Tag Archives: Self Forgiveness

Emerging Shadow Aspects of the Soul

Working with shadow parts is always something that makes me feel apprehensive, even though I know it shouldn’t as it is just the lower vibrational aspects of our soul arising to be released.

It is scary when I find out things about myself that I really don’t like. Knowing that they need love and healing helps a little. Also observing them rather than attaching to them helps to quell any judgement of myself that naturally stirs.

Just because we know how we don’t want to feel or be, doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t feel those things or have those aspects in our personalities.

Recently I’ve been noticing cowardly parts of myself. Actually that’s quite a judgemental word, I think I prefer fearful. I’ve noticed that I am far too happy to stay indoors and away from people in light of the current coronavirus outbreak. Things have just ramped up a notch here in the UK, and we’re now told to only go out for essential purposes.

At the moment this hasn’t bothered me one bit. I love being at home, it’s peaceful to me, and in my current recovery from Coeliacs Disease I still have little energy (an earlier boost a few weeks ago has unfortunately subsided). I am an introvert at heart, but one who needs and loves being around people in small doses.

The new imposed limits in contact have awoken in me a realisation that I am greatly relieved to have an excuse not to socialise. Like seriously relieved! This really surprised me. I’ve always been aware that I’m very socially anxious, but I didn’t realise by how much, or how much it has been affecting me.

What scares me so much about socialising with other people?

I find it all too intense. Other people’s energy seems very “loud” if that makes any sense to you? I feel very overwhelmed by it very quickly. At some point I even questioned if I have Aspergers. I certainly fit some of the criteria, but not enough for a diagnosis I don’t think.

The overwhelm doesn’t just come from the other people, but also the environment we are in: noise, visuals, other energies around us.

But even in a peaceful environment, one-on-one with a friend, I can only manage a small amount of time before I feel overstimulated.

I am constantly aware of how the other person sees me, perceives, judges. I am constantly monitoring myself and them for signs of doing something socially inappropriate or upsetting to someone.

No wonder I get so overstimulated, and fearful also. I put myself under a microscope and am super-conscious of everything I do.

Exploring my fear has helped me judge myself less. I almost feel I am observing a frightened child, one who hasn’t managed to learn how to accommodate her sensitivities, and judges herself harshly for not fitting in, and not wanting to socialise. It feels easier to be kinder and compassionate towards her.

I find online friendships helpful. They create a little bit of distance and I like that I can reply in writing, which I can take more time over, and am not in a situation I find pressurising.

This social anxiety has greatly impacted my ability to hold down a regular job, coupled with bipolar. I think when the anxiety is all the time, everyday at a job, and I am constantly exhausted from it, that is when the mood swings kick in and bipolar cycles begin and escalate.

I wonder if part of me, maybe part of my ancestral karma, is extremely judgemental of mental illness. It shocks me to think so, but I feel emotional at this realisation, which makes me think there is some truth in it.

It’s slightly horrifying seeing as mental health conditions are so rife in my family.

Perhaps we have ancestors or past lives that involve severe judgement or abuse of the mentally ill. Of course I seriously hope not, but there is definitely part of me that judges myself harshly for not being “normal” (I don’t see others’ mental health issues in this way at all) and sometimes I think I do bully myself. I feel ashamed that I’ve always found adulthood extremely difficult- dealing with a job, plus housework, cooking, washing etc. In fact the last three alone I find challenging enough.

I feel ashamed when people ask me “so what do you do Rachel?”. I never know what to say really. I don’t have a job. At the moment I don’t use my time very wisely either- too much TV and internet, not enough writing, art, piano and flute. I think I do try and bully myself into doing them, which inevitably makes me not want to do them. I’m extremely judgemental of myself when I do participate and am a perfectionist. Not much fun!

Then on top of all that I feel like I’m putting myself into a position of powerlessness by attaching to beliefs about being a victim.

