A Simple Self-Forgiveness Tool

I have a friend who says: We’ll never rise above human and we’ll always have moments that are unspiritual.  What that means to me is that sometimes, I will be ungraceful.

We all do things that are disempowering to ourselves, however unintentionally, from habits or ingrained behaviors.  Somehow, we have become our own worst critics.  I have heard it put: If I said to you what my head says to me, I’d be arrested for abuse!

This negative self-talk is merely a habit that can be undone.  It has been given too much credibility through the power of repetition, and can be replaced through awareness and then cultivating new uplifting habits.

First, You can reflect with your journal and write out everything that falls into these categories:

  • not doing enough
  • doing too much
  • not being _____ enough
  • being too _______
  • whatever your head is barking about

Next, go to the mirror and look at yourself.  Forgive yourself in the language that you need to hear (step 1 in my system) or to the best of your ability.  Say what you need to say out loud for each item.

Then, as you go about your week, acknowledge what the voice or feeling is in any uncomfortable situation and see the message that is there.  Is there something that you forgot to put on the list (hint: there is always more to do).

See where you can bring humor to this.  Can you call the barker by a name/alter ego?  Can you give it a silly voice to strip its credibility?


Try any of the above in baby steps.  Know that this is a lifelong process and that sometimes I work with clients for weeks and months.  It takes time to release old habits.  This is merely an introduction to the more detailed exercise we have in my system.  Be gentle with yourself as you courageously heal you in order to step into your part in the collective good.


One Response to “A Simple Self-Forgiveness Tool”
  1. Max Rivers says:

    As a marriage mediator, I deal with your “barker” all the time. I call it the “Isolator” cause if you follow its advise, you end up alone!

    What I teach my clients about the barker is that it actually is always talking about some essential need of yours which isn’t getting met – in fact it’s gone unmet so long you’ve given up on asking for it, and have started barking instead.

    The barking doesn’t work, needless to say, but the need doesn’t go away until it gets met, so I recommend loving the barker, figuring out what it is really barking about, and then saying, “THANKS! I promise I’ll make sure we get that. I’m just going to do it in a way which is a bit more loving to myself, and which also takes the needs of others into account. But I couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks again.”

    My experience is that althought this doesn’t make the barker go away, it does take the bite out of his bark, and instead of an enemy to be killed off, he becomes a trusted adviser (with a bad sense of how to get things done compassionately).

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