Learn How To Transcend Self-Judgement And Lean Into Forgiveness.
Have you ever noticed your mind heavily judging yourself? Or noticed when your inner critic won’t get out of the way? You may have reacted or responded badly to a situation recently? Would you say that you dwell in those spaces of judgement often? Let’s move into forgiveness.
Sometimes we blame and hate ourselves way too often. We don’t realise how much shame and self-contempt we pick up from situations we’ve been through until we really forgive ourselves and allow ourselves to notice what that feels like. Loving yourself, forgiving yourself, accepting yourself – all of these feel different from judging yourself. Many of us have lived with so much judgement of ourselves that we take these feelings for granted. We just think that is how we are doomed to feel. Until we do forgive ourselves, we don’t realise how much we need to, and how good, how great, how absolutely terrific that feels!
We can become leery of forgiveness, sometimes we see forgiving as judging. And because judging was wrong and we shouldn’t do it, we think we don’t need to forgive. The problem is whether it’s right or wrong we are still judging ourselves. We need forgiveness.
We can forgive ourselves for what we’ve done wrong, what we’ve done badly, and what we think we could have done better. We can transcend our judgements of ourselves.
Take a moment to sit on your own doing nothing and close your eyes;
- Begin to visit all the ways in which you judge yourself and sense how that feels inside.
- Offer each of your judgements forgiveness and sense how that feels.
- Anytime a judgement comes towards you or anyone else, transform that into forgiveness.
Can you sense the difference between how judgement feels compared to forgiveness? Move gently into forgiveness. Love, forgive, and accept yourself and feel how connected you are. Can you sense how much better that feels? If we can move into the practice of forgiveness within then we are more able to offer that forgiveness to others. Authentically and full-heartedly.
Forgiveness Vs Acceptance.
Let’s not confuse forgiveness with acceptance. We do not have to condone our own behaviour to forgive ourselves. Forgiveness simply allows us to release the hold that judgement has over us. When we allow a painful memory to be revived over and over again our autonomic nervous system rises up to fight the oppressor until it finally exhausts itself and gives up.
Pretending the hurt doesn’t exist only makes things worse. You may have ‘let go’ of not thinking of this pain but in reality, you’ve just pushed it deeper into your body and heart, both of which constrict around the hurt. Then this ‘withholding’ creates such physical tension we don’t notice how much we are holding our breath, locking our knees, clamping our jaws, biting our lips or nails until it shows up as physical pain. Withholding forgiveness goes against the first and foremost yoga commandment:
‘Do no harm.’ AHIMSA (nonviolence).
We find forgiveness so we can move beyond the past.
We are all human. We all make mistakes. Know and trust that you did the best you could at that time and forgive thyself! I highly recommend this breath practice called the Sitali Breath (or Cooling Breath) anytime you feel the judgement against yourself or others, arise.
- Sit comfortably with your back straight, your shoulders away from your ears, and your eyes closed. Inhale and exhale normally for several breaths as you settle into your seat.
- To start the practice, stick your tongue out, just beyond your lips, and roll it like a tube. Inhale gently through your tongue, raising your chin slightly and feeling your chest and lungs expand with air (taking care to keep your shoulders relaxed). Allow your mind to focus on the cooling sensation. If your lips won’t fold like a tube just create an ‘O’ shape with your lips.
- At the top of the inhalation, bring your tongue back into your mouth and rest it just behind your front teeth on your upper palate. As you exhale, slowly bring your head down toward your chest in a gentle chin lock.
- Stick your tongue out again, roll it, and inhale as you raise your head and chin. Repeat the sequence six to eight times.
Sense how you feel afterwards and sit with that feeling. Let it be observed & absorbed. Holding judgements towards ourselves and others goes against our true nature, which is, kind, compassionate & peaceful. Spread the light of forgiveness.
Thank you for your readership. Wishing you love and light.
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