You know how people we love get stuck in anger, resentment, shame, and fear-of-failure for years and years and we feel helpless about how to help them. Well 25 years as a licensed clinical psychologist has taught me that often times people are stuck because they need to forgive someone - themselves or someone else (or both). Forgiveness can require more than giving and accepting an apology when someone is stuck. It often requires additional steps to fully process and release the internalized negative energy associated with the harm that needs to be forgiven.
Forgiveness is an important part of our emotional well-being. We often think of forgiveness as something we do for others, when it's actually something we do for ourselves. Releasing the negative energy we hold for those who have harmed us is an act of self-love. Likewise, forgiving ourselves for and learning the lessons from the negative consequences of our decisions is an act of self-love. Being able to move through the world as humans interacting with other humans without getting or remaining "stuck" in unforgiveness of negative interactions is a hallmark of emotional well-being.
I created the FORGIVENESS IS AN ACT OF SELF-LOVE personal billboard to deliver 4 key strategies for learning to forgive self and others. The strategies are based on 25 years of clinical experience as a clinical psychologist. These strategies should be practiced one at a time, at one's own pace. It's also a good idea to partner with a trusted village member to provide support with practicing the strategies.
Step 1 - Consider the idea that forgiveness is an act of self-love
Step 2 - GRIEVE the hurt experienced
Step 3 - Grant people the GRACE to be excruciatingly imperfect humans
Step 4 - Find the PEACE associated with actively releasing the negative energy
I could've hidden the four strategies in a 200-page book. Instead, they are delivered in two 6 X 4 inch color 2-sided postcard divided into 4 sections for easy reading and review. One card applies the steps to forgiving OTHERS. The second card applies the steps to forgiving SELF. Each section is the equivalent of a one-hour educational coaching session – for a total of 4 hours. The 1.5 inch soft enamel lapel pin offers one-word reminders of the 4 strategies.
Keep the postcard handy as a reminder of the strategies to help with practicing the strategies. Place the postcard on your refrigerator, mirrors, on the edges of the screen of your desktop monitor, laminate it and use it as a mouse or tape it to the cover of your laptop computer, or keep it in your school bag. Place the lapel pin on your jacket, school bag, hat, lab coat, or anywhere else that promotes constant reminder of the skills you're learning.
#TotalValue: The total package represents 4 hours of educational coaching, at a value of $240.