What does forgiving others have to do with self-worth? Sometimes we may blame ourselves or think we deserved bad things that happened to us. No! We must be aware that we are worthy despite what we experienced and never, not one of us, ever deserve anything bad.
But another, not so obvious, connection that forgiveness has to do with self-worth is that in forgiving others we realize nobody and nothing outside of ourselves ultimately is responsible for how we feel today. Forgiveness is not about approving of the past behavior. But when we forgive others we stop blaming others and stop being victims. Blaming and playing the victim is looking for pity and external validation today for what happened in the past. As we now know, when we love ourselves and know our worth, there is no need for outside acknowledgement, and so, no need to place blame, nor feel victimized. And so, no need to withhold forgiveness.
When we find ourselves not wanting to forgive, we ask ourselves, What am I feeling unworthy about within myself? To re-emphasize, this does not mean we deserved anything bad or that we should blame ourselves. It simply means that by holding onto un-forgiveness we are seeking validation from outside ourselves. We are holding onto the wrongness of another so we can feel right or better than. When we find ourselves not wanting to forgive, it is helpful to go back to the basics of increasing self-worth. Click here for a refresher.
Let’s think of who we are not forgiving and what our egos are getting out of withholding this forgiveness. We consider how this makes us feel as though we are better than others; How we compare ourselves to others in order to feel more worthy; How our egos are using the past to feel more valuable in the present.
More on the actual act of forgiving next time!