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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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Use thought analysis to determine the reasons for your unwillingness to forgive yourself and then develop logical arguments to counter those reasons.
Use creative visualization to imagine what it would feel like to forgive yourself, including all of the benefits you would receive. Feel the selfblame and the anger over your regrets fade away, your guilt and shame recede, your fear and unhappiness disappear. See yourself as forgiven. Visualize having completed Step Nine with a sense of release, accomplishment, and happiness.
Use affirmations to overcome resistance. Affirm “I forgive myself” or “I am forgiven,” feeling the power of the words as you utter them.
Confirmation of Divine Forgiveness
For many spiritual people, self-forgiveness is only possible in conjunction with the forgiveness of their higher power, however they define that power. Any attempt to forgive themselves that excluded divine forgiveness would be meaningless. Therefore, for such people, the process of self-forgiveness includes seeking God’s forgiveness and then accepting that God has
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forgiven them. If the forgiveness ofyour higher power is an important part of forgiving yourself, do whatever you need to do in order to obtain or confirm that forgiveness, given your concept of the higher power. If you require a formal religious rite to bestow or confirm God’s forgiveness, seek a priest, minister, rabbi, or other member of the clergy who can forgive you in the name of God.
5. The Act of Forgiving Myself
When you are ready to forgive yourself, you may intuitively know how to do it in a way that is meaningful and convincing to you. Or you may not. Ordinarily, the most effective acts of self-forgiveness involve some kind of ritual. A ritual is a ceremonial act that marks a significant transition. Religious rituals, such as confirmations and bar mitzvahs, symbolize the transition from childhood to young adulthood. Presidential inaugurations symbolize the orderly transfer of political and military power. Birthdays symbolize the passage of another year of life. Rituals confirm to the participants and to others that a noteworthy, even momentous, event has occurred. They validate that something about our lives is different. Because of the symbolic power of rituals to confirm that change has taken place, they can be an important element in self-forgiveness.
There is no best way to forgive yourself. A simple statement such as “I forgive myself for ...” may be sufficient. Many people, however, prefer something more elaborate and more dramatic to symbolize their selfforgiveness and to create a vivid and convincing memory. They prefer some kind of ritual. The design of the ritualistic act of self-forgiveness is up to you, because you are best qualified to determine what would be most persuasive, emotionally and spiritually. The ritual can be brief or lengthy, simple or elaborate, conducted alone or with others, depending upon what works best for you. Whatever its design, however, the ritual should relate to all of your regrets and all of their consequences. The act of selfforgiveness should be complete.
You may wish to conduct your ritual in a sacred place or a site that is special to you. You may want to include other people, such as your confi-
STEP NINE: FORGIVING OURSELVES 183
dant, or you may prefer to be alone. You may even choose to have the ritual conducted by a clergyperson in a church or temple in accordance with your religious tradition. You may want to choose a ritualistic act that represents healing and freedom, which are gifts of self-forgiveness. The right design is one that feels comfortable to you and personally meaningful.
Beth designed her ritual of self-forgiveness around a park where she had spent many happy hours as a child playing in the woods and romping in the stream. As she thought about what she wanted from her act of selfforgiveness, she realized that it was to be cleansed of her regrets. She wanted them washed away; she wanted to start over with a clean slate and a new life. To symbolize that goal, Beth returned to the shallow stream where she had splashed as a child, submerging herself in its cool running water. She sat on a rock in the stream, letting the water gently wash past her, relaxing her body, and breathing the cool air of the woods. She went over each of the regrets and consequences for which she wanted to be forgiven, granting herself that forgiveness. She imagined herself accepting the forgiveness, felt herself free, and concluded with a prayer.
Beth stood up, feeling the guilt, shame, and blame of her regrets run off her body like the water itself, with whatever was left evaporating quickly in the afternoon sun. To Beth, the water represented the cleansing power of self-forgiveness and evaporation represented the loss of pain, guilt, and shame. Beth walked across the stream to the other side, which, to her, symbolized her passage to a new life without regrets. She stepped onto the bank, said a prayer of gratitude, and looked back once. Then she went off to a day devoted to doing things she enjoyed.
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