Learn to Forgive Yourself

You decide to forgive the person who hurt you. You have suffered a lot because of him. You have been cheated on by him, you have been crazy about him, you have cried for him, you have given up on yourself for him, but in the end, you find yourself. You feel that only by truly forgiving him can you stop torturing yourself. When you tell a friend about your decision, she tells you that you just want to make a deal and can't really forgive him because you haven't even forgiven yourself.

It was just a deal. You didn't even forgive yourself. What does that mean? Friends no longer say anything, just let yourself to explore, in the exploration to understand this truth. You read a book on her recommendation, and as you finish the book, you remember a quote from spiritual teacher Pema Chujo: "Forgiveness seems impossible to force. Forgiveness comes naturally when you are brave enough to open up to yourself." The first time you see this sentence, you don't understand, but then you finally understand the meaning of this sentence.

If you forgive on a mental level, isn't your forgiveness a naked transaction? If someone has caused you financial damage and you want to punish him, but you give up because he begged you, that is not forgiveness. It's like an investment and a return. The punishment you're prepared for, your financial loss, is the investment, and his pleading with you and your sense of control is the return. That's true of financial loss, but isn't it true of emotional loss? This focus on investment and return gives you a stronger sense of identity with your own mind, and you are once again separating yourself from the rest of the world. You finally understand that emotional forgiveness is never forgiveness, it's just trading.

If you work all night to get ahead in your career, if you raise money to get a good reputation and do what you think is a good thing, if you try to get someone to love you and give them the best of everything, these are all investments in return. When investments fail, you complain about the people you invested in and you as an investor. You start to resent the boss who didn't give you a promotion, the people who didn't praise you for the donations you made, the people who didn't show you love for your efforts, and the bad choices you made. These are mental errors. Your pain is self-inflicted. You can only forgive yourself to be free.

But what about forgiving yourself? You've always known that almost everyone, sees the world as an imperfect world, sees others as imperfect others, and sees himself as an imperfect self. They are people who think and analyze the world with their brains and never feel with their hearts. There is often resentment, anger, and annoyance, and they switch back and forth between condemnation and self-condemnation. They know it seems bad and should be more forgiving and peaceful, but they just can't let go of the blame and self-condemnation. They don't know how to forgive themselves, much less how to forgive others. You know, you're one of them.

Forgiveness itself is unconditional love. If you don't have love in your heart, how can you truly forgive? When you still hate him, still treat him coldly, you have not forgiven him, behavior forgiveness is not forgiveness, it is a kind of lie. And when you do that, you're torturing yourself, you're confining yourself. How can you forgive yourself? You can only forgive through unconditional love. If the "love" in your heart is conditional, it is only loved on the mental level, not true love, and it is impossible to forgive. When you are deeply aware of your own existence and your love for yourself, you are able to love and forgive yourself.

Forgiving yourself means accepting yourself, which means you have to let go of self-blame. When you are aware of something in your mind that is holding you back and making you uncomfortable, when you find yourself hurting yourself like a scorpion that stabs itself with its own tail, you are aware of it. We often mercilessly devalue ourselves, feeling that our existence is unworthy, unworthy of love, unworthy of success, unworthy even of existence. It is the judgment of the mind on ourselves, an expression of what the mind wants. There is a French proverb that says: to understand everything is to forgive everything. When we see this, the self-condemnation disappears and we ourselves are forgiven.

As for forgiving others, the spiritual master Hellinger once said, "Human beings have no right to forgive others. To forgive others is an arrogation." Every one is a world, and everyone is the same world. When you are aware of this, you forgive yourself and you forgive the world. The other person does not exist, because the so-called other person is just a mirror of yourself, to help you see yourself, we do not need to forgive others, because others have never done anything wrong.

Forgiveness starts with your own heart. Only by forgiving yourself can you forgive others, or accept forgiveness from others. Forgiveness is unconditional, although there are often strings attached to the learning process. Forgiveness is a never-ending process. Any criticism you make of yourself or others must be met with forgiveness constantly. Just showing forgiveness is more than enough. Whatever you can do right now is good enough. This understanding allows you to practice forgiveness with a forgiving mind.

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