25 Jun Forgiveness and self-love – The power of letting go
Wow! I can’t believe this is already the final post in the ‘Self-Love Series’. It feels like the past few weeks have just flown by. We thought we would save the most powerful post for last and perhaps the most sensitive topic too, that being ‘forgiveness’. It’s such a contentious issue, one that many people struggle with, me included. In fact, I would even go as far as to say, it’s one of the hardest things for me to do. I am still learning to let it come easier, however, it’s still a work in progress.
Forgiveness might be hard for you to do, but it’s an integral part of your journey to self-love. After all, you cannot truly move forward if you’re holding onto negative emotions and memories from the past. In the book, we always reference during our life coaching sessions – “You can heal your life”, the author, Louise Hay speaks a lot about the power of forgiveness, “We need to choose to release the past and forgive everyone, ourselves included. We may not know how to forgive and we may not want to forgive, but the very fact that we say we are willing to forgive begins the healing process. It is imperative for our own healing that “we” release the past and forgive everyone.”
Truthfully, when I first read this, I was like, “Oh hell no! I ain’t no quitter, I will not allow that person to get away with their bad behaviour. For me to forgive is letting them ‘win’.” But I later realised, that the only person being affected by my grudge and lack of forgiveness was me. My heart was heavy with all the emotions of un-forgiveness.
As part of my personal life coaching curriculum, I was required to do the ‘Heal Your Life Transformational Workshop’ – this was where I learnt HOW to forgive. Once I started forgiving everyone including myself, it’s like a weight had been lifted off my chest, at least that’s how it felt to me. I felt light and refreshed, I no longer felt this heaviness in my heart.
The Tool – The definition of Forgiveness
Hay continues and says, “Forgiveness means giving up, letting go. It has nothing to do with condoning behaviour. It’s just letting the whole thing go.”
If like me, you struggle to forgive, here is an affirmation Louise Hay provides that you could say to yourself a few times a day:
“I forgive you for not being the way I wanted you to be. I forgive you and set you free.”
She says, by saying this, you are also setting YOURSELF free.
At first glance it may seem strange that forgiveness has anything to do with self-love. When I tackle this aspect of personal development with my clients they struggle to see the relevance. How can un-forgiveness, bitterness and resentment be holding me back from fully loving, approving and accepting myself?
I want you to imagine that all your thoughts are energy that occupy time and space. Now your emotions are energy too. This is a lot easier to accept, as emotions always show up as sensations in the body, move through us and then dissipate. When we hold unforgiveness we literally waste thought energy (rehearsing the blame story of what they did to you) and emotional energy (as stress hormones are released into the body).
Every thought you think that holds onto the blame of what someone else did steals away from your present and blocks your future. It may help you to adopt this definition of forgiveness that Oprah taught me, “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.” So, remember we forgive not because we condone or justify what wrong was done in the past, but because we want to be free from it.
So, start now, forgive today and allow more love to flow into your life. This is part of the emotion of self-love. Open up your heart to more than just bitterness and resentment, learn to forgive, not for the other person but because you love yourself.
This post concludes our Self-Love Series! We hope you gained some personal development and practical tools that you can take forward into your life. This will definitely not be the last series we tackle in the “personal growth” space. I want to grow this area on my blog because it is an essential part of overall health and happiness.
Look out for details on my Insta-stories about the Self Love Insta-Live we’ll be doing this Wednesday 27 June 2018.
Happy Healthy Fabulous
Simone Naidoo is the founder and CEO of On Purpose Personal Development. Her approach to personal development is holistic ( IQ & EQ) and as such she is a Life Coach & Inspirational Speaker; Herbalife wellness coach and runs workshops and seminars. Her company’s mission is to help people do their life’s most important work: Figuring out who you are and what your purpose is.
You can contact Simone via her website: www.on-purpose.co.za
Photography: Main Picture – Hemisha Bhana
Picture of Simone: Supplied