The Steps of Self-Forgiveness
- Step One: Prepare for self-forgiveness; decide to stop beating yourself up and move forward.
- Step Two: Talk out your problem in detail with your Higher Self, and ask it to help you.
- Step Three: Connect with your Higher Self and lift yourself to it’s level of consciousness.
- Step Four: Send love and light to yourself, exactly as you are, from this higher level.
- Step Five: Give thanks for the forgiveness and take in your new perspective.
- Prepare for self-forgiveness. Sit on the floor or chair. State your will to make a change and stop carrying this issue against yourself. Picture your Higher Self (your Soul) above you, listening compassionately and waiting to grant you the relief of self-forgiveness.I like to picture my Higher Self plugged into the vast loving presence which I call God. But in the words of Edith Stauffer, PhD, in her book Unconditional Love and Forgiveness:
Some of us feel more aligned and at home with the Higher Self than with the Source (God). We look on the Higher Self as a more personal advocate, one who looks after our welfare, who knows our thoughts and desires, our weaknesses and strengths, our motives and intentions, and who is patient with us when we are immature and fail.
In the Self-Forgiveness process, use what works for you. You can picture your Higher Self alone or in combination with your own image of the Divine and remember, how you envision the face or presence of God / Jesus / your Higher Power / the Source of creation is your personal choice. The important thing is to know there is a loving presence listening.
- Talk out your problem in detail with your Higher Self, and ask it to help you. Allow your full misery to surface and express it with trust and vulnerability, feeling and releasing your emotions about it. Speak your emotional truth about the experience out loud using the language of feelings. “I need to be forgiven for….”, I am so sorry”, “I regret…..”, “I made such a big mistake”, “I feel so bad about…” are all good ways to start. Remember, there is nothing you can say or do that is unforgivable. When you feel you have honored and released your emotions, notice the feeling of space inside you and begin to move to the next step.
- Connect with your Higher Self and lift yourself to it’s level of consciousness. Lift above the emotional level by first seeing the good in yourself and saying a few examples of that out loud. For example, “I am good at…”, I am a (fill in the the blank with something good) person” or “I work hard at…”. Then visualize your image of your Higher Self again and identify with its qualities and the qualities of the Divine: peace, wisdom, compassion, and the like. Imagine you can lift yourself as a soul to the level of that Self. Keep stretching your attention up and out, higher and wider until you feel you must stand up, so you can leave your personality down in the chair. Spread your arms and experience this new perspective. Resonate with the qualities of love, understanding, forgiveness, creativity, possibility. Turn to face the personality in the chair and allow your consciousness to shift to its highest level and perspective.
- Forgive Yourself From This Higher Level. When you feel you are in this higher consciousness, look down upon where you were sitting and picture your human self there awaiting your help. (I like to see my personality as a little, tiny person way down there on earth having this problem as I’m towering above plugged into all the wisdom of creation). Allow yourself to view your personality and his/her situation from a wise, compassionate and expansive perspective.
Extend your hands in healing and blessing, imagining love and light flowing from you and God to bathe and release the person below from all burdens. Speak words of unconditional love, advice and comfort out loud to your little personal self from your new perspective. See yourself canceling all conditions and removing the obstacles your personality has that block receiving this unconditional love. You may also enjoy the silence and light of the Self. When you feel complete, make a statement like “…and I forgive you completely”, or “I release you from your shame”.
Note: If during this communication you are expressing any judgment or criticism of your personal self, you are still in your personality. Go higher, literally. Stand on a chair or a desk and try again. Your mind understands this physical metaphor and will usually cooperate.
- Give Thanks For The Forgiveness And Take In Your New Perspective. Imagine you can gather your attention and begin to bring it back to your body. Take your sitting position and see yourself integrating the perspective of your Higher Self into your body and mind—knitting it all together. Notice how it feels to be forgiven and take note of any new understanding and clarity.
Say “Thank you for this forgiveness” and acknowledge your Higher Self (and other loving presence you’ve pictured) returning to its usual, supportive state as you go forward.
If it feels appropriate, activate your will again. For example, you might say “I will to easily integrate this new perspective into my life” or “I will learn from this experience and remember I am loved unconditionally”. Allow your experience to settle and integrate.