This week's question comes from Grace:
Hey Orna and Matthew,
I'm not sure if I'll get a reply, but I know you give the best advice and I'm in need of some expert advice after seeing your video on YouTube about forgiveness.
I can't seem to forgive myself for being with someone else when I was split from my partner. We eventually got back together but it didn’t work out and I’m convinced that it was my guilty feelings that kept me from being in it fully.
I can't believe that I could meet another man during when I was split with my partner and I'm constantly beating myself up because of it. I met up with this other man about a week after- he was just a friend at first then it became more once I split. I never cheated on my partner; I merely broke up with him then met someone else.
My partner knew about the man in our break and has accepted my apology – but I just cannot forgive myself for doing it. The reason we split was because I was young at the time and he wasn't very attentive to me, he had also booked to go traveling for 2 months. I also broke it off on Boxing Day, which is something else I can't forgive myself for.
This was over two years ago – it still gives me a lump in my throat thinking that I split from my boyfriend- then met someone else. I just keep punishing myself mentally for this mistake. 🙁
Thanks for reading this and I would really appreciate some advice on how I can forgive myself and move forward with my life. I haven’t really dated since the break-up and I can’t imagine starting up with someone until I find a way to feel better about myself.
Thanks for writing us and sharing so openly about how you are feeling. It sounds like you made your best effort in that relationship to take responsibility for your actions and apologized to your then partner. Your partner accepted your apology. So, everything should be good for you, right? Yet, you seem to be unable to forgive yourself and are wracked with guilt about your actions.
Does this sound correct?
It sounds to us like you are holding yourself to a higher standard than “normal people.” The rest of us mere mortals are prone to making mistakes and asking for forgiveness…but somehow you’re supposed to do everything perfectly.
When we hold ourselves to an unrealistic standard it is impossible to find joy and feel good about ourselves. Coming to grips with the reality that we are all merely human, we have to accept the fact that we will probably make more mistakes in the future and have to be forgiven for those as well.
We don’t want to make light of your situation and yet we wonder where you developed the habit of expecting yourself to be Wonder Woman, instead of realizing that just being a regular woman is enough.
Holding onto this guilt about your past mistakes will cause problems in every single relationship so it is of the utmost importance for you to find a way to accept yourself as is – flaws, mistakes, and all!
Self sabotage and destructive behavior can manifest when we don’t love ourselves. We recommend you start a crash course in self-forgiveness. We like this practice taught in the Hawaiian tradition of Ho’oponopono:
1. Place your hands over your heart.
2. Visualize a little girl version of yourself.
3. Repeat these phrases as you expand the love you feel for this little girl versions of you.
“Please forgive me.”
“I love you.”
Do this first thing in the morning and last thing before you go to bed for a minimum of 21 days and you will experience a transformation in how you feel about yourself.
It can also be helpful for you to begin a practice of valuing yourself. Start accepting compliments with a simple “Thank you” instead of feeling the need to minimize or reciprocate the compliment. Start expressing your feelings authentically and make requests for what you want. Set aside time to play with your inner child each week.
As you learn to love and value yourself, you will discover that you can receive more love from others.
We use this distinction to define the difference between shame and guilt. Shame is when we have a failure in our actions. Guilt is when our actions don’t live up to our unrealistic expectations of ourselves.
When we have unrealistic expectations of ourselves, we believe that we have to be super human. This can also manifest as a form of perfectionism. No amount of super human expectations or perfectionism will get you more love. In fact, it is a major block to love.
Forgive yourself. You are human, with human desires and human flaws. Welcome to the human race with the rest of us.
If you want to release ALL of the negative emotions you have around this event and your past relationships we recommend our audio program, “The Burn Your Baggage Formula™.”
This program is designed to release negative emotions from your past experiences. It doesn’t mean that you will no longer feel negative emotions; that is part of being human. What it does mean is that you can release the compounded emotions and the clumping of one event to another that our brains are wired to do.
You can heal and move on from past hurts and traumas when you access the subconscious directly. The Burn Your Baggage Formula™ is designed for you to have the transformation simply by listening.
We want you to know that you are not destined to punish yourself for the rest of your life, that releasing your guilt will allow you to be more present to your current relationships so you can receive even more love in your life.
We are here to be your guides to love.
Love and Abundance,