“The more you know yourself, the more you forgive yourself.” —Confucius

For weeks I was burning with anger. The scenarios kept playing back in my mind over and over again. In meditation as I tried to let it go, it gripped the back of my neck and gave me a throbbing headache. My stomach hurt and I developed heartburn. Meanwhile the perpetrator of my trip to hell went about, happily oblivious of what they had done. There was something wrong with this picture.

As I took this apart and observed my body, I realized that there was a lot more going on than someone doing something to me. The incident had affected my sense of self worth (third chakra located in the solar plexus). The feeling of anger (my ego) was defending something. It had deployed the full fight and flight reaction. Adrenaline and cortisol was coursing through me. My mind (ego) was at war. With my body!

We leave a trail of blood and gore from our wounds as we go through life. We are born into imperfect families. The familial deficiencies becomes our core agenda around which our personalities develop. As children we try to “fix” this family deficiency. Not succeeding we are left with a feeling of failure and worthlessness. As we grow older we may not have been seen for who we are, leaving us feeling “never good enough.” We try to live up to expectations and end up feeling inauthentic and fake. Shame is born and we spend the rest of our lives hiding it. We all go through this, only the players and stories are different.

“Shame is an intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging. It is the fear of disconnection. Connection along with love and belonging is why we are here, and it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.

“Shame derives its power from being unspeakable. That is why it loves perfectionists. If we cultivate enough awareness about shame to name it and speak it we are basically cutting it off at the knees.” -Brene Brown.

The fact is that humans are not perfect. Not me, you or anyone. The experiences of my life had primed me to react with anger when my vulnerable wound was scratched. Understanding this  gave me a choice. I could roll with my anger and torture myself or I could forgive myself for believing that I was unworthy. For allowing another to treat me with disrespect.

Far worse than being betrayed by another is betraying oneself. As that realization sunk in, just like that, my anger was gone. It turns out, forgiveness is not about the other person at all but about understanding and loving oneself.

No one is doing any thing to any one!

“Once you forgive yourself, the self-rejection in your mind is over. Self acceptance begins, and the self love will grow so strong the you will finally accept yourself just the way you are. That’s the beginning of the free human. Forgiveness is the key.”—Don Miguel Ruiz

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