Ok, I’m going to drop the whole self-love thing for a minute, and just say it: I’m actually pretty darn hard on myself (but admitting it is the first step, so I’m still doing ok!). We all do bad things. And even if it’s not murder or something significant in the “grand scheme” of the great, big universe, it can still feel pretty significant in our own personal universe. It can still feel bad enough that we might not want to forgive ourselves just yet.
I know this is me all over. When I do something wrong, I hold onto bad, self-diminishing feelings long after I should be moving on to forgiveness, making amends, and letting go. I often feel that guilt and self-loathing is the right path when I’ve done something wrong. I feel I have to punish myself in order to atone and make sure I won’t do it again. I feel like forgiving or forgetting is letting myself off easy, like saying, “it’s ok – it’s not that bad – don’t worry about it.” I feel I have to hold myself accountable: “This is my lot in life now. This is what I get for doing that bad thing.”
But does that really help anyone? I’m not really doing anyone any good by feeling bad, and I’m not making amends by punishing myself. We always have to remember that we are our own best friends and worst enemies, and we can be as self-loving or as self-hating as we allow ourselves to be. We can hold grudges against ourselves for as long as we choose. Or we can move forward, accept what we did, take it on board, learn from it, and do better the next time. I will not wallow in a dark mire of guilt – I will send and receive good vibrations! Today can be a clean slate if I allow it to be!
Today’s exercise: The Emotional Freedom Technique! Whether you’re clearing guilt or shame, working on self-forgiveness or self-love, EFT/tapping is a a great self-acceptance technique that I’ve been trying to master.