What. A. Year. Period. (A Forgiveness Checklist for Clearing Your Palette for the Year to Come)
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It has been a year of unexpected ups and downs. It has been a year of a few goodbyes and unpleasant choices as much as it has been a year of new opportunities and fresh beginnings. It has been a year of having to make adjustments to ourselves and our lives in ways we could not have predicted.
Sometimes we get lost in the shuffle of things - of personal life, of finances, of things beyond our personal control, and of things we could have or should have done. Sometimes we suppress the better part of ourselves and who we can be - in order to survive, to fit in, to get by, or to get adjusted to a new environment. And sometimes it feels as if we had to struggle and fight for very little in return.
All of this can lead to a building sense of bitterness about our lives and about the world and the people in it. We can become cynical and less understanding of others as we ourselves become more concerned with our own goals and aspirations - even if our goals and aspirations are altruistic (Why won't people let me save the world?).
But as the year draws to a close and the dust begins to settle from the tumult - it is a good time for us to revisit and re-affirm a few practical principles and clear our palette for the year to come. A time to rinse out the taste of bitterness that may have crept in over time and ready ourselves for a brand new course.
Forgiving Self and Others - A Year End Cleansing
Have things fallen through? Have the changes in life been such that you have had to change or entirely let go of projects and plans and dreams you have had for a long time?
Let us forgive ourselves for the bitterness and the emotional attachments and disappointments, and forgive the resentments we harbor toward others. You know - the times where we gave them the cold shoulder, or deliberately did not respond to their texts, or secretly stopped supporting them in their personal developments, or the times when they had an idea and we immediately shot them down out of spite. Because all of that says more about who we are than it does about them, and it is time to change the tune we've been singing if we want a different result.
Have people you once trusted, relied on, or depended on changed or moved on in a way that left you feeling betrayed, abandoned, or dismissed?
Let's forgive ourselves for the blame, the victimization, and the emotional turmoil we have been allowing inside that has been preventing us from understanding, learning, growing, and moving on with a sense of appreciation instead of powerlessness - and realize it was never in fact about the other person(s) or what they did to us that caused us to not be able to move forward.
For a refresher on practical self-forgiveness and sounding, or more details on how the victimization and feeling of abandonment is something we create ourselves and can cause more damage to us than those we blame, listen to this recording: Atlanteans: Abandoned
Have you been feeling frustrated about the amount of work you have put in to a project, and how much of your money, time, and labor you have invested only to see minimal returns? Have you ever found yourself angry at people who seem to have it all but could not be bothered to contribute or support you?
Let us forgive ourselves for the feeling of powerlessness and frustration of not reaching people the way we would have liked to, or not having the kind of reception from others we were hoping for.
Oh - and while we're at it, let's forgive the moments where we started to become irritated with the people we are trying to reach. You know - the times where we justified making ourselves feel better, more superior, and victimized ourselves while secretly still entertaining thoughts such as:
Nobody else cares as much as I do. Look at what they spend their money and time on - those heathens!
People are caught up in such pointless, trivial things when they could instead be supporting me and what I do. Those fools!
I'm busting my back/hump/balls but nobody else is pitching in. Everyone else is in it for themselves - how dare they!
These may seem like very logical, well reasoned statements when we're already feeling like we've been struggling and going uphill with little or no support from the people around us - or when our own fears and insecurities start to fray and tear at our self-confidence and we begin to doubt our own ability to pull through. It is so very easy to start looking at all the ways others are not measuring up when that is the only lens through which we view ourselves and thus the world. BUT! When was the last time we genuinely tried to get to know and understand where everyone else is at in their lives and what they are already going through day to day - that we are totally missing and not taking into consideration because we've been so focused on our own projects and our own agendas? Have people really just been lazy and inconsiderate, or could it be they've been going through their own personal struggles and life changes and instead of looking at how we can better understand and relate to them, we focused only on why they weren't understanding or relating to us?
Looking back, are there people we have been in a way disregarding because we've been so caught up in what they could do for us? Have we been dismissing their problems, their struggles, their fears and worries because we for a moment lost sight of what connects us and focused more on the problems that separate us from each other? This too, can be changed as we head into the coming year - and we may be surprised to find the number of people who have been feeling the same way as we have been if we're willing to reach out a hand instead of point the finger.
