The decluttering of self-forgiveness

One morning last week, I woke up and did my writing, ran through my yoga sequence, then sat down with my assignment from Gabrielle Bernstein's 40 Day Course called, May Cause Miracles.

I have to mention how I came to do the course. I was reading 1 John 4:8 a couple of months before where the Apostle John writes, "There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love."

And my immediate reaction was...yeah, but how do you DO that? 

So I prayed and asked God to send me some practical instructions. Then a few weeks later, while reading about something else completely, I learned about Gabby's book which is all about love and fear. So I ordered it. 

Anyway, back to my morning.  I had just been writing the post on the latest round of decluttering and how hard it was.  Then I picked up my assignment in Gabby's book--which was all about self-forgiveness. 

And because I had just been writing about it, I realized the correlation between decluttering and forgiveness. 

Letting go of physical stuff is hard. Letting go of emotional stuff is harder. Especially when it is your own stuff. 

I find it is much easier to forgive the offenses of others than for me to forgive my own.  It is a constant temptation to beat myself up over things small and large. Snippets of conversation from the far distant past. Failures to act. Actions that were simply stupid. All of it comprising a litany of yuck. 

Decluttering our emotional lives through forgiveness isn't just important.  It is essential.  We feel lighter.  Freer. We have more space to breathe.

Are your internal closets full of offenses for which you have never forgiven yourself? Is it time to start unloading?

This week has focused on the relationship to self.  As I read the meditation this evening, I was struck by the phrase: "thank you for mending this relationship and reigniting love." I'm not sure I've ever thought about needing to heal my relationship with myself, and yet at a deep level I know it to be true. The angry thoughts, recriminations, accusations, disappointment...I would talk to no other the way I often talk to myself. So something, somewhere is definitely broken.

What if broken relationships with others are merely symptomatic of something more personal? What if we really have to love ourselves before we can truly and freely love others?  

I'm not talking about ego.  Ego is based in fear. In lack. In jockeying for position. I'm talking about love.  That which is patient, kind, does not dishonor, always protects, always trusts, always hopes... Love is abundant. It doesn't run out. 

These are new thoughts for me.  I'm grateful to Gabby for inspiring them. 

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Maira Gall