When You Can’t Forgive Yourself (3) By Dr. Michael Brooks
Can you identify the hurt that you have and just can’t let go of it and is killing you inside? I know we all have hurts that we live with. Some are unspeakable and create great pain and frustration when we think about them. I had shared this story before about a situation that happened between my mother and me when I was 12 years old. To this day it still bothers me on how I responded to my mom when she accused me of something I didn’t do. Now as a 12-year-old, you’d think that I could control what came out of my mouth.
She wouldn’t listen to me no matter how I explained the facts. And I have to say to this day she was completely wrong in what she accused me of doing. My younger sister took something she shouldn’t have. My mom didn’t even question her. This went back and forth for most of the evening. Finally, she said, “Mike give me back the watch that dad and I gave you for Christmas.” I told her “NO” she still demanded it back. I relented, and while handing it back to her, I told her that “I hate you.” I have never said that to anybody, yet I felt that when she didn’t believe me. Looking back, I felt a great deal of pain. I’m not saying I feel guilty about it now. Remorseful, yes, absolutely to this day I do. I have even forgiven myself for saying it. I know what the hurt is, I can identify that. I have let it go and moved on with my life. For some people, they just will not release the guilt. You have to understand that your guilty thoughts, your feelings being hurt, the uncomfortable feeling you have when you think about how you beat yourself up over something that happened years ago has to go. These guilty feelings are making you feel worse and will not allow you to heal. You are your own worst enemy. You have to break this bad habit of unforgiveness; it’s keeping you from the healing you need.
I will tell you that I have replayed this conversation between my mother and I over and over again. I saw us vividly in my mind’s eye arguing over that Roy Rodgers watch I got for Christmas. I have to say it consumed as a kid and even into my early adult years. I felt miserable thinking about it. Then I had an idea. I decided every time I would think about, how I hated my mother. I would stop that thought and focus on positive thoughts. I would think about; I am a good person, I help people when needed, I bring joy to other people’s lives. Believe me that helped me so much overcome the feelings of guilt and forgiving myself for something I said and had done years ago.
I remember telling my mom that I was sorry, she forgave me, and for her, it was over. For me, it was just beginning, of allowing negative guilt to consume me. I said I was sorry; that cleared the air with my mom but not so much for me. I looked in the mirror and realized that wasn’t me acting out the way I did towards my mom. Looking back it was the best thing I could do. If you have hurt someone, I suggest that you go to them and say you’re sorry. It needs to be from the heart and face to face if at all possible. It will help heal your heart and open the doors for healing communication. It’s great medicine.
Are there things you just can’t let go of, and it’s killing you inside? Do you need help in taking the right steps and learning how to forgive yourself from something in your past? Have you been hurt by someone and need to move on with your life. Do you need freedom from past hurts and to let go? If you answered yes to any of these questions, give Dr. Mike a call he can help you through the process of finding the freedom that you need. Call him at 303.880.9878