Have you been feeling like you've been putting up with life and it's various challenges and not having much time to really be the authentic and genuine self you know yourself to be? Have you been feeling like you've been less than your ideal self whether it is in terms of your own personal life, or your relationships with others?
I don't know about everyone else but I definitely fall into this category. So if you can relate why don't you join me in forgiving this point? Here - we can do it together, RIGHT NOW, LIVE! Feel free to read along or add more of your own.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that the "better" parts of me - the aspects of me that I know to be strong, confident, generous, caring, genuine, and competent are somehow gone, missing, absent, or "dead" when in reality they will forever be a part of who I am able to be in any moment - and have only been suppressed and held back during the times when I allow myself to sink into my emotions and doubts and fears.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that because things have been challenging and certain weaknesses of my character have been coming up more prominently, that somehow that means I must be less, or that I am somehow unworthy, or that all of the work and time and devotion I have put into supporting myself and developing my self honesty has been for "nothing". I realize that in life we must often face moments of change - and in these moments we may need time to adjust, to learn, and to grow and in such moments it can feel like we are powerless or directionless and alone - especially when we fear to let go of the things that we have become attached to, or when we must venture out of our established comfort zones - and that it is okay to allow ourselves to not know what to expect or how well we will do in a new situation.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear change - not only when it comes to people in my life, my environment, my work, my career, or my interests - but also when it comes to changes in who I am and my perspectives in life.
I forgive myself that I have not seen or realized until now that who we are - our authentic and genuine selves - can mature and change over time, and that this change does not necessarily have to mean the end of something or the death of something but rather a transformation - a change. And that sometimes we may not understand the pains and trials and tribulations we go through but if we are able to embrace change and be open to looking at ourselves and others through new eyes - we will see that the best of ourselves is never gone - and neither is the best in others who have in their own way also changed, moved on, and transformed.
And thus I commit myself to understand, to forgive, and to realize that my utmost potential is something that grows, matures, and changes along with me and that sometimes we can become lost, bitter, spiteful, and afraid when it seems like everything is .... well.... changing. Therefore when I see or notice myself diminishing, isolating myself, or becoming less patient and more resistant toward others - I remind myself that this is an opportunity for change and for growth.
Instead of becoming angry at plans and projects falling apart, I commit myself to look at what I can learn from the process and how I can expand and change from it instead of insisting on having everything going my way.
Instead of feeling betrayed, abandoned, or dismissed by people who leave my life or decide to go in a direction that I cannot follow, I will instead give space for that person to grow and expand in the way that they see is best for them because that is what I would like for myself as well - and in honoring this growing and changing in another I also honor my own ability to grow and change - and therefore do not need to stay in the experience of feeling abandoned or discarded or betrayed because it is an opportunity for me to change instead of trying to hold on to something that I may have already outgrown.
Instead of becoming angry and disappointed with people who do not support me or agree with me in the projects and endeavors I am a part of, or when I notice myself blaming others for not being aware enough, not caring enough, not relating enough - I stop and first look at why I am reacting to them in this way if my goal is to reach them, communicate with them, and work with them - and from here I allow myself to drop my own expectations and value judgments so that I can really and truly get to know what people are going through, what they struggle with, what they give priority to, and how we can better understand, relate to, and support each other instead of me immediately judging them for not caring.
And instead of waiting and pacing and wondering where my confidence, my generosity, my care, my integrity, my courage, my will to be and express the best of myself has gone - I remind myself that it is and always has been right here and it was only that I for a moment lost sight of myself, lost touch with myself, lost connection with myself - and that the very things I have been feeling I lack are waiting and ready as soon as I am ready to be self-honest with me and stop participating in the thoughts, patterns, and behaviors that do not reflect the best version of myself.
And with that - I hope that you found some clarity and stability to help settle any lingering bitterness that may have accumulated over this year. I have no idea what do expect from the year to come - but I know that through the difficulties and challenges and the moments of doubt and pain I have come through the other side stronger, wiser, and even better equipped to face CHANGE - and I hope that the same applies for you.
For those unfamiliar with how to really connect to and establish self-honesty or what it means to be the best possible version of yourself - please check out the Desteni I Process that introduces you to the same tools that I still use daily to stabilize myself and has time and time again proven to be an invaluable tool in my life.
Feel free to contact me for any questions on self-forgiveness, what it means to be a Destonian, or about perspectives on life in general.
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