I just can’t win! 😂

So, it would appear I need to do a whole lot of release of judgement, and a whole lot of forgiveness. I know these things take time, and it happens in baby steps. I’ve identified the problem, so now I can do something about it by being much more compassionate with myself, much kinder and gentler. One step at a time.

It’s funny. I asked my husband once what he most loved about me and he said that I am kind and caring. Not to myself it would seem, but hopefully I will be able to turn those qualities inwards.

N.B It has occurred to me that just by acknowledging and accepting our shadow qualities, we are being courageous.

People-Pleasing

Christmas Day 2013

I’d love to say that I’ve had a fantastic Christmas Day, but hey, this is real life and God has decided I’m working on personal development today. Right now I feel bitter about this, but I know tomorrow I’ll probably laugh about it.

Today one of my karmic patterns has hit me smack in the face and many of my insecurities, that I thought were behind me, have resurfaced for more healing work.

People Pleasing & Emotional Attachment

I know I’ve grown up looking for love outside of myself.

As a tiny child who depends on her parents to meet every single need, a lack of love leaves you stuck all alone on a rocky planet devoid of life. You have been abandoned emotionally. This emptiness eventually seeps inside your soul, clawing at you, creating pain wherever you go.

Anything which remotely feels like love, or calms and soothes you from this pain, feels absolutely heavenly. Of course you don’t want to let go of this “thing” be it a kind, loving person, food, or any self-soothing activity, be it healthy or unhealthy. We become attached. We need this “thing” in our lives. As the attachment develops we spend more and more time thinking about it, pining for it, controlling circumstances to acquire it, etc.

My attachment has been the need for approval from other people. I need to please people. I hate confrontation and criticism. I feel completely invalid as a person if I am criticised.

My Mum was a very anxious parent, my Dad extremely depressed and distant. Both were too traumatised by past events and relationships to really become loving, skilled, secure parents. I never felt good enough. I never felt loved. I was terrified of abandonment. So I did everything in my power to win their love and approval. If I was okay in their eyes then they were less likely to leave me. I was very little when these patterns began, 5 or 6 years old maybe.

Any anger, harsh words or criticism from your parents towards you as a child, can only be interpreted at this young age as proof that you are shameful and bad. There is no way that your perfect, god-like parents can be in the wrong. This internalised shame can stay with us through to adulthood, as mine does now.

In order to avoid criticism or any trigger that brings unhealed shame to burst through into

our consciousness, we people-please.

The people-pleasing takes over every relationship in our lives, from friendships, romantic relationships to relationships with colleagues and authority figures.

We give other people the power to make us feel good when they approve of us, or bad and shameful if they disapprove.

How Do We Claim Back Our Power?

This is the question I am presented with today.

The answer?

We need to focus all our love, energy, positivity, care and attention on ourselves.

We need to remember that we are powerful, that we are gifted, that we are worthy of love, success, positive relationships, joy and abundance. We are worthy of developing our gifts and talents. It doesn’t matter if anybody disapproves of our pursuit of becoming an artist. We are worthy of realising our dreams. We are worthy of putting ourselves first in all things. We are beautiful beings, each of us has a divine spark inside us, lighting our path. Follow your joys and passions. Do not let attachments distract you from yourself and your love for yourself. You are the most important person in your world. Find that love and compassion in your heart for yourself.

Allow yourself to be yourself.

Others’ opinions of you do not matter one tiny bit.

When we attach to others’ approval it serves only to pull us away from our divine life purpose. We become a slave to others. We lose ourselves. We forget what we love, because we are trying so hard to love something else that isn’t “us”, just to win the prize of approval.

Come back to yourself. Remember who you are. Remember what you love and what fills your life with joy. Follow this joy, give your time and energy to your passions and to yourself, not to other people’s ideas of who you should be. Let not your focus be distracted by the opinions of others.

You know what is best for you. Trust yourself. Love yourself.

Find moments to be still and listen to your heart, to reconnect with your soul and to remember to BE YOU JOYFULLY. Forgive yourself for going off path. Be compassionate with yourself. Nurture and support yourself. Love yourself.

