In the previous post I introduce all ten reasons that we will cover. Here they are again for your information.
- To forgive yourself
- To forgive others
- To learn the heart of your siblings
- To get questions answered
- To become comfortable sharing who you really are
- To create a family vision
- To break generational curses
- To change roles
- To win souls
- To re-engage in family traditions
To Forgive Yourself
Sometimes we are able to forgive by assuming the best case scenario, never talking about what happened and choosing to move on. Many times, this approach has hidden hatred or offense. Forgiving yourself of your past is about forgiving what happened in that you could not control the actions of others, and you are deciding to forgive yourself if you were out of control in a situation.
During this part of your soul-searching, it is not about who is at fault sort-to-speak, but about you being totally honest with yourself, learning from any mistake you may have made, owning the situation and relieving yourself of any shame that you may feel.
Shame is like a cancer- it looks for an opportunity to grow and to infect other areas of your life however you have the ingredient that can prevent such cancerous emotions – love. When you choose to love yourself you can cover your own mistake and make changes that will help you to embrace better life choices.
Sometimes the things that we damn ourselves about are not about something that we did wrong at all. A former high school athlete may feel shame that they did not make it to the pros because they had a knee or ankle injury which forfeited scholarships and other options that could have sent them to the pros. This is dangerous thinking. You began to blame yourself for something that happened which you could not control.
Even if you were a teenaged mother like me, you could imagine yourself in a different place in life – children are a major responsibility and we are not the only group of females or parents in general who would be choosing to accept a different type of job opportunity to raise a child.
Trust me, whatever negative feelings you have about yourself are only stopping you from becoming who you are destined to be. You cannot dance until it rains if you refuse to plant seeds of faith for a harvest.
You wanted something different in life. It wasn’t supposed to happen but it did. I never thought that I was affected by being molested or raped but I was. I could not have created a program, written books and offer support in others’ healing if this had not happened first to me. I am not suggesting that this situation is divine – but I do believe that the gifts we are given are without repentance. Your gifts make room for you, and to keep this explanation short and sweet, my gifts are not being sexually abused.
You got it? You can not go to the next step until you forgive yourself and realize that you were born into your family for a purpose, if not your siblings and those that are around you perhaps for the DNA. I strongly encourage people to do a genealogical study about their ancestors beginning with their parents, and grandparents. You may find similarities four or five generations back. This kind of DNA will cause you to become strong.
In a family counseling setting, sure people will bring up issues about you – it is inevitable. Some of it will be true, and some of it may not be true. However, one thing that I can almost guarantee is that there will be a moment in at least one of your sessions when someone remembers something really cool about you that they admire. It is not all bad.
Remember this: Forgiving yourself is not for them, it is for you. You do not gain their respect, trust or get back into anyone’s good graces with pity. If anything, used improperly this can be a form of manipulation. When you choose to forgive yourself you release yourself from the past entirely.
If you have done something to hurt someone it may be a good idea to call them or stop by, set up a meeting to apologize. The best apology is without excuses. Explanation and excuses are two very different things.
In the case where you were sexually, emotionally or physically abused, do not be ashamed that you “allowed” it to happen. Do not blame yourself for someone else’s actions. Instead learn, heal and choose to forgive it all because you have your entire life in front you.
Ressurrection Graves is a child sexual abuse expert and relationship mentor. She is available for speaking engagements and interviews with media by phone, and nationwide.