Posted on December 30 2017
The holiday season sometimes feels like one long assault on your ability to be good at everything, not stress out, and not lose your cool. By New Year’s Eve, you might end up feeling a bit chewed up and spit out. That emotional hangover feeling of wishing you hadn’t argued with your kids or hadn’t trashed your aunt’s cooking or regretting that you aren’t a world-famous philanthropist can take the joy out of the holidays. Layer in feeling like your success as a person is dependent on the number of gadgets you’ve given your loved ones and the holidays can be a self-esteem wrecker, par excellence. That’s why it’s vital this time of year that you be gentle with yourself—you are your own harshest critic and, more than likely, the people around you don’t even care about the things you’re beating yourself up about.
Spend time outside alone (if possible ;) where there is beauty. Practice yoga, ground, connect, bring your awareness within, away from all the overstimulating messages of the consumer world. Release what is ailing us, whether it be guilt, anger, shame, exhaustion, or just overall stress. Learn from our mistakes, understand our reactions, or just agree to let go. Forgive yourself so you can truly move forward to be a better you.
Guilt is a great tool to help us understand when we've participated in something that does not resonate with who we truly are. The real practice seems to be forgiveness of others, but mostly for ourselves. Most everyone can stand in front of a mirror and have a conversation with themselves about all the things they did wrong or how they wronged/ hurt someone else. You can even take the conversation further and talk through how you want to change these behaviors about yourself.
Now, the final and most important step to this exercise is to continue to stand in front of the mirror or imagine looking at yourself in your head, perhaps you as a child. Look into your eyes and say "I forgive you". “I forgive you” “I forgive you” Say it over and over till you really believe it... till you feel it. Then end with “I love you, unconditionally.”
This exercise can trigger a powerful release. Just allow it to happen, allow the emotions to rise to the surface and release from your space. To love ourselves like we love others is a practice, a relationship that needs attention, acceptance, and forgiveness to thrive.
Guilt runs deep in the veins of our society’s psyche. There is a belief that not only do we deserve to suffer but should, and self-forgiveness is not always part of that equation. Someone else may forgive you, but what about you? Tending to look outside for the peace we so deeply desire to feel inside. This year take a moment to indulge in the sanctuary and deliciousness of forgiveness and self-love. Whether it be in Savasana, on a walk, or standing in front of the bathroom mirror. Forgiveness is the best gift you can yourself this season.