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Letting Go of Your Past, Step 4

Step 4. Forgive Yourself

It seems like no matter where we have been or what we have done, this step seems ninety stories high. How in the world will we ever scale the heights of this one?

But this step is key; this is where the other steps have led. Forgiving others and forgiving yourself is absolutely essential if you hope to live in the freedom you deserve. They allow us to simply let go. 

 

Self-forgiveness is what allows us to let go of our offense, of the emotional pain that accuses us, holds us back, and threatens to undo us. Forgiving ourselves frees us to “let go” emotionally of the part of ourselves that is to blame, freeing us to start again on a path in life that leads to enjoying life to the fullest.

 

Self-forgiveness is the KEY to letting go of the past that won’t let go of you. But, how do you do that?

Letting Go of Your Past, Step 3

Only one thing is worse than being in denial, and that is not knowing you are in denial.

 

Fifteen years after the accident I met with a therapist who walked me step-by-step through the guilt that was buried so deep.

 

My own thoughts immediately refuted what I had just heard. But, how could I ever forgive myself for killing this precious little boy?

 

Perhaps you are saying,  

“But he is the one who had the affair…”

“But she is the one who told me…”

“But he betrayed me and I was helpless…”

I understand. I felt helpless as well.

But as I grew up and took on bigger responsibilities, one thing became clear: if I was going to recover completely from this tragedy in my life and go on to fully live the life I was meant to live, I had to take 100% of the responsibility that was mine to take.

Step 3. Take 100% of the responsibility that is yours

Letting Go of Your Past, Step 2

Remember how I said that it doesn’t matter how far away you go, you still run into people or situations that emotionally bring you back to your past? I experienced this firsthand.

I would drive into town and see a little blonde child walking down the sidewalk with an older sister. The overwhelming pain would come rushing back into my broken heart.

What could I do?

I went back to my first step and reminded myself I had a choice. I could run from the pain or I could face the pain. I might feel some immediate relief if I denied the hurt, but it didn’t take long before another situation would pop up and I would be faced with that wrenching pain again.

But here is what I found to be most helpful: I named the emotion I was feeling. I asked myself, What is my emotional pain about at this moment?

Step 2. Name the emotion.

Letting Go of Your Past, Step 1

The morning after the accident, my Dad came to my bedroom door and said in his deep baritone voice, “You’ve got to get up. We have to keep going.” … 

Like you, most days I didn’t even think about crawling out of bed, I just did it. But on this particular day, getting out of bed was the biggest step I took.

Step 1: Realize you have a choice.

I had a choice.

At the time I had no idea how making the choice to get out of bed would impact me in the many years to come. CHOICE is the mechanism to BREAKTHROUGH. I could either choose to stay in bed and be miserable or get up and hope for some glimmer of light.

 

Letting Go of Your Past Introduction

Have you noticed how your past follows you wherever you go? No matter how far away you move, somehow you run into someone or something that reminds you of the very person or situation you were trying to escape. 

 

I have good news. We may not be able to change the past circumstances but we can choose whether we carry the backpack full of regrets. It’s all part of our story.

 

In this series, I am going to take you through part of my journey and introduce you to 5 Simple Steps that allowed me to go from barely surviving to fully experiencing life. I will show you how, you, too, can transform your life. You will not want to miss this series.

Stepping Out Stronger, Part C

Many people have shared with me, that they realize how they have taken so much for granted and hope to never lose the attitude of gratitude. They are so grateful for their health, for family, for the everyday things.

 

Since there has been a major shift to on-line, many businesses will find that running their business on-line is no longer a choice, it is a necessity. I spoke to someone recently who ran his podcast and Television business out of his studio with lots of help. To keep everything running he had to quickly shift everything to his home and said many things are going to change. Someone else, who owned a restaurant had to let their staff go, give them a few weeks of pay and close their business. As they re-opened their business, it was the perfect time to make the necessary changes, rehire the staff that proved to be great workers and change the menu.

 

Whatever changes you have chosen to make, the key is continuing to do this. Continue to be grateful, to consider the positive things that have happened, to enjoy being together as family. It’s now part of your new story.