Forgiveness Counts--There is No Try
When you're changing your life, forgiveness counts. Why? Because you have made mistakes and you are going to make some more. Sometimes you won't even know why you are doing the "same old, same old" over and over again. But I know that you wouldn't even be interested in change if you didn't feel somewhere within you that the choices you've made up until now could be improved upon, that your life could be better.
Okay, I hear you. I hear you saying, "Where's the positive talk? Where is the 'rah-rah you can do it' speech? You're asking me to see my life up to now as full of mistakes. Why shouldn't I just move on and not spend energy on the past?"
Ignoring the past, sweeping your past choices under the rug, isn't moving on. It's willful and active ignorance. Stay with me here, even if you are feeling a little offended---I didn't say you are stupid---I said ignorant. There's a big difference.
Understanding how your inappropriate choices serve you in a positive way and then discovering a better, more healthy way to achieve the same goal is key to moving on. Ignorance is a lack of knowledge. It's not a lack of the capability to obtain or retain knowledge. And the knowledge you are missing if you ignore your past choices and try to move on without evaluation is how those choices have served you. As the lead-in quote says, there is no try, there is only do. So, let's get Nike, and just do it, ok? Once we're done, that's when forgiveness will come in.
It can be painful, and even disturbing, to understand how the negative situations in your life have served you. And, sometimes it less about the choices we make than how we react to unforeseen circumstance. How does working for a verbally abusive and controlling boss serve you? How does continuing to live in a loveless marriage serve you? How does sacrificing your own health for the supposed good of your family serve you? How does playing small and abdicating your power serve you?
I can't tell you your answers, but you can. If you start from a general thesis that you are a divine and loving person, doing the very best you know how with what you know now, it will be easier to see. Realizing that you were doing the best you knew how back then when you knew something else helps too. You aren't evil, you aren't shallow, and you aren't stupid. You are simply uninformed about your motives. You've chosen to ignore them. And you can choose differently today.
Maybe you will say you were raised to act or believe a certain way. Okay, let's start there. What are you getting out of that point of view? Perhaps you want to honor your parents, express love to them by continuing their traditions. Perhaps you were condemned as a child for being different and you are seeking acceptance. Perhaps you already feel so overloaded by responsibility that you need a release valve for your stress and that saying you "can't help it, that's just how people in my family do it" gives you that relief. I don't know, but you do. Have the courage to examine your actions, your beliefs and your values, especially the ones that aren't working so well for you anymore. See what you are getting out of your mental positions and then you can find other ways to get that same (or better!) satisfaction.
So what does forgiveness have to do with it? No evaluation of your mistakes is complete without forgiveness. It's time to forgive yourself for being ignorant. It's time to forgive yourself for blindly accepting teachings that aren't really such a good fit. It's time to forgive yourself for not having as much courage as you think you "should" have. It's time to forgive yourself for allowing harm to come to your body and spirit, for ignoring the obvious. It's time to forgive all of it. Not condone it, not excuse it, but forgive it. You really did make those choices, including the choice to believe you had no control over any of it, and it wasn't necessarily in your best interest. That's the basic definition of a mistake and learning to quickly, honestly, and completely forgive yourself is key to your process of change. Holding on to the past and continuing to punish yourself isn't what's needed-forgiveness is what counts. Moving on can't happen if you are still in the past.
Just for completeness, of course you would be served to forgive everyone else involved too. But, that seems to be the easy part for most women. We almost seem to rush in to give allowance and "cut slack" to the others in our lives. They didn't mean to hurt your feelings; they didn't realize just how much it meant to you, right? Maybe so, maybe not. The point is that you allowed it. You even welcomed it. Forgiving yourself is so much harder for most people because it is an admission that you didn't care for yourself, that you have disrespected the divine and beautiful gift of life and free will that you possess.
Once you examine what you get out of your choices and forgive yourself fully for the past, you will be able to make better choices now and in your future. Your forgiveness sessions will become shorter, but you will probably always have them. That's healthy. It's healthy when you explore new things and work to create a new reality for yourself that you will make mistakes. That's okay. What's not so okay is kicking yourself. Learn, grow, evaluate, forgive and learn some more. And remember, there is no try, there is only do.
Related Tags: women, relationships, love, abuse, loss, woman, spirituality, self-improvement, female, forgiveness, grief
Vicki Flaugher, creator of http://www.SmartWomanGuides.com, is on a mission to nurture and empower the 35-55 year old Coming of Age female audience. Her website is a worldwide community site where Smart Women everywhere can submit articles about their own experiences surrounding topics like aging, health, entrepreneurship, relationships, spirituality, and sex and sensuality (to name a few). You can join in the fun at her blog at http://speakout.smartwomanguides.com Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles
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