your best friend’s lover. And you can instantly pull up every spiteful, lustful, and jealous thought you’ve had.
It’s so damn easy to beat yourself up for the choices you made. (I know because I did it for decades.) You have to recognize that this self-flagellation and self-loathing is the result of years of the negative programming we discussed earlier. The forces that have been deployed against you – from government, organized religion and the Datasphere – are mind-boggling. It’s certainly no surprise that you’re down on yourself and afraid you’re not deserving of forgiveness.
As Dan Millman points out in his excellent book Everyday Enlightenment, you learned at a very early age, two prime directives of being a human:
1) If you’re good, you’re rewarded.
2) If you’re bad, you’re punished.
These directives were drilled into your subconscious mind by your parents, teachers, babysitters, and coaches – and were reinforced by the Datasphere. They are indelibly burned on your hard drive. Making things worse, your perspective and perception is completely and totally fucked up. You honestly believe you’re one of the few people the in the world who has done bad things or had mean thoughts. In your mind, there are dictators, pedophiles, serial killers, and you – and everyone else is a philanthropist, Nobel Laureate, or saint. And let me share something that could be the biggest breakthrough you have this decade...
The better a person you are – the more caring, sensitive, and self-aware you are – the harsher you judge yourself, and the more difficult it is to forgive yourself.
The irony is that often those of us with the highest morals, standards, and values sometimes actually have the lowest sense of self-worth and the hardest time forgiving ourselves. Because we fail to meet our standards on a daily basis…
You believe the people you admire are faultless because they do a sweet interview on the Jimmy Kimmel show or receive a humanitarian award. You think all your friends and family are noble because you’re judging them from their virtue signaling posts on Instagram. BREAKING NEWS: That shit ain’t real. You think they’re saints and you’re a sorry sinner. But everybody does and says things they wish they never did. Lots of them.
The Pope leaves wet towels on the floor. When Meghan is shagging Prince Harry, she is sometimes fantasizing about Harry Styles. Gandhi used to slam the door once in a while. At the last supper, Jesus had his elbows on the table. Buddha actually stole that milk and rice pudding from Sujata. And Mother Teresa thought Johnny Depp had a cute ass. Ellen once hit on Brad Pitt’s girlfriend. (This last one actually is true.)
Yeah, you’ve done terrible things. We all have.
Give yourself a break. Forgive yourself. You too, were simply doing the best you could, with what you had to work with. And all of your journey – even the bad stuff, especially the bad stuff – can ultimately make you a better person.
Mistakes made you wiser…
Obstacles built your character…
Resistance made you stronger…
You’re currently enrolled in the training program we call life. You’re human and humans make mistakes. Humans sometimes do things that are stupid, inconsiderate, and not nice. And we sometimes even do horrible things that result in horrific consequences for others.
As an addict and alcoholic I was basically lying to and deceiving everyone around me, all the time. I made mistakes that killed businesses, which created cruel hardships for the employees and vendors. I was so insecure that for the first 35 years of my life, I cheated in every relationship. (In a desperate attempt to feel worthy and attractive.) I came to understand that no matter how bad I thought I was, I must forgive myself and move on, or I would continue to manifest a life of misery, limitation, and lack. Any time I fail to be my best self, I remind myself that I’m still a student – learning to live, love, and evolve to the highest possible version or myself. Mistakes are part of the process.
Something I do every New Year, and sometimes more, is the “burning bowl” ceremony. This is a ceremony where you release the things that no longer serve you and substitute them with new things you want in your life. It’s a great way to begin your radical rebirth. Here’s how it works…
Take a sheet of paper and draw a line to divide it in half. On one half, write down the things you want to release from your life, and on the other half you write down the things you will replace them with. Example: you might release vengeance and replace it with forgiveness. Or you may release overeating and replace it with exercise or let go of revenge and replace it with love. #ProTip: The change you fight the most, is usually the breakthrough you need the greatest.
Once you have your list, tear the page in half. Keep the half that lists the positive replacement choices you have made. You might want to tape this on your computer, put on your dream board, or keep in your journal or diary. It’s powerful, positive programming for your subconscious mind. Then take the other half of the page, with the things you want to release, and burn it in a bowl. This allows you to let go of the limiting beliefs, poor choices, and wrong turns of the past – by figuratively and literally burning them up and letting them fade back into the nothingness from which they came.
You know why people like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mother Teresa demonstrated such lives of prosperity, even though they had the same human frailties as the rest of us? They accepted their humanity and realized that humanity included both good and bad.
They forgave themselves.
And instead of forever punishing themselves for their failings, they changed the equation: Instead of dwelling upon their flaws, they celebrated their gifts and chose service to others. They broke the self-sabotage cycle and accepted themselves as worthy. They realized they had debts which could never be paid back, so they paid them forward.
And that’s what you must do…
When someone comes to me, and his or her prosperity seems blocked, forgiveness is the first place I look. Allow me to suggest the following four steps for you:
Once these four steps are completed, the old you dies off, and you’re free to create the new one. You ready for that? Please check in with your comments below.