The First Step to Making an Impact: Forgive Yourself
These past few days I have felt heavy.
I have felt compassion.
I have felt and seen the hurt and the hurting responding with their truth.
I also have had an underlying feeling of guilt and shame for what I did not know and did not do correctly in the past. I was sitting with this feeling and it was blocking me from showing up. I was wanting to hide, not go on social media, and not engage because of all the triggering posts. Seeing people’s internal thoughts, emotions and reactions come through without filters had left me feeling powerless.
I realized that I cannot give my power away to these posts. I cannot continue to only look at the controversy, the differing perspectives, pain, hardship, reactions, opinions and projections. When our power stays inside of us, and we act from a place of love and grounded-ness is when we change the world.
We need to forgive ourselves everyday for the little and big mistakes we make. Otherwise, we cannot fully live in our purpose and impact. Guilt is one the lowest vibrations to hold. From that energy, we will inadvertently make more reactive decisions because we are coming from a place of “trying to be right” or “make up for what we did wrong”.
Guilt absolutely has a purpose – to reveal to us where we’ve missed the mark and we are not living in our values. Yet, we are not called to stay in a place of guilt. We can choose a higher vibration such as acceptance, love or compassion, and when we step into this power, we can change the world by changing ourselves.
This morning I knew my mission was to practice my process so that I can move forward in this world to make an impact from a place of power. In doing so, I’m able to serve others at a higher level, and help them forgive, release, and make an actual impact moving forward, instead of reacting from a feeling of guilt and causing more negative chain reactions, further damaging relationships.
This process is Radical Self Forgiveness and it is the foundation of personal transformation. When we take responsibility for our own transformation, we in turn, transform the world.
When we see where we have made mistakes, and reflect on how we can make changes, we also need to forgive and release the guilt and shame so we can move forward. We must realize that each person is doing the best they can (based on their current level of understanding and knowledge). And you and I are among the people who want to do better. Once we know better, we can do better – yet we must process the feedback. Specifically, I’m speaking of the issue of race in America – but this practice can be applied to all areas of life where it’s been revealed that you can do better.
The practice is full forgiveness and release.
It is usually spoken in the context of forgiving others (which is also important) but often, we never actually forgive ourselves and release the stagnant, heavy energy of self-judgment. When we hold on to these heavy bags of guilt, it becomes much harder for us to reach our destination and actually show up in service instead of shame. So, let’s pack light, or check our bags, so we can essentially backpack around the globe spreading love and light to everyone.
Recommendations on how to write a forgiveness letter to yourself.
1. Pair this with a morning routine of movement, prayer, walking, yoga, etc. Mornings are when we are most in tune with our subconscious mind, and often, the feeling of shame will be with us right there when we wake up. Better to address it right then, instead of packing it into our suitcase, and trying to stuff it inside while we walk around heavy all day long.
2. Listen to gentle music and brings peace and ease. Neutral music (think meditation or spa music), instrumental, chill or relaxing music. I have found harmony in choosing music that has a frequency of 432 Hz that can assist in healing.
3. Ensure that you have a private place to do this journaling so you can connect with yourself and not feel vulnerable and exposed during this process. A bedroom with a closed door would be a good option. Let others know that you need some quiet time, as not to be interrupted. (Another great reason to do it in the morning, uninterrupted). In my experience, when I am unexpectedly interrupted during quiet time I react poorly due to being startled while I’m at my most exposed and vulnerable. (Like being caught coming out of the shower naked! Or someone walking in while you’re on the toilet! Eeeek!)
4. Use a forgiveness statement or scripture. You may want to begin with the Hawaiian ho’ponopono prayer that is said to have rehabilitated an entire prison of convicts, even while said from a distance. It’s simple and goes like this, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. I thank you.” Or you may choose a scripture of your choosing, such as:
“And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” – 1 Cor. 1:30
What I like about this scripture is it releases us from the expectation that we need to do everything right, and gives us redemption freely for when we don’t hit the mark. What’s important to note is that forgiveness is free, and unlimited. We can do it again and again, and doing so will make the process much easier to release our mistakes quickly. We need to forgive ourselves everyday for the little and big mistakes we make. Otherwise, we cannot fully live in our purpose and impact.