In loving yourself you light the way for others to find the love & light within their own hearts.

Peace be with you friends.

 

Full Moon: Releasing Old Baggage.

ID-10032826It’s a Full Moon tonight.

Spiritually this is a time to let go of old patterns, habits, fears, emotions & beliefs (or “baggage”) that no longer serve us. This is an extremely healing thing to do & helped me enormously in overcoming the parts of my Bipolar Disorder that medication couldn’t touch.

Layers of Healing

Since I quit my job a year ago I’ve been trying to release as much baggage as I possibly can. Every time I think I’ve finally forgiven somebody (including myself) for long-running, deeply-felt grievances, I end up finding new threads of resentment stealthily growing again. The emotions are always lessened in intensity compared to how they were a year ago though, so I’m thinking that we can only release small layers of baggage at any one time. This is perhaps more gentle on us. We are healing one layer at a time.

Simple But Not Easy

Releasing all the baggage is not something you can do overnight. I honestly used to think it was. Self-help books would suggest releasing old baggage as if it was the simplest thing in the world to do. It is simple, but it’s definitely not easy.

Intentions

I believe the key is to start with the intention to release old patterns/beliefs/habits/fears/resentments.

Affirm as often as you can:

“I am willing to release old patterns”.

Even if you don’t feel willing yet, you will begin to. Once you’re in that space of willingness, you are then able to begin work on releasing.

ID-10038600Food Addiction!

I still have so much to release though!! One of my main negative habits is my food addiction. I am rather resistant to releasing this one (to say the least)! I’ve got a feeling I’m going to be dragged away kicking & screaming from my beloved Ben & Jerry’s, though I certainly hope it doesn’t get to this point!

I’m going to work on being willing to release my unhealthy eating habits.

I also have to remember that it is often the behaviour/the habit, I am addicted to, not necessarily the food.

I’ve started changing the habit by increasing my daily intake of fruit & veg. This tends to work extremely well the first few days after supermarket shopping, when I’m more inspired by the lovely fresh produce. But as the fruit & veg runs out over the week, or goes off, well-intentioned convenience store visits for apples & salad become binge-eating triggers. Training myself to walk past the chocolate/biscuits/ice cream/cake-aisles has definitely got to be at the top of my “releasing” plan.

Judgments

Judging myself & others harshly is definitely another pattern I want to release. I don’t think I realise I’m doing it half the time.

If we judge someone else on the street as “fat”, what we are really doing is setting a standard by which we judge ourselves. If we get that fat then we will judge ourselves as harshly as we judges that other person- if not more so. I’ve felt absolutely despairing over my body image before- like it was completely disgusting. I was so cruel to myself! I think I thought it was the only way to lose weight- to bully myself. In reality this just made it worse!

I need to stop looking in the mirror and criticising myself all the time!!

I will look only at my beautiful hair, skin & eyes!! And I will appreciate every little bit of these wonderful things I am blessed with!!

291inxphzttgyEmotional Healing

I believe releasing baggage is one of the keys to overcoming many mental health conditions. I do believe that there are conditions where biology takes over, but I also believe that medication can never help 100%. This is where we can help ourselves by beginning work on being willing to release old patterns & experiences of the past, then form the intention to heal them. This is a great starting place!

 

 

 

Related Posts

Changing The Mind-Programming.

You Are Amazing!

Old Patterns

A Little Bit On Eating Disorders

Body Image & Lena Dunham’s “Girls”.

 

Photo Credits

Moon by Exsodus, Food Heart by Grant Cochrane via freedigitalphotos.net

Little Me and The Angel

Yesterday I felt depressed. It had been building for a few days.

Before bed I decided to face up to the message in the sadness.

I asked my inner child, Little Me, what was wrong.

She replied that I hadn’t been listening to her needs- for fun, laughter, creativity, drawing, colours, play, adventure, and exploration.

I told her I was so sorry.

She also told me that she felt very sad about things that had happened (when I was younger) and that I was bullying, ignoring, criticizing, judging and belittling her-everytime I spoke to myself harshly. She said she felt scared and that she could never do anything right.

