Lets talk about forgiveness. Forgiveness and acceptance of self and forgiveness and acceptance of others are essential to self esteem. Letting go of the past, not holding grudges against oneself and others, guilt, fear, shame, anger and all of the other emotions which hold us back from living in the now and growing as people, as well as Empaths.
So as always, lets start with the definitions of each, even though I know you each know what each of these things are. This is just to bring some focus to this discussion. Please feel free to skip it if it does nothing for you. ^_^
Forgiveness is the process of ceasing to feel resentment, indignation or anger against another person for a perceived offense, difference or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. This definition, however, is subject to much philosophical critique. Forgiveness may be considered simply in terms of the person who forgives, in terms of the person forgiven and/or in terms of the relationship between the forgiver and the person forgiven. In some contexts, it may be granted without any expectation of compensation, and without any response on the part of the offender (for example, one may forgive a person who is dead). In practical terms, it may be necessary for the offender to offer some form of acknowledgment, apology, and/or restitution, or even just ask for forgiveness, in order for the wronged person to believe they are able to forgive.
Anger is a strong passion or emotion of displeasure or antagonism, excited by a real or supposed injury or insult to one's self or others, or by the intent to do such injury.
Guilt is defined as having incurred guilt; criminal; morally delinquent; wicked; chargeable with, or responsible for, something censurable; justly exposed to penalty; -- used with of, and usually followed by the crime, sometimes by the punishment.
Shame is defined as a painful sensation excited by a consciousness of guilt or impropriety, or of having done something which injures reputation, or of the exposure of that which nature or modesty prompts us to conceal.
Fear is a painful emotion or passion excited by the expectation of evil, or the apprehension of impending danger; apprehension; anxiety; solicitude; alarm; dread.
A Grudge is defined thusly:
1. To look upon with desire to possess or to appropriate; to envy (one) the possession of; to begrudge; to covet; to give with reluctance; to desire to get back again; -- followed by the direct object only, or by both the direct and indirect objects.
2. To hold or harbor with malicioua disposition or purpose; to cherish enviously.
3. To be covetous or envious; to show discontent; to murmur; to complain; to repine; to be unwilling or reluctant.
4. To feel compunction or grief.
5. Sullen malice or malevolence; cherished malice, enmity, or dislike; ill will; an old cause of hatred or quarrel.
Resentment is defined as the state of holding something in the mind as a subject of contemplation, or of being inclined to reflect upon something; a state of consciousness; conviction; feeling; impression. In a bad sense, strong displeasure; anger; hostility provoked by a wrong or injury experienced.
Self Hatred is defined as hatred, disregard, and denigration of oneself.
Self Loathing is an extreme self-hatred of one's own self, actions or one's ethnic or demographic background.
Categories, Symptoms, and Examples of Self Loathing
Categories of Self Loathing
1. Hatred of one's own self, actions and characteristics
2. Rejection of one's demographic origin - such as ethnic origin, religious orientation, nationality, gender or sexual orientation.
Examples Of Self Loathing
1. Nobody loves me
2. Things will never get any better.
3. I'm useless. I always screw everything up.
4. He/she could never really love the real me.
5. I must be really awful to make them think so ill of people like me.
6. I must never let them know the truth.
One List Of Symptoms Of Self Loathing & Low Self Esteem
1. Quitting to avoid failure
2. Avoiding a task altogether
3. Clowning to hide lack of confidence
4. Controlling and becoming the tough guy
5. Being Aggressive and Bullying is easily seen in corporate world to hide inadequacy and vulnerability perceptions seeking out victims for the kill in a survival of the fittest mentality .
6. Denying problems and issues and missing the opportunity to grow
7. Being Impulsive and getting it done quickly and by doing denying themselves the satisfaction of enjoying their work. (like how God rested and enjoyed the world on the sabbath, he now wants to enjoy you)
Another List Of Self Loathing and Depression
1. Being Needy
2. Chaotic Relationships
4. Eating Disorders
6. Lack of Assertiveness, Passive, Aggressive, or Passive-Aggressive
8. Poor Boundaries
9. Poor Communication
10. Poor Relationship & Social Skills
13. Sexual Dysfunction
14. Wearing a Mask
Forgiveness & The Empath
Forgiveness is a funny thing isn't it? We try our best to do it for others, as we bury our own fears, resentments, self regrets, self loathing, and self hatred. We hide our guilt and our shame, which then turns into fear to face ourselves in our totality. We call it our beast. We call it the skeletons in our closet. And we believe no one will like us, love us, or associate with us if they truly knew what we've done in our lives or what we are capable of.
And we wear masks, which eat away at us over time, to please others and stay within the bounds of a particular group or structure. But by doing this, we also deny ourselves. We stop listening to what our heart, head, and soul are telling us until it makes us physically ill or clinically depressed. We literally dissociate from our true selves, to be what we imagine others think we should be. Ironically, if there is a hell on earth, it is of our own making because of this habit.
The hardest thing anyone can do in a lifetime, when faced with this kind of situation, is open that door to that closet or face their 'beast'. And look at it and say 'I love you', 'I accept you', and 'I forgive you'. And then change those words to 'I love me totally', 'I accept me totally', and 'I forgive myself for everything'.
This is where you learn to surrender and stop fighting who you are. This is where forgiveness of self and healing begins. This is where you begin to truly live again, instead of just going through the motions.
As an Empath it is especially important for you to do this, because you are working to help others with these same issues. You can not truly speak with conviction and experience to these things, unless you have experienced them yourself.
No matter how much you want to give to others and help them, it is only a coping mechanism to help you feel better about yourself and fill the void in your life caused by the fact that you will not face your 'beast' or open that closet door.
Your truest journey as an Empath begins when you become healthy yourself. So think about it. Its important, both for you and for those you work with. ^_^
Quotes On Forgiveness
“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.”
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
~~Lewis B. Smedes
“Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.”
"The rule is: we cannot really forgive ourselves unless we look at the failure in our past and call it by its right name."
~~Lewis B. Smedes
"All the years you have waited for them to "make it up to you" and all the energy you expended trying to make them change (or make them pay) kept the old wounds from healing and gave pain from the past free rein to shape and even damage your life. And still they may not have changed. Nothing you have done has made them change. Indeed, they may never change. Inner peace is found by changing yourself, not the people who hurt you. And you change yourself for yourself, for the joy, serenity, peace of mind, understanding, compassion, laughter, and bright future that you get."
~~Lewis B. Smedes
"He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass."
"Without deep humility, true forgiveness is impossible…and will never happen."
"Forgiveness is choosing to love. It is the first skill of self-giving love. "