All of us, in our everyday lives, go through situations where we feel let down or hurt. Anger, pain, frustration all these are natural feelings that all of us go through at some point or another. Sometimes we hurt ourselves mentally or emotionally to protect a loved one. Sometimes we lie so that someone else is not hurt. Sometimes we give up on our closest relationships or friendships because we have been hurt by the other person.

So, how do we deal with things we run from, the mistakes that we made or the time we lost and the people we hurt?

It all starts with FORGIVENESS. Forgiveness is such a beautiful and a powerful word yet we always think of it in the context of forgiving others and not ourselves. Forgiving yourself is as important as forgiving others because you deserve peace too.

It may not always come easily as the natural choice but it is the right thing to do. It is absolutely normal to feel guilt, shame, pain and other such feelings after what you have gone through. Forgiveness gives you the ability to rise above the negativity and allows you to give yourself the permission to move forward after whatever has happened. And you deserve to move on!

The first step towards self-forgiveness is being mindful of what you are feeling. Allow yourself to observe your thoughts, feelings and reaction to them and really just go through them. Cry if you have to, shout, or feel angry. If you are able to freely acknowledge your feelings, the rest will follow.

The next step is acceptance – accepting responsibility for your actions. Here, you have to stop making excuses, giving reasons or justifying your actions. Accept yourself for the person you are, even for the mistakes you have made, for it has made you who you are today. Accept also that whatever has happened has happened. It’s in the past and it’s done.

What’s next? Be empathetic to yourself as opposed to blaming yourself. Feeling negative feelings will hinder you from making positive changes for the future. If you carry around the weight of the past on your shoulders, how will you be ready to build a better future? Be empathetic, loving and compassionate to yourself. Just like when a child falls, we lift it in our arms with love, compassion and empathy. This is exactly what you need to practice with yourself!

Once you are more conscious of your thoughts and energies and give yourself the permission to rise above the self-doubt, pain and guilt bring about a conscious change in your everyday life – the way you think of yourself in a particular situation, your reactions to it so on and so forth. Real change can come about when we change our thoughts and actions consciously.

The final step is to stop and appreciate yourself for the change you have made in your life. For having overturned negative feelings though the power of self-love and self-forgiveness. Here on, you can consciously avoid falling prey to past patterns and making similar mistakes that you may have in the past. You are now equipped with a new way of thinking, a new way of living! So welcome a new way of life!

By:  Anjana Shamballa | Life Coach in Bangalore