This probably comes as no big surprise, but in general we are much tougher on ourselves than others really are. And if you are a "perfectionist" then you probably have a tendency to beat yourself up for every perceived mistake that you make.
Knowing this, what do you think might happen when a perfectionist began to look back on their life and all the "perceived" mistakes that they made while growing up.
No matter what, that's why I'm glad that Life Coach Cathy Webb was willing to share her story of learning how to forgive herself after the death of her father.
In her own words, here is Life Coach Cathy Webb's story of self-forgiveness...
The toughest person to forgive has been myself. It is not as hard to forgive others.
After the death of my father this past year, whom I loved dearly, I began to think about all the ways I had not met his expectations at all times while growing up.
I had to forgive myself, knowing he had always been proud of me, even through my mistakes. I had typically been a perfectionist with myself....beating myself up over every "perceived" mistake.
The truth of the matter is we are often harder and more critical of ourselves than others.
Once I realized this I was able to gave myself permission to be imperfect. It was a joyous feeling of freedom. I forgave myself for being imperfect.
One of the last things my father said to my mother and I was, "Enough love can solve any problem. All there is ....is love."
It made sense to me in that moment. I needed to love myself by forgiving myself for imperfections.
What made you decide to forgive?
The death of my father was an awakening for me. I had to look at myself in a different light, I was now responsible for caring for my elderly mother and their home and affairs. I had promised him I would do this.
Neither of my sisters would step up to this responsibility. They did not want to change their daily lives for this purpose. I also had to forgive them for choosing not to assist.
What was your inspiration or motivation to forgive?
I wanted the inner peace of non-judgment of myself and others. When I coach, I work with others on this same process. I had to take my own advice. :)
How did the skills you learned as a Life Coach help you?
I often use mind-mapping and neuro-linquistic programming exercises to help clients quiet and organize their thinking patterns. Forgiveness is necessary for personal growth and peace of mind. I find that many clients blame others for their place in life or their imbalance.
Self-exploration of values, tolerations, and "stinking thinking" patterns often lead a client to forgive themselves and others; then they can experience real progress toward their goal of a balanced life and other worthy desires.
Journaling and meditation are also helpful practices for examining one's life and preparing for a better future.
Are there any specific types of tools or practices that helped you forgive?
Monitoring my own "stinking thinking" patterns and self-talk was helpful. I am better at listening to what I tell myself about myself.
I have always been able to forgive others easily because I realize that every human evolves as a person at different speeds and levels. They are not able to always be what I would like them to be. They are on their life journey, learning their personal lessons, as am I.
Journaling, meditation and prayer have been helpful tools for forgiveness.
What important advice or tips would you give to someone in regards to the power of forgiveness?
I would first acknowledge that the power of forgiveness is great and capable of real life miracles for people. Forgiving oneself is paramount. It is most important.
Then realizing that other humans need forgiveness to grow in their life journey is also important.
In addition, choosing to take an approach of non-judgment is helpful....when someone hurts you or criticizes you....you look at them with different eyes...it isn't good, it isn't bad....it just is.
They may not be on the same enlightened path you find yourself on and that's okay. When you forgive, you set an example for them... you may actually lighten their personal burden when you forgive.
Forgiveness does not make you appear weak, it comes from inner strength. It is contagious...it teaches and it opens doors to positivity in life. It is an obstacle remover.
In the end...
I really appreciated that Cathy Webb continually reminded us that journaling, meditation and prayer are very helpful tools when it comes to learning how to forgive.
Because, let's face it.
Whether you are trying to forgive yourself or others, sometimes, the biggest obstacle getting our way is our inability to clearly see what is really going on in the present moment.
However, the more time you spend in meditation and prayer or other self-reflective processes like journaling, the easier it becomes for you to notice what is really going on in the moment. And when that begins to happen, sooner rather than later you will find that the process of forgiveness becomes much, much easier as well.
Big Love Always,
Thaddeus Ferguson is just a guy who happens to enjoy Yoga and Meditation because it has helped him experience a functional relationship with God that has led to an extraordinary transformation in his life.
More than that he wants more and more people to experience the benefits of Yoga and Meditation for themselves, especially if they are interested in developing a deeper and more fulfilling spiritual life.
Discover many of the Benefits of Meditation Now!
In addition, feel free to explore the practice of Yoga Nidra which is a guided meditation technique that helps realign your body and mind to your true nature.