Forgiveness Challenge: 7 More Ways to Deepen Your Forgiveness Practice

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The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
— Mahatma Gandhi

I'm back with part two of my forgiveness challenge. (Don't know what I'm talking about? Click here to read about part one.) Long story short, I'm doing my own forgiveness challenge using the technique outlined in Iyanla Vanzant's book Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything.

I'm psyched to share my personal insights & practices inspired by my experience just need to make it clear that I'm not prescribing the use of any of these practices as a form of treatment for physical or medical problems without the advice of a medically licensed professional. 

All of us have ways in which we mask and cover our pain.
— Iyanla Vanzant

Day Eight: Forgiving Yourself for Believing

Whew! This day was a trip. Ugh, weaknesses & failures. Just saying those words out loud brings my energy down. It's hard to reframe our mistakes as opportunities for our growth but I know our failures & weaknesses are the places where the light enters. The places we can look at & go this doesn't feel good. I want to feel good.

Suggested practice:

Name one of your failures/weaknesses and describe how without it you wouldn't have been able to achieve success (expanded your mindset, grow in some way).

 

Day Nine: Forgiving Your Choices

This is a tough one. I think there is a fine line between taking responsibility and blaming yourself. I definitely have spent a majority of my life beating myself up for my choices. Shoulda, woulda, coulda's all the damn time. But I realize that the choices I've made that really didn't sit well with me were a result of not being grounded to myself, by listening to others & not taking their opinions or "advice" as simply add-ons not be all end alls. Do you know what I mean? We look to others to inform our choices and interestingly, disempower ourselves by not taking our own thoughts, feelings, and desires into consideration. 

Suggested practice:

I want you to set your timer for 10 minutes & write out a choice you wish you would've made. Something that you believe if you had made your life would be completely different. Get super detailed. Then take a 5 minute break, engage in some physical movement (stretching, a light jog, shaking out your arms, something so that "coulda woulda shoulda" energy moves through you & out of you). Drink some water & set your timer for 10 minutes. Write out in detail what happened because of what you did decide to do. Now I want you to compare. What did you learn? How has the choice you made served you? 

 

Day Ten: Forgiving Your Relationship with Money

Money is so complicated! You have people who are driven by always getting more of it. People who think money is evil. People who just want enough to get by. 

I never understood money. I always thought there was never enough. I remember being a kid & not realizing how amazing it was that my two, blue-collar immigrant parents were able to afford a really nice middle class life. But when my dad lost his job, I didn't really understand what it meant. I could feel it was bad by the energy in our house. That's really when I began to realize that not having money was scary. I felt a lot of fear around money & it has taken me years not to run away from it by spending it as fast as I could get it.

Whew! Just writing that was tough for me. This is truly a loaded subject with a bunch of minefields. If your following this challenge with me take your time & be gentle with yourself. I encourage you to get help from a financial planner. Even just reading blogs & listening to money podcasts is enough until you can afford a reputable planner.

Suggested practice:

Write your new money story. Clean slate. Bad credit gone. Debt gone. How would you treat money?

 

Day Eleven: Forgiving Your Job, Work or Career

I’ve always had a good job, meaning good coworkers, good managers, good money but I always just had a job. I never had a career I was proud of. I earned money but my passions or talents were not a part of the equation. I spent years embarrassed  because I knew that I was wasting time but I was used to that steady paycheck. I couldn't figure out how to switch career paths & not have to take a paycut. Remember my relationship with money I described earlier? Yeah, that fear of not having money had a lot to do with my staying put. But my "safe" jobs were exactly what I needed as I healed from past pain & expanded my mind. I was able to put my focus on my healing without worrying about my job safety. I am forever grateful for that.

Suggested practice:

Set the intention to practice gratitude for everything starting from your commute to work, the entire day at work & on your way home. I'm grateful for the break room so I have a warm place to rest for 15 minutes. I'm grateful for the elevator working so I don't have to climb 8 flights of stairs. I'm grateful that I have the opportunity to see what I don't like about how so so runs the meeting so I know what I'll do differently when it's my turn to lead at work or anywhere else.

 

Day Twelve: Forgiving Women

 
 

I have always had great friendships with women. I've also received some of my nastiest critiques from women. I never understood what was wrong with me & why they didn't like me. I was a victim of mean girls & there were times I succumbed to being a mean girl so I could fit in. What a strange tangled thing our relationship to women is as a woman. Especially because I deeply believe women need other women. We derive so much power when in a community of uplifting women. I don't know who I'd be without all the amazing women in my life.

Suggested practice:

Journal prompts: The first woman who broke my heart was... What she never knew about how she hurt me is... What I never realized about how I was impacted by her actions is...

 

Day Thirteen: Forgiving Men

Another heavy day for me. I'm pretty tender about this one. I grew up watching soap operas so I had this super fantasy based idea about men, love & relationships. I never had issues having male friends. One of my best friends is male & we've been friends for over 20 years. But love? That has been a deeply sticky area for me. Only a few years ago did I start working with coaches around love & it's helped me open up my perspective & expand my understanding of men. I'm still working on this aspect of my life but I am light years ahead of were I used to be thankfully. 

Suggested practice:

Watch the documentary, The Mask You Live In.

Synopsis from their website

"The Mask You Live In follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity.

Pressured by the media, their peer group, and even the adults in their lives, our protagonists confront messages encouraging them to disconnect from their emotions, devalue authentic friendships, objectify and degrade women, and resolve conflicts through violence. These gender stereotypes interconnect with race, class, and circumstance, creating a maze of identity issues boys and young men must navigate to become “real” men.

Experts in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, sports, education, and media also weigh in, offering empirical evidence of the “boy crisis” and tactics to combat it.

The Mask You Live In ultimately illustrates how we, as a society, can raise a healthier generation of boys and young men."

Learn how you can view it here: http://therepresentationproject.org/film/the-mask-you-live-in/see-the-film/buy-rent-stream/ 

After you watch it, I'd love to know what you know now you didn't know before. Comment below or or shoot me an email!

 

Day Fourteen: Forgiving Yourself for Judging Your Partner/Ex-Partner

My ex was a mirror to all my unhealed places. Things I really deeply thought were his problem - lack of commitment, poor communication & fear based choices. But how on earth was I unhealed in those areas? Well, I manifested another man who wouldn't commit because of my deep belief that I was unlovable. I was an awesome communicator but I wasn't telling myself the truth - I was afraid something was wrong with me & I didn't deserve a committed relationship. Every single man I manifested reinforced my belief that I was unlovable by always not being with me. Yeah, your girl had some serious ish to work on! But thank God he hurt me because he was my "I'm done" moment. His pain made me finally look at mine & admit I needed help. 

Suggested practice:

Can you thank your partner/ex-partner for a lesson you needed to learn the hard way? You can thank your partner by thinking of them or looking at a picture of them & saying "Thank you (enter name), you were the catalyst that allowed me to learn..."