The power of forgiving yourself

Forgiving others can be challenging, but what about self-forgiveness?

"The act of forgiving yourself is one of the most difficult things for people to do," said life coach Sheree Franklin. "Self-directed anger prevents you from being truly happy and achieving success."

Franklin said the fastest way to find out if you're running the self-blame game is to monitor what she calls your "self talk." To help pinpoint the problem, she asks her own clients to fill out a chart.

"What are you thinking about while you drive? While you wait in line? While you're at work?" she said. "What wakes you up in the middle of the night? After you write this out, we can see the patterns and help you make different choices."

In order to make progress, Franklin said, you have to face the wounds that cause the emotional hurt before you can change things for the better.

"Sometimes what you find is people are running away from things," she said. "But those life tests will grow little legs and come after you. Once you face it, then you become powerful. We try to jump out of the way of these challenges because we don't want the chaos, but there is never growth without upheaval."

Here are Franklin's tips to getting on the path of self-forgiveness:

Don't dwell on the past. "I have clients come in and complain that they've made bad choices or things don't go their way and I'll say, 'Allow me to apologize to you from the Universe,' " Franklin said. "You didn't do everything wrong and you didn't do everything right. You are constantly evolving and you have an opportunity to choose a new way. We all get to decide."

Set an intention to change. "If you have self-talk about yourself that is negative, you need to change this belief system. But beliefs are so strong it's like changing your DNA. You have to be willing to play in that arena of where you want to be," she said. "Put that belief on your bathroom mirror. This can be as simple as, 'I'm at peace.' Once you get the program piece in place — it won't be like instant coffee — but like T. Harv Eker says in his book 'Secrets of the Millionaire Mind,' 'Thoughts lead to feelings, feelings lead to actions, and actions produce results.' "

Read something uplifting each day. "I ask my clients to set aside 10-15 minutes for themselves each day. This is to 'prime the pump,' so to speak. I recommend 'Radical Forgiveness' by Colin Tipping."

Listen to your body. "If a client has chronic pain and they've been to the doctor and know they don't have a serious disease, it usually means there is more emotional work to do. … I encourage acupuncture or energy work in addition to the emotional work. Once we peel back the layers, I start to see the physical symptoms with my clients improve drastically."

Give service. "We are so caught up with everything going wrong for us, we forget there are others who need help. It can even be just opening a door for someone or acknowledging that someone can go first. You won't be able to move out of whatever is holding you back until you step out of yourself."

jweigel@tribune.com

Twitter: @jenweigel

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • 'Great team effort' by joggers saves man in Lake Michigan

    'Great team effort' by joggers saves man in Lake Michigan

    During an early morning jog along Lake Michigan with his wife and children Tuesday, John Corba spotted a man struggling in the water nearly 30 yards from the shore.

  • Grateful Dead drummer dishes dirt, drug dependency in new book

    Grateful Dead drummer dishes dirt, drug dependency in new book

    As a founding member of the Grateful Dead, Bill Kreutzmann watched the world change from behind his drum kit, shoveling coal in the wildly tribal rhythm section as the Dead went from San Francisco underground curio to ground-breaking indie outfit, then progenitor of the improvisation-based rock...

  • Book comes out ahead of Grateful Dead farewell concerts in Chicago this weekend

    Book comes out ahead of Grateful Dead farewell concerts in Chicago this weekend

    The cliché that colors every good rock star story is “sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll." For the Grateful Dead, the trailblazing rock band known for its improvisational style, revelatory live shows and dedicated fanbase, there was that and so much more.

  • 10 best movies of 2015 so far

    10 best movies of 2015 so far

    The year’s half over! How did that happen? No idea. With six months of a good year of movies in the books, let’s see how the Top 10 list is looking, with a quote from each respective review. Note: There are a few I’ve seen that I really like that haven’t yet opened in Chicago, and those aren’t...

  • If you make less than $50,440, proposal could increase overtime pay

    If you make less than $50,440, proposal could increase overtime pay

    Nearly 5 million more Americans would qualify for overtime pay under new rules proposed Tuesday by the Obama administration, a long-anticipated move expected to affect a broad swath of salaried employees from store managers to social workers to restaurant shift supervisors.

  • Chicago's minimum wage increase attracting workers to city

    Chicago's minimum wage increase attracting workers to city

    Unlike previous summers, UniStaff is experiencing a spike in job applicants at its Little Village location, a trend the branch manager says is tied to the city's minimum wage increase to $10 per hour beginning Wednesday.

Comments
Loading