So I held her in my arms and told her how sorry I was and that I would be so much more loving and nurturing of her.

My guardian angel came very close then and sent delicate shivers up and down my back- she was helping me to release toxins and low energies that remained from painful experiences in my childhood. I felt so loved.

My guardian angel guided me to set up protection around myself and my inner child, and to draw the following pictures to cement the protection in my energetic field.

Before she left, she blessed me and lit up my inner child in golden light. I was guided to place Little Me in my heart and surround her with love.

This morning I woke up feeling so much more energized. Little Me was bouncing to get going.

I am so thankful to my guardian angel and to myself for taking the time to ask Little Me what was wrong and to actually listen.

Little Me with my childhood dog- Sam in the centre of the bubbles. My guardian angel behind me. The bubbles are my aura, which is gold and purple- protective colours. Protective angels surround.

Little Me with my childhood dog- Sam in the centre of the bubbles. My guardian angel behind me. The bubbles are my aura, which is gold and purple- protective colours. Protective angels surround.

Close-up of Little Me and my Guardian Angel.

Close-up of Little Me and my Guardian Angel.

 

 

 

Take Back Your Power.

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It has recently been brought to my attention that I am giving away my power.

I didn’t really know what that meant until I spent some quality time with my journal this morning. Here’s what I got:

How do we give away our power?

  1. By putting other people’s needs before our own.
  2. By not honouring our true feelings.
  3. By not believing in ourselves, our strengths, gifts and talents.
  4. By procrastinating/distracting ourselves from what it is we really want to do, eg.

Too much TV/internet/chores/time with others who drain us, when our true self wants to finish a creative project, practice the piano, read, journal, bake cakes, etc. We shy away from what we really want to do because sometimes it feels uncomfortable, putting us in touch with our real feelings which may be raw and painful.

Putting our needs first may be very uncomfortable for us, bringing up feelings of guilt or shame. Perhaps we were taught as a child that “good’ people put others first. Perhaps we were ridiculed or belittled for the things we loved to do as children- or thought of as odd. We might have been told that these things weren’t important. By believing these things, we gave away our power.

We were taught wrongly!

Following our heart’s passions and desires is extremely important!

The universe wants us to be happy!

To work through any guilt or shame associated with putting our heart’s passions first in our lives, focus on the LOVE and PASSION for what it is you want to spend time doing. Open up your heart and follow where it leads you.

Forgive yourself for any blame you have placed on others and for allowing them to take away your power. Then forgive them. They only taught us what they were taught by their parents/teachers/peers.

TAKE BACK YOUR POWER! STAND IN YOUR LIGHT AND SHINE!

Wow- what synchronicity! Added to Sonia Choquette’s Facebook page one day after writing this post:

When tuning out intuition and ignoring what we feel inside, we fall out of integrity with our true Self and surrender our power over to others who have no way of bringing us peace and satisfaction. Today, tune in. Listen to your intuition. Acknowledge what is is trying to tell you. Follow its guidance back to center, starting with this next breath.
All my love.

Sonia Choquette is an inspiring spiritual/popular psychology writer. My current favourite book:

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Photo Credit: samuiblue via freedigitalphotos.net.

Why Depression? (The Law of Attraction)

ID-10067172Last night I attended a talk by a successful entrepreneur who told of a point in his life when he hit rock bottom and considered taking his own life during a period of depression.

During the evening, the law of attraction was mentioned. In basic terms the law of attraction states that like attracts like: what we focus our energy and thoughts on- we attract into our lives.

The Law of Attraction

If our vibrational energy is high we attract abundance, inspiration, love, health, empowerment, love for ourselves, good fortune, wonderful experiences e.t.c. If our vibrational energy is low, we attract events/experiences/relationships e.t.c, which lower our energy even more, causing depression, anxiety, low abundance & fortune. This is a very basic description of the law of attraction! For more info click here.

