The other day, while working with a client, the subject of forgiveness came up.
She had made a mistake some years ago, and was still angry with herself for her misstep.
As with most everything that happens in life, her mistake affected others. And, for a little while, there was a very real possibility that her family would not make it through the challenge intact.
Now, just as an aside, other people had a part in the mistake. My client could forgive them. But she wasn’t anywhere close to letting herself off the hook. Over the years, her habit of non-forgiveness got really expensive. She paid for her mistake in the currency of guilt and shame. She was living in a space of greatly diminished emotional capacity.
When any of her family members had difficulty, she blamed herself for their troubles. She took their pain on as her own. She reasoned that “bad” things would not have happened to the people she loved if she had not made the initial mistake that led to their pre-makeover life.
Her thinking is only kinda crazy. It’s also sort of genius.
Because there’s a thread of truth in it.
EVERY part of their new beautiful life was only possible because the difficulty, transformed through courage and compassion, led to this gorgeous new life. Ironically, she doesn’t take credit for the good stuff that happens. Just the difficulties.
Clearly, she would benefit from forgiving herself. But she can’t.
She doesn’t think she deserves it.
Maybe you’ve felt this way. Maybe you find some piece of your history so egregious, you can’t imagine letting yourself off the hook for the harm you caused to yourself and others.
But here’s the thing, Sweet Pea – with respect to creating your own Midlife Reinvention story, you only have so much emotional space available for change.
Worse, since all action is rooted in thought, you can’t take sustainable right-action toward the new life you want. You’ve squandered a corner of your emotional thought-space on self-hatred.
You can have your guilt, you can have your self-disgust, but you will pay for these choices dearly. Self-hatred is an extremely weighty and expensive indulgence.
Can you afford it? If not, and you’re ready to begin moving toward emotional freedom, let us know in the comments below. Don’t worry, we’re not looking to be voyeurs to the scintillating details of your devilish ways. Begin with just the feelings.
What feeling are you willing to release so that you can make a better emotional choice?
You’re not alone. We’re all doing it together. Yep, that’s part of what we’re doing here at Life After Tampons. We are building a community of women supporting each other so that change happens. To be part of that community, please sign up for updates here.
Yours in Peace and Joy, Jennifer