The Person You Need to Forgive Before Anyone ElseNone By Homaira Kabir
Life doesn't show us previews. It plays out before us unannounced and urges us to act immediately. No wonder we make mistakes from time to time. Ideally, we should be able to recognize these mistakes, learn from them, and gain greater wisdom for the future. But do we really do so?
Many of us succumb to the inner critic instead, and deride ourselves to the point of closing down in shame. Not only do we let ourselves down in our time of greatest need, we also fail to put things into perspective and make amends if necessary.
Over time, this habit gives rise to feelings of anxiety and depression. It can also lead to self-loathing, addictions, and self-harm. Softening our stance towards ourselves is the first step to getting back on the high road, even if we've compromised our personal standards in a serious way.
This can be difficult. Forgiveness takes courage and strength, as Megan Bettencourt writes in Triumph of the Heart: Forgiveness in an Unforgiving World. But take heart—as humans, we're actually hardwired for it! To become our own best friends, we need to exercise its muscle regularly, as in these practical, scientifically-backed strategies.
Put Things into Perspective
The two hemispheres of our brains are different in their outlook on life. The left hemisphere focuses in on things while the right hemisphere sees things in context. Luckily, as humans, we have the unique ability to use both hemispheres simultaneously. This allows us to disconnect from the yammering of the inner critic and place the problem in a larger context. It takes effort, but it's well worth it!