Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 11:46 pm
|Dinner With Monica Lewinsky -- 6 Reasons To Forgive YourselfWhile we were recently in England we were invited to a dinner party that was also attended by Monica Lewinsky (yes, that Monica!). She struck us as being a beautiful, intelligent and confident woman, having attended the London School of Economics.
As we left we thought about how tough it can be to move on in life beyond difficult or challenging times, such as Monica experienced when she had her mistakes played out in the glare of the media spotlight and became one of the worlds most recognizable names. Who hasn't heard of Monica Lewinsky?
Forgiving ourselves for past transgressions is one of the hardest things we have to face at some time in our lives, as none of us get it right all the time. Imagine how boring it would be if we were all perfect and none of us ever did anything wrong. We are here to learn and grow, not to be perfect. Perfection is our ability to see our imperfections!
In a recent workshop, we asked how many people were carrying some personal guilt or shame for something they had done that they could not forgive themselves for. At least three-quarters of the people put up their hands. One participant, Leila, had been looking after her daughter's dog, when the dog unexpectedly died. Leila's grief was compounded by the guilt and remorse she felt. As she described this event it sounded very recent, so we were surprised to hear that, although it had happened many years earlier, Leila had still not been able to forgive herself.
Guilt for what we have done stays with us long after the event: I am such a bad, hopeless, useless, awful, uncaring, hurtful, unlovable person who never gets it right. We think that through our guilt we are somehow redeeming our wrong doing, when in reality all it does is create more suffering. Blame follows guilt: How could I have done such a thing? How can I ever trust myself? How can I ever be trusted by anyone else?
And that is the biggest reason why we need to forgive ourselves
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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac
"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."
~Harry S. Truman