A Journey of Healing and Discovery
I am often asked this question by clients when a client has spent time either before or after entering therapy about a decision or decisions they have made in their life that they feel has made a “not so good” impact in their life. I’ve even asked myself this question in my own healing and often wondered what is the felt sense in my body of self-forgiveness? How would I really know if I had forgiven myself? Whether is was apologizing for something I said or did or realizing years later, a decision I had made was not really a good choice. How do I forgive myself for a choice I made that has negatively impacted my life?
When we forgive ourselves, we are letting go of the part of us that is keeping us feel like a victim. We are taking back control of our own life and feelings about our life. We are liberating ourselves from the feelings that have been holding us back, holding us down and keeping us stuck. We are disconnecting from a thought, feeling, and/or emotion that has trapped us in an endless cyclical loop of self-persecution which can feel like a deep, dark pit in the stomach, a fragmented and sharp, aching pain in the heart, and/or a tornado or whirlwind of confusion in the mind.
The first step of asking yourself for forgiveness is by asking yourself, “Where in my body do I need to forgive myself? What does that part of me need right now?” Be curious about what comes up for you even if it doesn’t make sense. I believe our bodies have an innate ability to know exactly what it needs to heal. Give yourself plenty of time to sit and be with this question for the answer to reveal itself. When I sit with clients during this experience, the most amazing insights happen much to the surprise of my client and myself. Trust the process. What usually comes up is an apology to yourself. “I’m sorry for the choice I made. I was doing the best I could at that time.” Remember to be gentle with yourself. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend or loved one who was going through something very difficult. Give yourself time, rest, and plenty of nurturing and remember to eat healthy food. The same advice that is given to us by medical doctors when we have a cold.
Will the felt sense be the same for everyone? The felt sense in the body will be different for everyone. There is not right or wrong to it. Get curious about what you notice and allow the positive sensations that you feel to be there as long as possible…at least 18 seconds. Research has shown that it takes at least 18 seconds for a new neural pathway to form in the brain. With more of these positive sensations, the more felt sense of self-forgiveness is created in the body and mind. For me, a felt sense is lightness throughout my body, clear mind, open heart, easy breath, smile on my face, soft eyes, a thought of “I’ve got this. I’m going to be okay. I forgive myself.”
If you are interested in scheduling a session for body mind therapy and/or would like to work with a professional on self-forgiveness or other issues, please contact Lisa Lewis at (626) 319-5076 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The hardest step is usually the first step of making that phone call or email to schedule a first session with a therapist. Tell yourself, “You’ve got this!”