CareerThe Forgiveness step: Self-Forgiveness - Rebecca Le Vine

April 5, 2019by Rebecca Le Vine0

Before we begin the Forgiveness step, here are some key points you need to be aware of:

  1. Below, and in the appendix, I have provided the template that you will use to complete this step of the process.
  2. As you start this process, you want to ensure that you are sitting in a comfortable place. A place where you can be alone with your thoughts and feelings as you move this step.
  3. You will need to be able to dedicate an hour or so of uninterrupted time.
  4. This step could take several dedicated hours to fully complete. The goal here is to look within for all that you want to forgive. This can be challenging so give yourself the freedom to stop and pick up the process again at a later date if you need to.

Sample Templates

On the following pages, you will find a sample template for each step the process. The samples touch on various topics we have discussed in the previous sections of this book. I hope they will help spur your own thoughts and awareness. If you find that some of the examples are spot on for what you are feeling and experiencing, feel free to use the samples. If you don’t connect with them, no worries. Just move past them. There is no right or wrong way to complete the template. It’s all about what works for you.

Self-Forgiveness Template

Here is the template.  Since this is new for you, let’s go through each step one by one and complete this template together.

Circumstance to forgive

(Step 1)

Forgiveness Statement (Step 2)
Forgiveness Statement (Step 2)
Forgiveness Statement (Step 2)
Forgiveness Statement (Step 2)
Forgiveness Statement (step 2)
Gratitude Statement (Step 3)

 

  1. The first step in the Self-Forgiveness Template is to summarize the situation/circumstance/experience you wish to forgive yourself for. Write down the first situation/circumstance/experience that comes to mind. (You will use a separate template for each situation/circumstance/experience that you wish to forgive yourself for.)

To identify circumstances that you wish to forgive yourself for, look for areas within your relationship with work that just don’t feel right. When you find one, ask yourself, “What was my part in this?” It is your part in the circumstance that we’re looking to forgive, to heal and to have compassion for. You can also find circumstances that you need to forgive yourself for by reviewing the notes you’ve taken while going through this book. If you captured areas of pain in your relationship with work, take a deeper look at what you’ve written and again ask yourself, “What was my part in this?”

Go ahead and put it in the box.

Circumstance to forgive

(Step 1)

All the years that I have spent participating in the Time4Money Exchange has left me feeling hopeless, bored and powerless.
  1. Next, complete your Forgiveness statement. Here, you’re going to write out statements of forgiveness for yourself. For example:
Forgiveness Statement (Step 2) I forgive myself for entering into and staying in a Time4Money Exchange that did not serve me. Although I was not aware I was doing it at the time, I acknowledge that this has caused me pain.

In the template, I have left space for five statements. You can complete more or fewer statements depending on what feels right for you.

In this part of the process, your job is to go deep.

  • Think about the impact that this situation/circumstance has had upon you.
  • What has it done to you?
  • What pain has it left you with?
  • What scars has it left you with?
  • What insecurities has it left you with?

All of this is what you want to forgive. Keep going until you get it all out.

  1. Step 3 of the template is the Gratitude statement. Here, you will have the opportunity to develop gratitude for the situation/experience/circumstance that you are forgiving yourself for.

The gratitude statement serves an important function. It ensures that we complete the process by moving into a state of gratitude, thereby diminishing any self-blame that might be lingering as we finish the process. The gratitude statement shifts our view of the circumstance from one of “look what happened to me” to “look how much I have learned and grown from this circumstance.” By shifting into gratitude, we acquire a larger view of the lessons we have learned and how they have helped us grow. All of our lessons, whether we deem them good or bad, help to make us the person we are today. The gratitude statement directs us to find the positive lesson that has come from our pain and to throw in a nice dose of thankfulness for it.

Here is an example of a completed gratitude statement.

Gratitude Statement (Step 3) Now, at this moment, I am grateful that I have this opportunity to forgive myself. I open myself to the truth that I am powerful. I have the power to change any circumstance in my life to my benefit. I am grateful for this experience, for it has made me realize the truth about my current situation. I am grateful that it has shown me a reason for my pain. I know my feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness can be changed. In this moment, with this gratitude, I forgive myself.

 

I encourage you to take time with your gratitude statement. If at first, you cannot see how this situation or circumstance has provided a helpful lesson to you, no worries. Set it aside and come back to it after you’ve had some time to think about it. The positive lesson, the positive growth, are always there. Sometimes we just have to give ourselves the time to be able to see it.

  1. Once you have completed the template, set it aside. Let it sit for a day or two. This “waiting period” gives you time to process what you felt as you were writing your forgiveness statements and your gratitude statement. It gives you the time to incorporate the feeling of self-forgiveness into your being. After a day or two, come back to the template and read it through. Ensure you are complete with it, meaning no painful feelings come up for you as you’re reading it. However, if new feelings come up while reading the template, address them in the template. If you do add to the template, set it aside for another waiting period.

 

  1. When you feel complete with the template, test to ensure that you have successfully forgiven yourself.
  • Think about the situation or experience you have forgiven yourself for.
  • Are there any potent feelings loitering about?
    • Any anger?
    • Any shame?
    • Any guilt?

If feelings are still coming up for you, go through your template again. This time, do so with a focus on releasing any of the remaining emotions through your forgiveness statement. For example, if you go back through your template and you’re still feeling shame over a situation, add in additional forgiveness statements such as “I forgive myself for anything I did that might have contributed to the situation. I am ready to release all feelings of shame I have around the situation.” Keep adding as many statements as you need until the situation/circumstance no longer brings up that feeling for you.

Next, to finish the self-forgiveness process, take a moment and center yourself in feelings of self-forgiveness, self-compassion, love and kindness for yourself. When you’ve brought all these feelings for yourself to the surface, read your forgiveness statements out loud. Repeat this step as many times as you need over the next few days until you find yourself truly free of this situation/experience.

Rebecca Le Vine

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