It also suggests that we choose what we create and that we have the power to consciously choose our thoughts at any time. Of course, we can only choose our thoughts with conscious awareness, attention & practice, otherwise we are choosing by default.

However, the Law of Attraction brings up such questions as why the heck would we attract depression into our lives? Why would we purposely create a life where we can only contemplate despair or ending our own lives? And this was exactly the dilemma asked of our speaker yesterday by an audience member.

Why Would We Create Depression in Our Lives?

This is my take on it all:

Either we are unaware or unskilled in using the Law of Attraction- thereby we are not consciously choosing our thoughts.

OR

Some of what we create in life is chosen by us before we incarnate on earth as physical beings. Our souls choose certain experiences for our own soul growth or to balance personal or family karma.

This is something I have come to believe more and more throughout my repeated episodes of depression. Bipolar Disorder runs in our family and so I have come to the conclusion that this is some kind of karmic tie-in handed over generations.

However, every one of us has the opportunity on this Earth to overcome this karma with spiritual enlightenment and ascension.

This in my mind is achieved once we learn to ACCEPT where we are in our lives, our past traumas, all the mistakes we judge ourselves for and FORGIVE- ourselves and anyone else involved. With loving acceptance, non-judgment of ourselves and others, complete love & compassion, and acceptance of a higher, loving power, we can heal and overcome the family curse!

Surrender to Spirit seems key. I see depression as an inner battle between our ego/personality/lower selves & Spirit/higher guidance. We fight and deny our true selves to fit in with the expectations of others/what society dictates as successful. Ultimately I think the majority of people are inherently out to lead what we believe to be a “good” life in terms of causing as little harm to others as possible. But in the process we lose our true essence of soul and spirit. To surrender to our true spirit we need to surrender our ego-self and all the beliefs that go with it. We need to let go of our conditioned ideas of what a successful human being is.

ID-10039348I’m certainly not implying that I have in anyway achieved this! I am on the journey and have found significant improvement in my mood through letting go of negative thought patterns and replacing them with loving, supportive thoughts. I still battle on a daily basis, but I can see improvement in my care & compassion towards myself, and bit by bit I am surrendering to my true self. My ego wants me to have a 9-5  office job, fulfil the potential I showed academically at school/uni and go quietly without rocking the boat. My true essence is screaming at me to let go of this notion- it wants to create, to express my passions, to earn a living its own way. It believes in magic and spirit and wants to tell others all about it. It wants to rock the boat and cause a fuss. But my ego is scared of the rejection, disapproval and potential embarrassment.

Depression, in my mind, can be seen as a message- even a spiritual emergency: we are off track, we are not living as our true selves and perhaps it is time for some serious introspection.

One of the questions our speaker recommended we ask ourselves is:

How are you?

How are you really feeling? About life in general-where you are? Where your life is going etc.

It’s time to be honest with ourselves.

Resources

The Universal Law of Attraction

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

The Astonishing Power of Emotions by Esther & Jerry Hicks (Love this book).

Ask and It Is Given by Esther & Jerry Hicks

Spiritual Crisis Network: From Breakdown to Breakthrough.

Photo Credits: Signpost by Stuart Miles; Man & Mountain by Graur Razvan Ionut, via freedigitalphotos.net.

Self-Forgiveness: A Work in Progress

ID-10036283Self-Judgement

This time last year I was despairing of ever being able to forgive myself for what I saw as a life tangled in a massive web of “mistakes”, “bad” decisions and “appalling” behaviour: all linked to Bipolar.

I felt trapped beneath a gigantic pile of rocks, each one representing some “awful” fault or personality deficit.

I was desperate to find forgivenesss for myself as well as some semblance of self-care and self-love.

I always thought that self-forgiveness would come in an instant- like lightening: an epiphany.

Now I realise it takes time and patience, as well as the consistent intention to heal, love and accept myself for who I am.

For the last 8 months I’ve been reflecting, meditating and journalling my way through my feelings and at last I am beginning to feel forgiveness for myself and such wonderful love.

