In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to share the power of forgiving yourself for being human.
First a quick update:
The Breakup Test
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Change Your Life This Way
The first major obstacle everyone faces is seeking other people’s approval. The second is taking it personally. Watch the video and learn the one simple mantra or statement that will change your life.
Now, let’s talk about the power of forgiving yourself for being human.
What does it mean to you to be human?
A key aspect of being human is our emotional experience.
No matter who you are; from where you come or where you live; your gender; your race; your wealth or your age; your talents or your level of fame or fortune; everyone will experience suffering.
You cannot escape the wide spectrum of human emotions.
You will experience joy and ecstasy and you will also experience sadness, loss and suffering.
While many people will try to escape or control the human emotional experience via things such as drugs, alcohol, addiction, workaholism and isolation – there is no way to escape or fully control the human emotional experience.
The type of emotional experience we have is determined and created by human imperfection.
We are physically and biologically imperfect – we all experience illness and disease; we all age and ultimately die.
We are also psychologically imperfect – we make mental mistakes (decisions, choices and behaviors) and we make inaccurate conclusions and interpretations about the things that happen around us and the things we experience. In turn, those conclusions and interpretations create an emotion and then that emotion leads to a behavior which further impacts our results.
Thus, it is a fact that human beings are imperfect.
So why then do we humans judge ourselves so harshly? Why do we judge and condemn others so harshly?
Because we are human.
This is the irony:
The fact that we are imperfect leads us to make imperfect judgments and to further condemn ourselves for our imperfection.
Instead of accepting our imperfection and choosing to learn from it, we choose to make our imperfection and emotional experience worse by harshly condemning ourselves and others.
It becomes a cycle: we become ill, age and make mistakes and, we judge and condemn ourselves for being ill, aging or making mistakes and then that infects or worsens our emotional experience. And the worse we feel, the worse our thoughts and judgments become.
Thus, the way we are affects the way we see and experience things.
What is the solution?
Forgive yourself for being human.
“I forgive myself for being human”
Why do you need to forgive yourself for being human?
Because you have already judged yourself as bad and wrong for actually being something over which you have no control – being human!
It could have been your parents, your teachers, religion, society, media and advertising or, it could have been all of them that taught and brainwashed you into believing you must be something you and no other human can ever be – perfect – and that you must be punished for not being that which you and no one else can ever be – perfect!
Beating yourself up doesn’t change the past!
Here is an exercise or process that I teach and conduct in my workshops – “I forgive myself for being human – for being imperfect and making mistakes.”
1. Find a friend or confidante – someone whom you can trust, who will listen, accept and offer no judgment. (If you don’t immediately have someone in mind, then complete this exercise in writing.) Explain the exercise with your friend and ask them to do only one thing – listen – listen without comment, counseling, feedback, advice or suggestions.
2. Think of one thing for which you need to forgive yourself for being human. Think of one thing that you did for which you feel badly.
3. Decide whether you will share your experience and judgment with your friend verbally or via letter.
4. Complete the sentence: “I forgive myself for being human for…” and state what you believe you did wrong or the mistake you made.
For example, “I forgive myself for being human for stealing when I was 19 from my best friend/for hurting Mary/for being afraid of/for being foolish…” Complete the story and add what you feel.
This experiential exercise is powerful because it helps to release guilt and shame that is associated with self-judgment. It also begins the process of retraining and reprogramming your mind to accept human imperfection and to engage in self-compassion – two key components of emotional freedom and joy.
Let me add this startling truth: when I do this workshop on shame and self-sabotage, every person in the room is shocked when they realize that everyone is human, imperfect, has made mistakes, and holds painful self-judgments.
I refer to it as “Me, too!” That is the moment you hear someone else say “Mistakes? Regrets? Shame? Guilt? Self-loathing? Self-doubt? Yes, me, too! I have them as well.”
If you would like more help to forgive yourself and others as well as free yourself of guilt and shame, get my new audio book/program “Get Over Your Ex Now!” There are 3 chapters revealing processes you can use to release guilt and shame and, I give you a bonus of an audio book that focuses fully on forgiveness “Secrets to getting over it.”
If you would like personal help to forgive yourself for being human and to forgive others, book a one-on-one session with me.
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist