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Disclaimer: Please note these articles are for information purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other health care professional. Always check with your doctor if you have any concerns about your condition or treatment. Thank you.
Forgiveness; is it for you or them? Within Private Practice as a Counsellor, the 'giving of forgiveness', is one of the most commonly advised actions I hear clients speak of, usually directed by well meaning friends and family, who tell them to 'forgive, forget, and move on'. However, this is usually also echoed by not so well-meaning individuals, using social constructs and values of what forms 'being a good person', to manipulate others into forgiving them; only to repeat the same actions and hurt. This continuous betrayal and going against our own instincts, furthers the disconnection and mistrust, so many of us already face when dealing with self.
For me, forgiveness is an attitude; an attitude that there forward influences your decisions and future actions.
Forgiveness is a powerful connection with self; understanding the negative physiological effects that anger, stress and worry present to our bodies, and the mental exhaustion that is involved with continuously replaying events and conversations, echoing the famous "I shoulda, coulda, woulda'... it reeks havoc!
Forgiveness, for me, is therefore a strong form of self love, self respect, and compassion. It is not forgetting the lessons learned, or re-inviting the same hurt, it is forgiving ourselves first, and then others, without 'forgetting' the lessons learned, and using them to create healthier relationships/situations.
It is a process of first acknowledging what has happened - why did this happen? What did I not understand? What was I needing? How am I feeling now? What do I need now?
FORGIVING OURSELVES FIRST
Forgiving ourselves for being within the situation - understanding that every experience has a lesson that we can either use to make us, or continue to break us. Remember, you simply did the best you could, with what you knew/wanted, at the time. It is okay. Next time, you will be able to look back at this experience/experiences, with a better understanding of self, and how to prevent or handle it differently. You survived it, and you are growing. xx
The next phase is accepting that these things have happened. They did not happen to you because the world is out to get you, or because you are not worthy of better; it happened to shape and make you into someone who can now use these things as a part of your testimony.
You have overcome hurt, betrayal, lies, pain, and whatever else was thrown at you, and you are still standing; ready to walk in your new shoes, with one less bag to carry :-)
Accept it has happened; you can not change what has happened, but you can influence what happens next.
Then, with compassion and love for self, remembering the harm that anger, stress and worry presents to the body.
Look it up, even if you already know; what does the constant release or cortisol and adrenaline do to your body, blood pressure, digestive system and brain?
Print it out and place it on your mirror (read it every morning and then repeat "I forgive myself, and I forgive others... no one can take away my peace and joy... I love me." No printer? cut and paste it into your notes section of your phone!
Actively deciding to take on the attitude of forgiveness of self, and others, for your own wellbeing and future growth, is a kindness and compassion that you truly deserve.
Forgiveness does not have to mean remaining in the situation or returning to the old patterns that hurt you. We can forgive others from a distance.
One of my favourite memes that I sometimes use with clients is one that states, "Forgiveness does not mean the healing of a relationship". For me, it means the healing of self, thus, a healing of the most important relationship we will ever have... the relationship with, and trust of, self.
Again, what did the lessons teach you about your own boundaries? Do these need to be addressed?
Please feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel where I begin a video course in June, 'Creating, Understanding, and Living, your Boundaries'. You can subscribe here -
REMAINING IN CONTACT WITH THE OTHER PERSON
Sometimes, when it is safe, we can also forgive others, and remain in contact with them; within a new, more boundary clear, relationship. This is created through being open about the boundaries they have crossed, and taking to them about what can be done to move forward. What do you now need to feel safe? It is using the lessons learned to create more healthier interactions with others and, if necessary, the individual that hurt you.
Just remember that the forgiveness given is not for the other person; although it maybe appreciated, and will hopefully teach them the beauty of forgiveness, and the structure of the new relationship after boundaries have been broken - consequences.
Forgiveness it is the forgiveness of self the reconnection with self, and the healing of self; others just sometimes have the benefit of remaining in our lives to experience this new attitude, at the outpouring of this love.
I forgive me. I forgive you.
By Novena-Chanel Davies, The Equilibrium Coach™ - 07th May 2015 - www.novena-chanel.com
Copyright © 2015 Novena-Chanel Davies. All Rights Reserved.
Money & Career
Novena-Chanel is a London-based entrepreneur, working as a writer (contributing to magazines and websites), a registered integrative Counsellor/Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Wellbeing Consultant, Workshop Facilitator, Nutritional advisor, Reiki Practitioner, and Presenter. She is also the Founder and Director of The Youth Caterpillar Project: a youth social enterprise that provides Counselling, Mentoring, Family Mediation (teen-to-parent) and workshops to young people and their families. Find out more by visiting her at www.novena-chanel.com