Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Dark Hamper of Hindsight

The Dark Hamper of Hindsight
November 13, 2012

Hindsight. That intangible cord that ties us to the past prevents us from moving forward, and blocks us from living in the present and yet unbeknownst to many of us is the most important tool to forgiving others and ourselves. Most of us are stuck in the dark Hamper of Hindsight and have never been taught how to use it as a tool to launch our lives forward again. Although hindsight can hinder us, it can also, when used properly, shed light on the lessons life would have us learn. Even further, hindsight can be an essential tool in the art of forgiveness.
Forgiving others is more about letting go of the past while taking that lesson to heart as we move forward. Forgiving ourselves requires us to love ourselves despite our mistakes. Most importantly forgiving ourselves allows us to forgive others as it opens the gate on our hearts while compassion and love flow into us and out toward others. Ultimately, forgiveness allows us to find peace and move on with our lives.
Without utilizing hindsight in this way most of us beat ourselves up for doing something we later regret. Although I generally believe that events are neither good or bad, but only experiences by which we learn, I do feel that there are times when I have definitely made it more difficult on myself by failing to climb out of the Hamper of Hindsight. Examples that come to mind:

·      Staying in relationships that I knew were not good for me
·      Not taking better care of my body and becoming ill
·      Getting into my debt
·      Falling in love with the potential that I saw in a person rather than what they really were capable of giving
·      Short changing myself by dropping out of college

No doubt you have your own share of examples too. I have, however, been very blessed to learn how to climb out of the Hamper of Hindsight and learn to forgive others and myself. Now, when I start becoming too hard on myself I am able to ask myself questions such as:
·      At the time, was it realistic for me to expect myself to do something different?
·      Did I have the skills or the information I needed to make a better choice?
·      What about support? Did I have unconditionally loving people around me to help?
Honestly, sometimes the answer is an absolute and resounding “NO!”
Forgiving yourself for your limitations is a crucial first step in healing to move forward. In a time of turmoil, uncertainty and stress most of us are doing the best we can with the resources, wisdom and knowledge available. It is important to learn from your mistakes, but eventually you need to get the lesson and move on. So challenge yourself this week to initiate your own self-forgiveness process.

Tuesday Challenge
Tonight before going to bed, find a photo of yourself from when you were younger. Make sure you can clearly see yourself in the picture. Once you’re in bed focus on yourself in the picture (if you can’t find a photo then simply place your hand over your heart and repeat the prayer below). Look deep into your eyes in the photo and see the innocence of that young soul. Look at your expression, your posture and your hands. Take a few moments to connect with the vulnerability of being younger and when you’re ready repeat the following prayer:
            “Dear (your name), I forgive you for____________. I know your were doing the best your could at the time. You are released from this event forever. I let go of self-hatred; I put the burden of my limitations in the Creator’s hands. I am finished with this memory forever and I am free. I now move on with my life”.
Then offer thanks, take a deep breath envisioning pink and white light going into your heart and a strong exhale of black and watch the anger and hatred fall to the ground as dust. With every pink inhale imagine yourself climbing a ladder of light out from the dark. When the event crosses your mind again (and it probably will) simply repeat, “I forgive myself” and then dismisses the thought from your mind. Repeat the breath as often as necessary. 

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