"A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom and joy but illuminates the way to true human potential." Paul Rademacher, author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world and practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd, author: Daring To Be Yourself

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Forgiving YOURSELF & the Pain Body

You may have this business about forgiving others down pat ... but when it comes to forgiving yourself, things look somewhat different. Perhaps you are remembering:
  • your mother's request when you were 16 to stay in with her on a certain night because she wasn't feeling great, but you wanted to go and party (you are now in your mid-40's), and of course you know you were such a selfish daughter
  • when you weren't nice to the cat the day that you were so angry at your partner, that you yelled at the poor little thing and scared it, and you know you were so horrible
  • your eldest child's nightmare when she was 7 (she is now 29), that you paid little attention to, and you know you did not make her feel safe that night the way a good and caring mother would have
  • the fact that you cheated on that vital exam that made all the difference to your being offered the job at that top-tier firm right out of school, and you know you are the lowest of the low
  • the look in your partner's eyes when he/she realized you had lied that day that you can never forget, and you know you can never be forgiven ... not by others and certainly not by yourself ...
So, when these (and other examples) arise in your mind, rather than forgiving yourself, you move into the pain body (a term I often borrow from Eckhart Tolle), and in the pain body you revel in your loathing of yourself, in the pain you feel for having let that person (or animal, or shcool, or firm) down in that way, and you go over and over and over the event, each time sinking into deeper pain and disgust and moving farther and farther away from forgiving yourself.

But it's precisely there where you must stop, just before you descend into the pain body, and regain a conscious focus on what you are doing, by virtue first and foremost of your thoughts, and make the conscious decision that you will not go down there. You realize that going down there means you are actually allowing yourself to go to a pity party, where you get to pity that horrible thing that you are, as opposed to taking the very conscious step of not going there, and then, with a great deal of awareness - beginning the conscious process of forgiving yourself. You do this by intending it. By telling yourself each time you go to those places, that you intend to forgive yourself. And then you move on. Preferably into gratitude, because that moves you into the present. It's a process. It has to be done over and over. But it can be done and it works. So start now. Today.

For more about forgiving the self, and loving the self, and remaining in the present by the use of gratitude, see my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self

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