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Life Makeover for the Year 2008

Week 7 – Forgive Yourself: The key to healing your life

February 18, 2008

Dear Friends,

We now have more of the “You Can Heal Your Life” DVDs back in stock. You can read about this wonderful movie and see a trailer here.

This week’s “Coach on Call” radio show will be a rebroadcast about “The Art of Brainstorming” — great ideas for those of you who are trying to move forward with a dream! I’ll be back live on Monday, February 25th. To listen to the show visit www.hayhouseradio.com on Monday at 5pm ET (2pm PT, 10pm GMT) and click on the “listen now” button.

Have a great week…

Love,
Cheryl

p.s. – Need a little Divine Direction?  Use the “Touch of Grace” button on our homepage here: http://www.cherylrichardson.com.


“Finish each day and be done with it . . . You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it well and serenely.”

–Ralph Waldo Emerson


Topic of the Week – Heal Your Life by Forgiving Yourself

We’ve received tons of feedback about the recent Oprah Winfrey Show and the new movie, “You Can Heal Your Life.” The concepts that were discussed in both the movie and the show have struck a cord with a broad audience and the one topic that seems to have had the greatest impact of all was about forgiveness — both of others and ourselves. So, I dug out a prior newsletter on self-forgiveness, knowing that the most profound changes start there. I hope it strikes a cord with you…

Prior to sending this newsletter, I had written about the importance of letting go of the past by forgiving those who had done you wrong. That newsletter generated a lot of mail from readers. It
seems that many of us are ready to forgive someone so we can find peace and move on with our lives. But, one community member’s email in particular, shared an important message: “As I read your newsletter, I was reminded that as much as I have to forgive others, I need to forgive myself, too, for being my own worst critic, for without that, I’ll never really move on.”

So, so true. When we stop to consider those we’re ready to forgive, there’s a good chance that we may need to forgive ourselves for what we see as our role in the situation (whether this thinking is
realistic or not). For example, if you’re ready to forgive the spouse who suddenly left you after twenty years of marriage, you may also need to forgive yourself for not seeing it coming. Or, you may need to stop blaming yourself for staying at a job you couldn’t stand, at the same time you forgive your boss for eliminating your position *before* you could quit.

In hindsight, most of us beat ourselves up for doing something we later regret. I certainly have. When I look back over my life, there are several examples that come to mind:

  • Staying in a relationship that I knew wasn’t good for me
  • Not taking better care of my body and getting ill
  • Getting myself into debt in my early twenties
  • Falling in love with someone’s potential instead of facing reality

I’m sure you have your own share of examples, too. As a coach, I’ve been blessed to learn about the importance of self-forgiveness by helping clients to be more forgiving of themselves. For example, whenever someone started beating themselves up for doing something wrong, I asked questions like:

  • At the time, was it realistic for you to expect yourself to do something different?
  • Did you have the skills or information you needed to make a better choice?
  • What about support? Did you have unconditionally loving people around you to help?

As you might imagine, the answer to one or more of these questions was often a resounding “No!”

Forgiving yourself for your limitations is a crucial first step in healing your life. This is the beautiful gift that Louise Hay brings through her work — every good thing starts with self-love and forgiveness — everything. In an unprecedented time of turmoil and stress, most human beings are doing the best they can with the resources, wisdom, and knowledge they have available to them. Yes, it’s important to learn from your mistakes, but eventually you need to get the lesson and move on. So, check out this week’s Take Action Challenge for something practical you can do to initiate your own self-forgiveness process.


~*~ Take Action Challenge ~*~

Tonight, before going to bed, find a photo of yourself as a young girl or boy. Make sure you can clearly see yourself in the picture. Then, slip into bed early (by yourself if you sleep with someone
else), and stare at the photo (if you can’t find a photo, simply put your hand on your heart and repeat the prayer below). Look deeply into your eyes in the photo and see the innocence of that little s oul. Look at your expression, your posture, your hands. Take a few moments to connect with the vulnerability of being a child and when you’re ready, repeat the following prayer:

“Dear (your name), I forgive you for (the event or circumstance). I know you were doing the best you could at the time and I release you from this event forever. I let my self-hatred go and I put the burden of my limitations in God’s hands. I am finished with this memory forever and I am free. I now move on with my life.”

Then, offer thanks and go to sleep. When the event crosses your mind again (and it probably will), simply repeat, “I forgive myself,” and then dismiss the thought from your mind. If the memory does seem to linger, try this. Keep the photo of yourself as a child handy and, when any negative self-talk arises, look at the photo and gently remind yourself that you’d never speak to this little girl/boy that way. After a while, you’ll find that the memory returns less often and soon you’ll forget about it altogether.

To truly forgive others, we must forgive ourselves first. “Now” is a good time to start . . .


In the News

  • There are still some spaces left in “The Writer’s Workshop” Mexican Riviera cruise. If you are an earnest writer who’s committed to getting your message out into the world you’ll want to check out this important opportunity to learn the ins and outs of getting published. Along with a comprehensive program, you’ll be invited to attend a special event with Reid Tracy, president and publisher of Hay House, who will answer questions about what they look for in a successful author. For more info click here.
  • Would you like a little laser coaching from Cheryl? Call in during her live Internet radio show, Coach on Call, on Mondays at 5pm ET (2pm PT, 10pm GMT) at www.hayhouseradio.com. Simply dial (866) 254-1579 if you live in the US, or for international callers dial, 1-760-918-4300 after your country code. Cheryl discusses a variety of topics related to practicing Extreme Self Care and living a high quality life.
  • We have a variety of unique life-changing gifts in our webstore at www.myextremeselfcare.com. You can have books personally signed for you or a loved one with a note of encouragement or support, include a hand-written gift card with your order, or find a special item to support your own self-care. There are heart ornaments, books, audio programs, lotions, and our popular Mesmerizing Oggz Egg (you need to see it to understand :). Check them out here: www.myextremeselfcare.com.
  • Listen to the free Practice Building Workshop telegathering on audio podium and learn to build your client base in a relaxed and authentic way. Whether you’re a coach, therapist, lawyer, massage therapist, or other service oriented business owner, you can learn about our program and the important steps for practice development by calling (405) 244-4000 – Box 104. For more info on our PBW audio program, click here.

Life Makeover For The Year 2008 (sm) is written and produced by Cheryl Richardson. If you have any questions or comments, please send them to: cheryl@cherylrichardson.com. © Copyright 1999-2008
Cheryl Richardson, P.O. Box 13, Newburyport, MA 01950. All rights reserved.