Whoa! Say, what? Yep, today we’re going to talk about “F’ing” your self. Of course, I’m referring to Forgiving your self. This just may be the key to your happiness and freedom.
Forgiving others for what they have done, the ways they have hurt us, is very important in our journey to wellbeing and becoming our happiest selves. We have all been hurt by others, either intentionally or unintentionally.
Equally important (if not more important!) is learning to forgive ourselves. We have all hurt others intentionally and unintentionally. We have also all hurt ourselves, intentionally or unintentionally.
The ways we have criticized ourselves and at times abandoned our self (like by not listening to our inner wisdom and sacrificing something important to us, putting up with being treated badly, finding external validation more important than being respected, etc.). Healing happens when we are able to let go of past hurts, forgive those who have wronged us and learn to forgive ourselves and our mistakes.
When we are stuck in anger, grudges, and unwilling to forgive we are keeping ourselves in suffering. We are keeping ourselves chained. It turns out we are the ones holding the key to unlock the chains. Nobody else can do this for you and you already have the capabilities and strength to do it for yourself. And, you’re doing it FOR your SELF. “F’ing” ourselves is something we do as an act of love for our self. Forgiveness is truly a gift to our self.
This can be tough work. It’s not as easy as turning a key and then “poof” you are free as a bird! Forgiving ourselves means being radically honest with ourselves about what is important to us, how we have treated others, and how we have treated our self. It’s not always pretty to look at. And, it feels vulnerable, maybe even scary, to be so honest.
Here are some steps to starting the “F’ing” process. I am sharing this with brevity, but there are many sources available to you (I have a meditation by Jack Kornfield linked at the bottom) and I would encourage you to seek support through sangha, your spiritual community, or even counseling.
Step 1: Remember why you are doing this. Intention is king!
“F’ing” will be tough, but will leave us free from anger, grudges, fears, clinging, feeling helpless like a victim.
Step 2: Be nice for gosh sakes!
Get in touch with friendliness to ourselves (see past Shifts on “Maitri” LINK) and stay grounded in an intention of love, compassion and healing. In Mindfulness practices, intention is everything.
Step 3: Get super honest
Get real about the circumstances and why you did what you did. Was it intentional or unintentional? Did you know better? Were you lacking skills? Were you doing the best you could given the resources you had? Were you trying to protect yourself in some way (emotionally, mentally, physically)?
Step 4: Learn the lesson
What can you learn from this? Do you need to improve some skills? Do you need to get back in touch with your inner wisdom and make loving yourself a priority over external validation? Do you now know the signs that led to the situation so it can be avoided in the future? Are there amends needed?
Step 5: Ask yourself permission to let go.
It’s time to find out if you are ready to let go of the anger, shame, the punishing you are putting yourself through. Ask yourself, “Am I ready to let go of this story?”
If this is too scary, give it time and/or seek some support or professional help.
If the answer that bubbles up is “Yes,” then proceed gently. Letting go means we keep the knowledge but allow the pain to pass, the anger to leave us. Letting go can also mean letting be.
Step 6: Push “repeat”
Let go over and over and over. This isn’t a one time deal. Often the feelings and thoughts will arise several times or for a long period of time. Know that this is normal! Or, if you notice your self resist letting go, stay with intention and friendliness toward self (i.e., if feel need to punish self know that that came to you from a long held belief) and desire to acknowledge it just how it is. The anger and need to punish your self gradually loses the power to disturb our sense of peace, wellbeing, our thoughts.
Step 7: Gratitude for your awesomeness
Thank yourself for having the willingness to let go and “F” yourself. Thank yourself for being open to receiving the gift of forgiveness and freedom.
This is a guided self-forgiveness meditation from Jack Kornfield: