STEP NINE CONTINUED: Forgive ourselves for all harm we may have caused, even if it was well-intended.
Instruction: Clean the slate.
We come into this world with a clean slate. We have no sins, mistakes, errors, mishaps, or wickedness. As newborn babies we are not judged or condemned. We are the only creations who believe in right and wrong, and that seems to have taken a toll on our planet. Our freewill choice is both a blessing and a curse. At times, it seems the longer we live the greater is our list of things we wish we had not done or things we wish we could do over. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could clean the slate and forget the past? We may not be able to forget the past, but it is possible to clean the slate. The ability to forgive coupled with love is the eraser that allows us to move forward without our list of errors constantly reminding us of our poor choices.
Forgiving those who hurt us is essential to the slate-cleaning process. Seeking forgiveness for the hurts we caused others is a second part of that process and forgiving ourselves for our past mistakes and blunders completes the three-fold slate-cleaning process. Once we have accomplished this task, we recognize that not only does our forgiveness help to heal those we have hurt, but, just as importantly, that process helps us to heal our own lives, too. We can release the things of the past, because they need no longer bring shame, pain, and guilt to our present or future. We can move forward and recall our past as a learning experience. We can become the people we always wanted to be, and we can become the people we have the potential to be. Lovingly forgiving ourselves is not something we take lightly. It is an important step in this recovery program and in life in general.
We’ve looked at incidents from our past where we have failed to forgive ourselves, and as we also consider incidents from our past where we have failed to forgive others, let us consider this idea of cleaning the slate. Instead of going over each incident, let us try today to clean the slate all at once. This works for many people. Some might be able to clean most of the slate, but still find certain incidents so overwhelming that they need to deal with them individually. For others, this image might not resonate with their spirit. But, if you haven’t tried it, I urge you to consider it.
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Our purpose is to help individuals to heal who have been injured by religion or the religious. We welcome your comments and questions.