5. Start writing a letter to yourself with the words, “I forgive you…” You can list out specific things or general things, but the purpose is to feel the feelings – that little hit of guilt is designed to help us change – but prolonged guilt turns into shame, and that is one of the lowest vibrations to hold. From that energy, we will inadvertently make more decisions because we are coming from a place of “trying to be right” or “make up for what we did wrong”.
6. Continue writing the letter, as many pages as needed, until you start feeling the energy shift. You can write affirmations about what you learned, and what you will do moving forward. Below I share my example with you.
7. Fully Release it! You can choose to burn, soak or throw the letter away to symbolize your release of the guilt, or you can choose to read it to yourself or others if you are also seeking to ask for forgiveness. The beauty of this is, forgiveness is an energy exchange, and even if you hurt someone in the past, and are not able to have a conversation with them, you can still forgive yourself and attune to the truth that no one is perfect, and we all make mistakes. By having grace for yourself, it will enable you to have grace and forgiveness for others when they hurt you.
For any allies that feel guilt for how they may have contributed to the racial injustice in the world, I share this forgiveness letter I wrote to myself, and I invite you to do the same.
Dear Loved One,
I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. I thank you.
I forgive myself for when I didn’t speak up to family or people I’ve heard with covert or overtly racist opinions and judgements. I let go of guilt/shame around not knowing better. I forgive myself for when I grew up and I did or said the wrong thing out of ignorance.
I know my heart has the love of God and I continue to develop and demonstrate the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. I release guilt and triggers associated with reading peoples comments and projections about me not taking a bigger stand for justice. Fighting and pushing energy is not in line with my values, but love is. I choose to see how I can serve better, raising my vibration higher, and lifting others up from a place of internal power.
Back to love. Love changes things. Demonstrable love. To all people. Of color. Of poverty, disenfranchisement and disadvantaged. I forgive myself for not knowing what to do or say. I forgive myself for not showing up in an open and supportive way.
I forgive myself for being a bad leader, and release and transform the feeling of pain from hearing negative feedback. I can accept feedback with grace, self reflect, and shift – as I know better, I can do better.
I let the love of God fill the gaps when I don’t know what to do and what to say. I forgive myself for all of the ways I’ve judged and criticized others. I release the ways I’ve judged myself. Even now, I release the need to be right, and the pressure to do what’s right.
I will stay connected to God / Source and lead with love, fill myself with love, and envelope myself in pink love armor so I can discern, and move through peoples’ emotions without giving my power away to them. Because when we give our power away to others, the whole world becomes powerless.
I will stand in my power, in alignment with my values. My quiet power. It is okay and right for some people to be in the trenches. It is okay and right for others to lead with energy and quiet composure while speaking truth. I will not let what others do or not do to define my actions as right or wrong.
My energy, my relationships, especially with family will shift moving forward, calmly. Energy abundant perspectives will be shared appropriately. I will not allow my triggers to overcome my message. I will speak clearly and consciously so that no argument can stand against the truth of all people being equal in God’s eyes (thus being treated equally) regardless of color, gender, or sexual orientation.
Love God, Love Others as you Love Yourself. Nowhere does it say to spread judgement or hate to those who are not like you. I am okay and I am on my way. I forgive you. I’m sorry. I love you. I thank you.
I hope this practice provides you with internal love, hope and power so you can impact the injustices of the world from a grounded place, instead of a reactive place. Your energy and love will speak volumes in your circles, in your families and on the internet
I invite you to get connected to the Powerful Potential Tribe on Facebook, and share your forgiveness practice and intentions moving forward. If you need further coaching and support, you can book a call here. And if you feel led to join the Coming Together in Prayer group, we will be meeting on Zoom on Sundays at 7pm EST for the month of June in 2020.