Spiritual Development and Bringing in The Light.ID-10065098

Spiritual Development classes have been a life-saver. I’ve learnt that every single one of us is loved unconditionally by Spirit- and I have felt this love when “bringing in the light” during meditation.

This beautiful heart-warming feeling spreads through and around you. It is wonderfully healing.

You can feel this for yourself too:

– Just be still, breathe deeply. Feel your feet heavy on the ground.

– Feel your heart opening- like a beautiful pink rose bud coming into flower.

– Feel the divine, loving light building here. To me it feels unconditionally loving, warm and very safe.

– Allow the love and light to wash through your entire body, out into the space around you.

– Feel your feet on the floor again and the light spreading below them, into the ground.

Magic & Miracles.ID-10023748

Performing this exercise everyday has worked wonders for me. It’s amazing what inner wisdom you can tap into through this exercise too. Once your heart is open, you can receive divinely guided ideas which just pop into your head out of nowhere- it may just feel like normal thoughts or imagination, but it usually has a warm, loving feeling about it, or generates excitement and inspiration. If you listen to the guidance and follow it through, magic and miracles can occur!

Reframing Beliefs

Reframing my beliefs about past events has also helped enormously.

I’ve realised that eruptions of Bipolar symptoms are usually Spirit trying to tell me that something needs to change in my life or that I’m not listening, being still and following my inner guidance. Emotions are one of the ways we receive divine guidance. We are not here to suffer in this world. Spirit wants us to be happy, joyous and full of love for life. This is our natural state of being- our birthright.

By using Bipolar symptoms as a guide we can honestly follow our true path in life, which is the path to joy, fulfilment and abundance.

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For example:

One of my most traumatic Bipolar experiences was a few years ago. Basically I lashed out at a stranger after they insulted me. She called the police.

I was in a state of shock for months afterwards. I found it practically impossible to forgive myself for. I was forever talking to myself as if I were absolute scum. I thought I deserved to suffer. I gave up on myself and I genuinely believe my soul was as far out of my body as it could get! It didn’t want to be here anymore.

But over the last 8 months I’ve begun to see this event as a pivotal turning point in my life. I realised I was becoming a person I did not like- or even recognise. I wasn’t ME- I wasn’t expressing and living as my true self.

 

9496tn1l70tebfUnderstanding

It is much easier to begin the process of self-forgiveness once you can understand why events like this happened.

I attracted people into my life who abused me- because I was abusing myself! I was subconsciously sending out the message “use and abuse me- I deserve it”!

My thoughts about myself are changing all the time. I still have negative thoughts about myself, but I think I’m quicker to notice and change them. The positive thoughts are becoming the majority!

It really does take conscious, consistent effort, but it is not difficult. Just start with the intention to forgive and love yourself.

Summary

In order to develop self-love and self-forgiveness, I would recommend the following:

– Spiritual/Personal Development classes. (You do not have to be religious for this, or even necessarily believe in God).

– Meditation- bringing in the Divine Light of unconditional love.

– Thought awareness. Consciously choosing loving, positive thoughts about yourself.

– Look closely at events you find difficult to forgive yourself for: what was the message behind the event? What have you learnt from it?

Kindness, kindness and more kindness towards yourself!

– Remember that YOU are your number one priority in life- nobody else!

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Bach Flower Remedies that may aid Self-Forgiveness

Pine: easing feelings of guilt. Helps to see and accept past mistakes and let them go.

Willow: easing resentments. Helps to deliberately focus on the positive rather than the negative.

Chestnut Bud: helps to learn from past mistakes.

Rock Water: help to release unrealistically high expectations of self. Helps to find joy and inner peace.

Related Posts: You Are Amazing!; Self-Forgiveness; A Little More Self-Forgiveness; Bach Flower Remedies; Being Hard on Ourselves; Return of the Sneaky Bully Voice; A Letter to a Bully.

Photo Credits: freedigitalphotos.net.

A Little More Self-Forgiveness

Last week I posted about Self-Forgiveness and how important it is for us to be forgiving towards ourselves.

