How To Forgive Yourself

frame of red petals and heart

My eyes were opened recently to many of the ways in which I create my own suffering, including how I’ve created this separation story that left me feeling lonely and disconnected for much of my life. Now that the blinders are off, I find myself driving on Highway 1 or hiking in the coastal hills or among the redwoods, with my mind drifting back to ways I’ve inadvertently hurt people, and through that unintentional hurting, how I’ve hurt myself.

Looking back is like a knife in my heart. Oh God, did I really say that? Did I really do that?  How could I have been so insensitive when I love that person so much?

It feels like grating my heart with a potato peeler.

I never meant to hurt my college boyfriend, who wanted to marry me before I was ready to get married and who wound up taking the diamond ring he bought me, placing it in an oyster shell, and setting it out to sea.  I didn’t mean to hurt that friend who wanted more of me than I was able to give at the time. I didn’t mean to hurt the people who tried to help me with my business before I was quite ready to be helped. I didn’t mean to hurt my mother and my brother and my sister and pretty much everyone else in my family who I adore.

It’s enough to make you think you should just cloister yourself in a closet as a public service to keep yourself from wounding others. But part of me knows that’s no way to live. 

The Inner Dialogue

The battle between my Gremlin and my Inner Pilot Light goes something like this.

The Gremlin: You are a public hazard and should be grounded for life. People are out there saying they’ve been “pinked” by you, you worthless piece of worm bait.

Inner Pilot Light: Oh Gremlin, shut your pie-hole. Don’t you understand, this is all part of Lissa’s journey, her perfectly imperfect circuitous path. And those people who wound up hurt as a result of her actions, it’s part of their journey. Her intentions have always been pure, even if her actions haven’t been. Give her a f*cking break.

The Gremlin: Jeez, why do you always take her side, IPL? It’s time somebody smacks that girl upside the head. Lissa, you’re just insensitive, selfish, narcissistic, and delusional if you think anybody actually loves you. No wonder you felt lonely for so much of your life, you bitch muffin.

Inner Pilot Light: Don’t listen to him, Lissa, my darling. Plug your ears. Say “Nah nah nah nah” until you can’t hear him anymore. Drown him out. Sing. Hum. Turn up the volume on me. Turn that freakin’ Gremlin down. 

The Gremlin: There you go again, IPL. Taking her side, when someone’s gotta knock some sense into that girl before she pokes knife wounds in everyone she thinks she loves. If you won’t tell her the truth, I will. 

Inner Pilot Light: I will tell her the truth, you filthy Gremlin. It’s you that’s the liar. Here’s the truth, Lissa, my love.  You are not expected to be perfect. I know you’re doing the best you can, in every moment, to live in accordance with the Divine Plan for your life. But you’re human, and humans slip up. Your ego gets between me and you, mucking up the channel for your divinity to shine through.

The Gremlin: Yada yada yada… 

Inner Pilot Light: Each relationship you have is a sacred contract, helping you learn what you’re here on this earth to learn, and part of being in relationship with other people is mutual permission to get hurt. You give it to those you love. They must give it to you. In other words, they’re signing up to be the recipient of your daggers, and while those you love might prefer to avoid those daggers, and while you obviously would prefer not to wound with them, you’re gonna hurt people. It’s inevitable. Just like they’re going to hurt you. And that’s how it’s supposed to be.

The Gremlin: The surgeon general should put a warning on you, you dagger queen you.  Everyone you love would be best served getting the hell outta dodge and leaving you and your wounding ways alone, rejected, unloved, which is just what you deserve.

Inner Pilot Light: Don’t listen, dear Lissa. It’s not true. What is true is that you don’t have to continue to recreate your own suffering. Now that you see your blind spots and understand how you inadvertently hurt people, you can choose to act differently.  You can halt the pattern. You can ask for forgiveness. And most importantly, you can forgive yourself, for only when you’ve forgiven yourself will you have the courage to make change, to align more with me, to be a cleaner channel for your divinity to pour through you onto those you love, to really, truly shine your light. As long as you listen to the Gremlin, you taint your intentions. You act out of fear, motivated by self-loathing, and love and self-loathing can’t coexist. Love is like an oxygen mask. You have to love and accept yourself before you can love and accept anyone else. Will you please forgive yourself, my love? 

How To Forgive Yourself

It’s amazing how much better I feel when I’m able to shut down the voice of The Gremlin and really tune into my Inner Pilot Light. But what about you? Can you forgive yourself when you hurt people? Or do you let The Gremlin beat you down until you’re so wounded yourself that you inadvertently project that wound onto others, repeating the same sad old cycle?

It’s not too late. You can start forgiving yourself now – for all the mistakes you’ve made, all the people you’ve hurt, all the wounds you’ve inflicted, all the failures you’ve had, whatever.

All you need to do is listen to that inner voice, the voice that knows what’s really true, the voice that loves and protects and nurtures you, even when nobody else does.

Are you listening to your Inner Pilot Light? Can you hear the voice? If not, sign up for daily messages from your Inner Pilot Light, and start forgiving yourself.

Trying to go easy on myself, even while I try to be a less flawed human,

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