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Finding inner peace through… Forgiving yourself

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It has often been said that life is a journey. For many, if not most people, that journey can become quite complicated and lots of bad decisions can be made along the way. While most people are able to forgive other people for their transgresssions (with time), it is often quite difficult for some people to forgive themselves for things they have previously done. For people with a strong sense of faith in a power greater than themselves the willingness to forgive oneself seems to come easier. Words carry a lot of weight and if we don’t use restraint sometimes when speaking with other people we can say things we later regret. If we can’t apologize to the person(s) we harmed with our words we can at least try to pray for that the person. A broad spectrum of factors can influence a person’s ability to forgive him or herself for things they may have previously said or done. Sometimes a person’s upbringing and home background can affect the way their thought processes work. If there was conflict in the person’s personal life when they were younger the

ramifications of such conflict can manifest in many different ways when they become older. If long-standing feuds, hostilities or resentments are allowed to linger and fester without the involved parties trying to rectify the situation it can lead to profound feelings of guilt and/or shame. Quite often the feelings of guilt will continue until the afflicted person is able to forgive him or herself. If the person who is afflicted with the guilt or shame is unable to forgive him or herself it can often be difficult for them to attain any degree of inner peace. No matter what type of issue or problem you may be facing, one of the most common yet self-destructive human responses is to beat oneself up. For some of us, it doesn’t matter if we did anything wrong or not. For example, we may be involved in a one on one or romantic relationship with another person. If a problem of any sort arises in the relationship we might have a tendency to blame ourself for the problem even if we did not directly create the problem. While time is indeed a great healer, there are other measures that one can also take in an effort to see the situation in the appropriate light. In order to ‘right-size’ or realistically look at a situation we often need to back off and temporarily remove ourselves from the situation so we can gain a more realistic view of the way things really are. It is also very important that any form of self sabotage does not take place.

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