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Self-Forgiveness on the Path to Freedom

Imagine the person you love most in your life, the person you pour your time and affection into. Think about all the energy and care you put into your relationship with this person, the mistakes you’ve forgiven, the flaws you’ve come to cherish. What a gift it is to love. And what a gift for that person to be loved by you.

Now consider this… Do you love yourself as completely and effortlessly as you love this other person? Imagine having that immense reservoir of attention and care on hand at all times, available to dip into whenever you need it. In the latest episode of 30 Days of Intent on The Chopra Well, Natalie and Iman meet with counselor Alyssa Nobriga for a lesson in self-forgiveness, perhaps one of the most powerful tools of self-care.

Many think self-love is just a form of narcissism, but the purest love knows no conceit. From a spiritual perspective, loving the self communicates humility and gratitude to whatever force gives us life. From a pragmatic perspective, studies show that self-forgiveness reduces procrastination, helps us break negative habits, and promotes personal growth.

As Alyssa tells Natalie and Iman, we have at our disposal a peacefulness in our hearts that largely remains untapped day to day. It is a space of softness, free from judgement and criticism. People often describe the feeling of letting go of anger, resentment, or guilt as similar to taking a deep breath. A huge weight is lifted. In this vein, Alyssa leads them through a self-forgiveness exercise to tap into that space of peaceful self-love. Back and forth Natalie and Iman take turns saying “I forgive myself for….” And one after another layers of pain and self-anger peel away. The key is to choose healing, to choose wholeness and empathy. Feeling remorse is fine, in fact it can drive us to apologize and make amends when we’ve done wrong. But this is very different from clinging to our faults like a poison. We can decide, instead, to be our own best friend, the one whose desire and intention is perfectly aligned with our greatest good.

What would you like to forgive yourself for? With the year coming to a close, let now be the time. Try Alyssa’s exercise and let us know how it goes in the comments section below the video.

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and don’t miss the 30 Days of Intent finale next week!

More from Intent:
Master the Art of Empathy
Are We Living in a Dream World?
Do You Have the Courage to Love?

Image courtesy of weheartit.com.

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By The Chopra Well

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Chelsea, selected from Intent.com

Intent.com provides content and community for who you aspire to be--personally, socially and globally. Follow Intent on Twitter here.

35 comments

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4:11AM PST on Mar 5, 2013

Thank you

9:13AM PST on Dec 13, 2012

We all need to be able to accept ourselves.. to like ourselves in order for us to like and accept others.

2:22AM PST on Dec 13, 2012

Thanks for sharing

4:59AM PST on Dec 11, 2012

Great article, gave me a new perspective on learning to love myself and let go of the past.

2:16PM PST on Dec 10, 2012

Thanks, great article!

12:41PM PST on Dec 10, 2012

Thanks for this.

8:26PM PST on Dec 9, 2012

good reminder

1:30AM PST on Dec 9, 2012

Thanks for sharing(:

1:23AM PST on Dec 9, 2012

thanks for sharing!

12:05AM PST on Dec 9, 2012

A good article - and stars to Elaine A and Andy K-B - repentance is seeking a new path - and trying to repair any damage done by the old one too! Then we can love our selves when we have tried to undo any damage we have done - and go on into the future, cleansed and renewed. All the main religions agree on this.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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