STEP NINE CONTINUED: Forgive ourselves for all harm we may have caused, even if it was well-intended.
Instruction: Treat yourself as you would treat others.
Many people tend to treat others better than they treat themselves. They find it easier to forgive family, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers than to forgive themselves. Part of the reason is what we talked about in Day 60, and that is our memory. We find it easier to forgive and make excuses for others, but for ourselves, our memory can remind us at a second’s notice that we screwed up in the past, and we’ll probably screw up again in the future. Instead of being kind to ourselves, we are our worst abuser. This generalization may not apply to everyone or in every situation, but we can probably relate to the suggestion that we treat others, at times, much better than we treat ourselves. It is often a cycle that we go through where one day we judge others and compare them to ourselves knowing that we have predisposed them to being less than we are, while on other days we compare ourselves to others knowing that we will judge ourselves as less than them, and we never will be good enough.
Forgiveness helps us break the comparison-judging circle. As we forgive, it also helps to reinvent ourselves and others by looking at them and saying, “He [or she] is a holy child of The Divine, worthy of love and understanding.” Then, we extend the same grace to ourselves by saying the same thing: “I am a holy child of The Divine, worthy of love and understanding.” It’s nearly impossible to rid our lives of judgment, and, in fact, there is a good purpose for judging others as long as it is connected to our spiritual side. We judge others as being worthy and lovable. We see them as pilgrims on a journey just as we are, trying to find their way just as we are, and, looking for love just as we are. We judge them to be our brothers and sisters—our family. We honor their lives and their decisions, even if we disagree with them. By respecting the worth of every individual, including ourselves, we will find it easier to forgive ourselves.
Take a moment today to consider someone else and say to yourself, he or she is a holy child of The Divine, just as I am. I will not judge them, and I will not judge myself either.
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