A lot of times when we think about forgiveness, we think about forgiving someone else. But, how often do we actually think about forgiving ourselves? In this Episode, Dr. Peggie Kirkland shares the importance of being able to...
A lot of times when we think about forgiveness, we think about forgiving someone else. But, how often do we actually think about forgiving ourselves? In this Episode, Dr. Peggie Kirkland shares the importance of being able to forgive yourself. According to health experts, self- forgiveness is essential to your physical and psychological well being. In fact, some psychologists say that self-forgiveness has been linked to lowering your risk of heart attack...reducing stress, depression and anxiety. PK also offers three ways in which you can start forgiving yourself so you can avoid being stuck in a cycle of guilt and shame. Take a listen, and don’t forget to leave a review and a rating here or on Apple podcast. It will only take you two minutes, and it will provide us with valuable insights as we continue to plan future episodes.
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Dr. Peggie Kirkland: 0:18
Inspiring Gen X women to demonstrate their self-love through audacious acts of self- care. This is the Momma's Motivational Messages podcast with Dr. Peggie Kirkland.
Hi, everyone. It's Peggie Kirkland, PK, as my daughter likes to call me when she's trying to be cute. So, I have three statements, and I'm wondering if you can get behind any of these statements, or all three of them? Here they are. We are human. We all make mistakes. We need forgiveness.
Can you get behind one or all three of those statements? I see you nodding your heads. You know, a lot of times when we think about forgiveness, we think about forgiving someone else. But, how often do we actually think about forgiving ourselves? Is that something you've asked yourself recently, or thought about? The act of self-forgiveness? In case you're thinking about those questions, and you haven't come up with an answer, here are some thoughts. If you're asking yourself, "Well, what do I need to forgive myself for?"
Think about this. How about not sticking to the budget you set for yourself so that you can save up for that big ticket item? Or, how about adding to the unwanted items in that garage of yours instead of getting rid of the junk that's already there? Hello, somebody! How about not starting that online business that you thought you would start, or that you said you would start since you were at home during the pandemic? Or what about getting started on that online course, that would help to advance your career or even help to grow your passion. Or, how about not sticking to that virtual exercise program that you started at the beginning of the pandemic, and one that really tugs at your heart, and that's not staying in touch with family and friends, to see how they're doing, and to let them know that you're thinking about them.
I mean, this is a list that could really go on forever, because we have these internal conversations, often with ourselves. And the thing is, these conversations tend to paralyze us because we think about them over and over again, and we don't always come up with a solution right away. And what happens is, is that we sink into a situation of guilt; we start to feel real guilt and shame for not meeting these obligations that we set for ourselves, or these goals that we set for ourselves, or these commitments that we make for ourselves or to ourselves? Well, I have some good news for you. And that is that it's never too late to get a fresh start on an old situation. And so, you can definitely reverse what's been going on and start afresh. But in order to do that, you're going to have to show some compassion for yourself.
That's the first thing that you're going to have to do because if you don't show compassion for yourself, what's going to happen is that you're going to end up feeling so overwhelmed with these feelings of guilt, and you're going to think that you're not measuring up to your own ideals, and you're going to just keep beating yourself up for these things. And that's really not a comfortable place to be. There's a familiar statement from a motivational author that I've followed for years, and that I love. And her name is Louise Hay. She's now deceased, but Louise Hay has a quote, she says, "You've been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn't worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens." And that's something I'd really like you to think about for a moment and ask yourself, "Is there some way that I can approve of myself in this very moment? Is there one thing that I can give myself a high five for to say, yes, you did." I'm pausing to give you an opportunity to think about that.
I have a feeling that once you think about it, you're going to come up with at least one thing that you can acknowledge that you've done in meeting some promise that you made to yourself, and it's possible that you may come up with even more. What does that feel like now? Does that feel a whole lot better? Doesn't it make you feel good? I'll tell you one thing, I'm going to give myself a high five, for not giving up on this podcasting thing, because of all of the challenges, the unforeseen challenges that I encounter, and keep encountering, because this is a goal that I set for myself. And I've decided I want to follow through with it, because it's a wonderful learning experience, and because as I've said before, I really feel that it's an opportunity for me to pay it forward.
