Today is Q and A Day!
I received a question from a male survivor of child sex abuse about forgiveness. Usually you think forgiveness is all about the offender, when forgiveness covers a lot more – like yourself!
I thought this question was very fitting for many of you too, so I chose to answer it on my blog instead of privately.
How Do You Forgive Yourself?
I did a great deal of self-harm to my body … how to you forgive yourself for something like that?
Okay, ready? Here’s something that may sound a tad odd, but it’s true – you behaved the way you knew how to at the time.
Back then, you reacted and let the pain out the only way you knew how. You coped with what tools you had at the time.
So guess what that means? It means you’re A-Okay! You’re right where you’re supposed to be.
It’s not only about forgiveness, it’s about judgement. Stop judging yourself. You’re in school – the school of life.
It’s like people addicted to anything from smoking to eating. They’re using what they know how to use to cope with anxiety and fear. Once they find something to replace it, they no longer need what they were using.
The same goes for self-harm and self-abuse. You were using what you knew how to use. When you’re raised by wolves with no one protecting you, let along teaching you how to love and lead a balanced life, you have to work with what you’re given.
It’s like getting the wrong textbook when you start school. There you are learning and studying and repeating what is shown to you and BAM! You find out you have the wrong textbook.
So if you were raised by an abuser, you will most likely abuse yourself and others – Until you retrain the pathways in your brain! Until you get a new textbook.
This is exactly why I wrote the Be Your Own Hero Workbook, and why the biggest buyers are therapists.
It is completely possible (and rewarding) to learn new tools, new behaviors and new ways to love yourself and others.
So, How Do You Forgive Yourself?
You give yourself a break.
Do you yell at the two-year-old because they haven’t learned multiplication yet? No! You applaud what they are learning and add new lessons. And you make it fun!
You realize that by abusing yourself, you were just repeating what was taught to you.
You graduate to new ways of thinking – and loving.
Right now, you say to yourself “Wow, I’m glad you hung in there with me. That was a hard class. You’re awesome. Let’s go to the next class, shall we?”
Then you quit letting your abuser keep abusing you by abusing yourself.
You were born into this world a divine spark of Spirit.
Then you were taught some lame stuff that you just have to unlearn and relearn some good stuff. It’s that simple. It’s like you were just put into the wrong class with the wrong textbook.
Now you’ve found the exit, go out, go down the hallway and go into that Loving Class with a much better textbook.
Forgiving yourself is rewiring the old thought patterns. Read Be Your Own Hero and see what I mean.
Here’s a new textbook! You can scroll through it here.