I was saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Wayne Dyer this past weekend. I consider him to be one of the pioneers of the self-help movement, and I don’t think it would be incorrect for me to say that I believe that almost everyone in my field has been affected by his life’s work. His books have been best sellers time and time again, and for good reason. He had an uncanny ability of using his own personal life experiences to encourage others.
One of his biggest principles was not letting issues from your past cripple your present. Where have you heard that message before? Seriously though, Dr. Dyer encouraged people to acknowledge the past and all the decisions you’ve made up until this point, take the lesson, and then move forward. He repeated often that it simply was unnecessary to waste our precious present moments anguishing over things we could not do anything to change.
One vital key for moving forward is forgiveness…forgiveness of yourself. Like him and like you, there are lots of things I have said and done in my life that I have learned important lessons from…and many I learned enough from not to repeat…and others I see aspects that keep repeating. I pay close attention to those things so I can release them (and myself) and move forward. Oftentimes, when we don’t forgive ourselves we become riddled with guilt, beat ourselves up, and then our spiritual connection to love, peace, and kindness erodes.
One of the most frequent questions I get from my clients is: “How do I forgive myself?”
So, here are some tips for forgiving yourself:
- Stop beating yourself up! Your inner critic can be mean and vindictive, and it won’t stop unless YOU stop it. Learn lessons from the past and start valuing you. Accept yourself as who you are and the situation for what it is. Imagine that your bat has been taken away and you no longer have it. Practice being present in every moment and being kind and loving to yourself right now.
- Write a loving letter of forgiveness to yourself. Be clear and specific about what you are forgiving yourself for. Honor and accept that you made the best decision you could because that was the decision that was made and it is now in the past and is over.
- Realize that nobody is perfect and yet we are whole and perfect in our imperfections and flaws. You are going to make mistakes, we ALL do. And that’s absolutely ok. It is the journey of life to grow and learn from every experience. Embrace the lessons and keep going.
When you master forgiveness, letting go, and accepting that you choose the best you can at any given moment, you’ll start to see the challenges of life as lessons AND fuel for growth instead of a bat for crushing your spirit.
Thank you Dr. Dyer for your incredible contributions to the understanding of holistic health and emotional and spiritual well-being. The legacy you created will enable those of us still here to continue to do this important work of leading the journey inward toward personal growth, self-acceptance, and love.