Holding onto negative feelings not only has emotional draining effects but physical ones too. It is important to forgive in order to let go of those feelings that limit your potential to achieve new levels of success. Forgiving can be very challenging and it is not fully effective unless it happens at a subconscious level. Forgive the ones that hurt you and more importantly learn yo forgive yourself if you want to unveil all your potential.
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Forgiving yourself: the true key to success.
Forgiving someone who has wronged you is hard, but forgiving yourself – really, truly, deeply, radically – can be even harder.
I remember a dinner conversation in which my friends and I were discussing some pretty heavy topics: alcoholic parents, abusive relationships, and parents who were simply not there. I told my friends about how I had forgiven all the people who had caused me significant pain in my life and they looked at me like I was mad. In fact, they told me that I was being too preachy because I insisted that forgiveness had made a meaningful difference in my life. They were mad at me for forgiving people who treated me so poorly and couldn’t understand how I could have the audacity to forgive the people who hurt me.
As Oprah is known for saying, “Forgiving is letting go of the hope that it could have been any different, accepting it for what it was, and be willing to move forward with your own life.” Forgiveness is not about the other person. You forgive for yourself. If not, you hold on to negative emotions such as anger, resentment, or even rage. I have chosen to forgive other people who have hurt me because I do not want those negative feelings wreaking havoc on my internal body and taking root in the subconscious mind.
Why is forgiveness so hard?
Well, there are many reasons why people stew in their anger and choose not to forgive. It could be because they like the feeling of revenge, or they must always be right, they have a victim mentality, or even if they do choose to forgive that person, they fear they may forget them completely, and don’t want to lose that bond.
These are strong feelings and emotions to hold onto. But what happens when these feelings are bottled up inside you and even more, they are towards you? I was so gung-ho on forgiving everyone in my life that I didn’t even bother to think about the one person who I really needed to forgive: myself.
Often times, we may not even recognize it, but we are our harshest critics. There is a little voice inside your head that doubts you, questions if you are ready, if you are good enough, how you look, etc. We critique ourselves so much that we experience self-sabotage and we fear failure.
I needed to forgive myself for allowing myself to stay in situations that were not for my highest good. I had to forgive myself for allowing people to violate my boundaries. I had to forgive myself for not believing in myself. I had to forgive myself for hurting people who I cared about. I had to forgive myself for not taking the jump at times.
Perhaps you have never even considered that not forgiving yourself was holding you back from new levels of success. But one of the biggest blocks that holds people back from heightened levels of success is holding on to their past actions and choices for dear life. So many of us get stuck in reliving the past, analyzing it, and understanding why such and such happened to them. If I would have jumped then, I would be so successful. If I had left him sooner, I wouldn’t be so old now and incapable of finding love. These stories and thoughts that you keep reiterating in your mind are just that: a story. A story that you need to rewrite.
The subconscious mind and forgiveness
As you may recall from our other articles, the subconscious mind stores all your past memories, experiences, stories, and feelings. So, when we are having reoccurring feelings of pain, anxiety, anger, etc. they are all stored in the subconscious.
So even when we say we have forgiven someone on a conscious level, subconsciously that may not be the case. For instance, perhaps you have forgiven a friend or partner who was unfaithful to you. You’ve forgiven them, moved on, and found someone new and exciting. But you keep repeating the theme of cheating in your life. It sounds conflicting, but your subconscious mind is doing this to keep you safe. It has been wired to believe this based on your past experiences (formed in childhood). Until you take a good look at your subconscious mind and reprogram it, patterns will keep reoccurring your life.
Mind body connection
How we think and feel about ourselves affect how we show up in our lives. If we don’t learn to forgive ourselves and carry around the subsequent feeling of guilt, our brains generate chemicals that can increase our hearts rates, raise our blood pressures, and decrease our ability to focus. In fact, studies have shown that people who struggle with forgiveness are more likely to experience high blood pressure, depression, heart attacks, among many other diseases.
Holding onto grudges and not forgiving is an inflammatory emotion that not only emotionally drains us but also wreaks havoc on our internal body. The mind and body are intricately connected.
Luckily for us, this intricate mind-body connection is amazingly flexible. Once we start practicing forgiveness, our bodies let go of the emotional toxicity that was brewing and begins to balance itself back to its healthy self. Through forgiveness, we let go of the past, clear our emotions, and give our mind and body the opportunity to forge a new path.
Forgiveness is the ultimate gift that we can give ourselves. Having awareness of how valuable forgiving can be is healing in itself. It may take a while to have total self-forgiveness as it can be a process and may not happen overnight. As with all inner and subconscious work it may take a little bit of time to fully let go of the emotional baggage from your past. However, once you do, you will start to feel a shift. Forgiving yourself and giving yourself compassion will help you heal, grow, and love even more.
Forgiveness and success
Forgiveness is about letting go and moving forward. The things that need to be forgiven are often situations that cause guilt, anger, grief, and/or sadness. Choosing not to forgive and holding onto these negative emotions (both consciously and subconsciously) can hold you back from reaching new levels of success in your life.
Remember that we are the creators of our realities. It is our owns thoughts and feelings that create our destinies. If we are unhappy with what our external realities look like, we need to change it internally. One way to start internal transformation is through self-forgiveness.
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