Many of us who have experienced mental health issues may be particularly hard on ourselves, or have had unpleasant or traumatic experiences that we blame ourselves for. All this blame and constant self-bullying is in no way helpful to our wellness. We cannot change what has happened by berating ourselves for it. We feel we deserve to carry the weight of the past around us, when in reality we deserve perfect healing.

To help with forgiving ourselves I prepared this meditation. It takes 20 minutes so it’s a good idea to make sure you wont be disturbed and let yourself have some quality time for yourself.

Self-Forgiveness

This morning I sat with my journal in Costa and started working through some past issues that I haven’t properly dealt with yet.

My time at university has always been a period I feel very uncomfortable thinking or talking about. I quit after two years of a BSc in Neuroscience and Psychology in Leeds- a long way from my home county where my parents live. My mood was all over the place- I reckon I was probably rapid-cycling. My anxiety issues worsened too- mainly social anxiety and panic attacks. It was probably the most challenging experience I’ve had with Bipolar.

I’ve always been particularly harsh on myself when looking back at that time- subconsciously that is. In my mind I thought I should have completed the three years like everyone else. Many people with Bipolar manage to do it. The fact that I didn’t manage to meant I was a complete failure and that the two years in Leeds were a waste of time. Some part of me still syas that I was making up Bipolar- that all those symptoms weren’t even really there!!

Today I decided enough with the blaming and shaming and bullying.

How Do I Go About Forgiving Myself?

This is a question that I’ve often asked myself, but never really listened in my mind for an answer before today. I’ve always imagined that I’d be able to forgive myself in an instant!! Now I’m beginning to realise it takes time and commitment to changing patterns of thought and behaviour. Forgiveness is going to take PRACTICE!!

The first thing I thought of is that when any blaming/shaming thoughts come into my mind that I could let them go and say:

This is past. I forgive the past. I forgive myself and anyone else involved. I wont allow myself to keep churning up these past feelings. Time to enjoy my life.

What We Learn From the Past

But just doing this didn’t seem enough- there was no substance behind the words until I looked into reasons why my two years in Leeds were not a failure- what I had learnt from them:

Independence: looking after myself- being away from my parents.

My own limitations: what would and wouldn’t work with bipolar and anxiety.

What does and doesn’t make me happy.

If I hadn’t quit, Chris and I may not be in our relationship today (10 years this year!).

Even under pretty severe mental health conditions I still passed all my exams and gained a diploma out of my time at uni.

I’m happier and more stable at “home”- ie. Norfolk with close family nearby.

I need a nice house to be happy- not a scrawny student flat! (I’m such a snob really :)).

To find someone I can happily live with long-term is a very precious thing!!

I am happier socialising through activities like choir, band, yoga and one on one, etc, rather than in nightclubs with alcohol and drugs which hold no interest.

I AM capable of taking care of myself even when ill with Bipolar- I’m still here!!

I NEED the countryside and nature- Leeds is a big city and I felt completely overwhelmed in it!

I’m easily overstimulated and overwhelmed.

I still enjoy learning.

My interests are very important to me and can keep me going when depressed: music, cinema, ballet etc. I may have given up on them a few times, but they never gave up on me!

I really was very poorly and it was NOT my fault!!

Just because I breezed through school doesn’t mean I’ll breeze through life- I still have a lot to learn- mainly life skills.

I think I’m less big-headed now and have a much greater understanding and compassion for others.

See- I learnt loads!! I just didn’t get a fancy degree to hang on the wall. Hmm, maybe I should make myself one?!

RESPECT!!

As soon as I’d finished thinking back on my time in Leeds and what I’d learnt, I actually started to feel great respect for myself- for the hard times I’d gone through. I really appreciate myself for getting through it!! I feel this reflection on the things I have learnt has given me a good start in self-forgiveness. I think it’s something I’ll need to work on everyday, but it’s a step in the right direction!! Practice, practice, practice….

Photo credit: digitalart via freedigitalphotos.net