Forgiveness. We often think of forgiveness as the act of forgiving someone else who we feel has wronged us or asking for forgiveness from someone who feels we've wronged them. But what about the act of forgiving ourselves?
Halloween just ended. Thanksgiving and Christmas are fast approaching. There will be holiday parties, long to do lists, family gatherings and all of it has food. Cookies, candies, pies, cakes, sweets of all kinds and lots of rich foods reserved for such holidays. The average American will gain 5lbs between the months of November and December. 5lbs they'll make a New Years resolution to lose. But what if we could stop that from occuring, yet still enjoy our holidays?
Every year around this time I hear women beat themselves up for eating their children's Halloween candy, indulging in too much food or drink at a party, saying "yes" to something they know they should have said "no" to. But what does that get you?
For most of us women its just another thing to feel guilty over, another place where we think we've failed ourselves, another thing to stress and worry over, another reason to beat ourselves up over. And what does that get us?
We certainly don't feel better about ourselves. In fact we feel worse! Further from our goals, a failure, a loser. Making ourselves feel bad doesn't change what happened. It doesn't stop the food from entering our mouths or take away the calories from the foods we've already eaten. In fact, for many of us, it causes us to eat MORE!!! We self medicate with "feel good" foods. Leading us to continue on with the self-hate pattern. But what if we practiced forgiveness?
What if we forgave ourselves for over doing it? What if we forgave ourselves for eating or drinking to much? What if we forgave ourselves for our own mistakes, our own weaknesses, our own imperfections, our own moments of giving in? For they are just that! They don't make us who we are! And we're certainly able to forgive others for such "crimes"! So why not ourselves?
What if you did forgive yourself? Recognize that it was just one event. One cookie. One drink. One meal. Or even if it wasn't and it was a whole day, week, month, year of poor decisions! Beating yourself up about it won't change that it happened. It happened! But forgiving yourself allows you to move on. To put it in the past and see the possibilities of a different future. It allows you to examine the event, the decision and see why you made it. And in that examination, that why, you'll find the opportunity to make a different decision the next time.
You see forgiving yourself allows you to free yourself from the emotion. You're not bad, poor, weak, or a failure. It was just a poor MOMENT, a poor DECISION, and one you can learn from. Why did you make it? Were you bored? Were you overly hungry? Were you influenced by people around you? Were you stressed? Were you scared, lonely, intimidated? Then ask yourself how you would have liked to have handled the situation. What could you have done differently? What could you have said? Play it out in your mind the ideal way you would have handled it. Then next time, you'll know and do differently.
The holidays, our family, our lives, they're meant to be enjoyed. Just as you would forgive others their mistakes and imperfections, do the same for yourself! Not only will you be slimmer for it, but happier too!