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No regrets - Beazley H.

Beazley H. No regrets - Wiley publishing , 2004. - 234 p.
ISBN 0-471-21295-4
Download (direct link): noregrets2004.pdf
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Self-Forgiveness Makes It More Likely That We Will Not Take Back the Forgiveness We Have Granted Others
Ifwe continue to blame ourselves for our regrets, we may become resentful of the forgiveness we have granted others. That we have forgiven them and not ourselves seems unfair, and it is. Why should we suffer while they go free? If we do not forgive ourselves, we may retract the forgiveness we have
granted others, reblaming the parties to our regrets for their actions and slowly withdrawing our forgiveness. Should that happen, we have begun to reconstruct our regrets and slowly but surely, to work our way backward through the steps. Self-forgiveness is one means by which we guard against this possible retreat.
Self-Forgiveness Heals Our Relationship with Ourselves and So with Others
It is difficult to have a bitter relationship with oneself and a loving relationship with other people. The two sets of relationships are too intimately related. It’s as if they draw from a common pool of love that is either expanding or contracting, depending upon our willingness to forgive. When we are in a state of unforgiveness—of self-criticism, self-denunciation, and self-hatred—we have less love for ourselves or other people. Through selfforgiveness—an act of love—we increase our reservoir of love to share with others and, ironically, with ourselves. Out of such love meaningful relationships are created, maintained, and expanded, and our lives grow richer.
When we are continually blaming ourselves for our regrets, living in emotional self-flagellation, or brutalizing ourselves for our mistakes, we tend to isolate emotionally. With self-forgiveness, we rejoin the world emotionally and experience community. We welcome ourselves back to participate as worthy equals in the remarkable journey of life. The terrible sense of isolation spawned by our regrets—the wall that separates us from ourselves and others—falls away. We never have to feel alone again.
Self-Forgiveness Is Required for Letting Go of Our Regrets
As long as we withhold self-forgiveness for the part we played in our regrets, we will remain tied to them, and they will continue to exercise their dark influence over us. Only through forgiving ourselves can we finally release those regrets. Self-forgiveness is the last act of letting go, but it is mandatory. Without it, we will remain trapped in our regrets. Without self-forgiveness, we cannot be free.
Myths of Self-Forgiveness: What Forgiving Ourselves Is Not
Just as there are myths about what it means to forgive others, there are myths about what it means to forgive oneself. These myths distort our understanding of self-forgiveness, how it works, and what it is designed to achieve. When these myths find their way into our thinking as reasons for withholding self-forgiveness, they block us from forgiving ourselves and keep us tied to our regrets. Some of the myths about self-forgiveness are closely related to the myths about forgiving others. Some of the most common myths about self-forgiveness are described in the following paragraphs.
If I Forgive Myself, I Will Be Excusing My Behavior
Self-forgiveness does not excuse or condone our inappropriate behavior in any way. Even as we forgive ourselves, we hold ourselves accountable for our part in the regret and for its consequences. But we have accepted responsibility and made amends for our actions, and we can do no more. Further punishment serves no useful purpose. We have satisfied our debt. While not excusing our behavior, we accept it as part of who we were at the time. We can remain forever accountable for what we have done and still forgive ourselves.
If I Forgive Myself, I Will Be More Likely to Repeat the Same Behavior
This myth assumes that continuous self-punishment is the only way to keep our renegade selves under control or that if we forgive ourselves, we will somehow forget what we did and repeat it. Forgiveness does not mean denying or forgetting our past actions, however, nor does it mean that we will no longer hold ourselves accountable for what we have done. Selfforgiveness comes after we have acknowledged our inappropriate behavior, made amends for it, and changed our behavior to prevent a recurrence, all of which provide protection against repeating it.
I Can Forgive Myself Only If I Have Met Specific Conditions
As with all forgiveness, self-forgiveness is unconditional. Forgiveness is freely given to ourselves, because we are one more person on the list of people to forgive if we want to let go of our regrets. We can’t establish conditions for forgiving ourselves any more than we can establish conditions for forgiving someone else.
In practical terms, however, we will have met certain conditions. The first eight steps fulfill the psychological and spiritual conditions that will make us comfortable forgiving ourselves, including having made amends. Even so, our actions in the first eight steps have not “earned” our selfforgiveness, which is still freely given, without conditions.
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