But getting back to the topic, there's something that you might not know about self- forgiveness, and that is that it is essential to your physical and psychological well being. In fact, some psychologists say that self-forgiveness has been linked to lowering your risk of heart attack, reducing stress, depression, and anxiety. And if you don't believe me, there's a story that I'd like to share with you from a TEDx talk by a woman named Eileen Timmins. And the link to her complete story is in the show notes. Well, here's the story. According to this woman, Eileen Timmins, she got a call from her brother saying that her mother, who was in hospice care with breast cancer had gone into a coma. Now, she had spoken to her mom the night before, and they were joking around and laughing and having a good time on the phone. Now, Eileen had been planning to go visit her mom the next afternoon. It was a three-hour drive. And for whatever reason, she didn't make that trip. So the next call she got was that her mom had died. Her inability to forgive herself for not visiting her mother before she died, caused her so much guilt, that it affected her health. And guess wha? Several years later, she got a call from her radiologist, and that call let her know that she had ended up with the same diagnosis as her mother. The point that Eileen was making was that untreated physical and emotional wounds can lower your immunity and create conditions for cancer.
So I think that when you think about that story, it sends a message that this is not something that you really should be playing around with. Forgiving yourself is extremely important. The funny thing is that women appear to have a harder time forgiving themselves than men do. And here's something to take note of women who are said to be highly self-forgiving. In other words, they're able to forgive themselves easily, those women are three times less likely to experience depression. That's really something to think about. So ladies, is forgiving yourself something that you need to do? If that's the case, there are three important steps that you can take. Mental health experts say that the key to forgiveness 1.) Accept what has happened. 2.) Take responsibility, and 3.) Show compassion for yourself.
So let's talk about the first one, accepting what has happened. For this, you're going to have to accept the reality of the situation. So let's say that you didn't do what you said you haven't started putting away those funds for that big ticket item that you know you need. Or, let's talk about that garage. Ladies. This one is personal. I tell you, I've started and stopped so many times in trying to rid my garage of so many items that have piled up over time, but I'm determined to make it happen this summer. I think I'm going to need some help though, and guess what I plan to ask for it. And you know, that's something that as women we don't do often enough. A lot of times we feel that when we ask for help, we're actually slowing ourselves down because whoever's helping won't do things the way we want it done. And so we decide that we're going to do it ourselves. That's not the best solution.
Ladies, the second thing that you need to do is to take responsibility, let's say that you haven't started that online course, that you know is going to give you some added value on the job. It's definitely not too late to do so. All you have to do is really just stop making excuses. Stop the excuses, stop distracting yourself with your guilty TV pleasures, and make a goal on paper, or on the notes in your electronics somewhere. The thing is, when you want to commit to something that you want to accomplish, when it's in your head, it's just an idea. When you really want to solidify that idea and turn it into a plan, you need to make a record of it because in that way, you're sort of sending your brain a signal that says, I'm really serious about doing this.
And finally, show compassion to yourself. I want you to ask yourself this powerful question. What would I gain in my life if I gave myself some grace, and just started over? You can pause the episode right now to answer that question. Would you have less anxiety, fewer feelings of inadequacy and that voice that constantly says, "You never finish what you start or, you're always making excuses?" Do you think you would have more time to just relax and get some enjoyment from the things that we've started engaging in since you know, we've been at home, like coloring, painting, healthy cooking, making raised beds to grow our sustainable gardens, etc, etc.? What would you gain, really? And that's what I want you to focus on in this Space of Grace is what I want to call it. And when you figure that out, I'd like you to write a Space of Grace letter to yourself. And this might be unfamiliar to you or it might sound a little strange. But, I want you to think about this letter as a letter in which you choose one thing that you're going to forgive yourself for. And then I want you to show some love and compassion. As you plan to move forward, I want you to make yourself the object of your own love and tenderness.
As women, we are really good at pouring out love and compassion to others. Well, what I want you to do is to show that depth of emotion for yourself. And I want you to get into the favorite spot in your home or in the outdoors, and read that letter to yourself. I want you to feel the love that that letter is bringing to you Feel the love for yourself and cradle it in your thoughts and in your heart, like you would a newborn child or a pet. Doesn't it feel good to make amends with yourself?
Yes, it's time to move on ladies. So take some time to think about the three things you would like to forgive yourself for, and just pick one thing that you're going to focus on, and follow the steps that the mental health experts suggest as I mentioned earlier.
I think that by following these steps, you're going to be paving the way to a healthier life, and you might even be possibly lowering your risk of heart attack and reducing stress, depression and anxiety. You owe it to yourselves ladies.
Until next time, remember the power of self-forgiveness. It's a motivational force that can help you to rid yourself of feelings of guilt, and just help you to move forward in accomplishing goals that you set for yourselves.
This is PK sending you much light and a whole lot of love. By the way, if you enjoyed this episode, don't forget to leave a review and a rating here, or on Apple podcast. It will only take you two minutes, and it will provide us with valuable insights as we continue to plan future episodes.
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