Forgive yourself already!

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“I have so much to do.”

“I’d love to … but I can’t.”

“I never finished… I need to… Look at this place…”

Have you ever heard someone say any of this before? How about you, have you ever said it?

Sometimes our self-doubt and self-punishment are disguised in excuses. In an effort to fulfill the lives of those around you, you forget to take care of your own. We create lists of things that must be completed, accomplishments that must be achieved, and awards that must be collected before we are able to take time for ourselves. The thought of sitting down with a book, or a piece of cake, or to have a nap, so delicious that a feeling of guilt swoops in to ruin the moment.

I’ve been guilty of this. Have you?

I recently learned that if I take time for me first, that everything else will fall into place, because I’m taken care of. I’m not rushing around to complete the jobs, to finish the tasks, to secure the action plans. Those things get done, but not in a stress-induced, can’t sit down, pull my hair out, is this work ever going to end state of being.

The first thing that has to happen is you have to forgive yourself. We are so quick to forgive someone else for not getting something done, for letting us down, for not living up to our expectations. We are so quick to do this for someone else.

The pace at which we forgive ourselves is glacial.

It’s important to have high standards for yourself – without question. This allows you to live the best life for you. It is important to be able to forgive yourself for not meeting those standards 100% of the time.

Easier said than done right?

There are different ways you can do this. In “The Artist’s Way”, Julie Cameron suggests journalling. And not just any journalling. This is purposeful. Three pages, every morning as soon as you get up. This is your chance to get rid of the ickiness first thing in the morning. To remove the cobwebs that start your day, the sleep lingering in the corner of your eye. This is like meditation on a page – clearing your mind of all the noise and the negative, so you can start your day fresh and ready.

There is more research than I could possibly share on meditation, and the importance of it. This too is an option. There are a number of books, blogs and podcasts to pull from. If you are new to it, you might want to consider joining Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey on their 21-Day Meditation Experience.

These are just two tools that might help you start each day fresh, ready, and grateful, rather than worried, full of regret, and self-doubt. Regardless of your belief system the truth is you only get this life, this one right here, right now, once. Just one time. So read the book, eat the cake, have the nap, and do it without worrying that the dishes aren’t done, that you have added calories to your day, or that you didn’t put in fifteen work hours today.

Forgiveness isn’t about absolving you from your responsibilities. It’s about being ok with it when you don’t hit the goal you have set for yourself. It’s about doing the work, and knowing that there is perfection in the imperfect. Forgiveness is about living. So go ahead and live.

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