After reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, I was inspired to find gratitude in my everyday life. Read our introduction to this journey for a little bit of background on why and how to to get started on your own Gratitude Journey. Catch up with our first step, Finding Choice, before you read further. This week I want to talk about the most crucial step in my own journey to finding gratitude: Forgiveness.
Choice + Acceptance = Forgiveness
Forgiveness is comprised of two parts: choice and acceptance. Choosing into what I want sets me up for the future. I am creating a path that is exactly as I choose. Acceptance brings me back to the present moment. It allows me to continuously move towards my goals, and my intention allows me to see if I have strayed from the path I set for myself. In forgiveness there is movement. Forgiveness grants the space for me to move past the obstacles in my way.
Forgiveness is Movement
This light bulb moment for me came to light when I was sorting through my books - as part of my decluttering. I was so proud of the collection that I had accrued through the years, an eclectic mix of different genres. But I have a confession: I really only read a handful of these books. The rest were bought with the intention to read, and I “never got around to them.” When it came time to discard them I thought, “Wow, what a waste.” I had this pang of guilt for each unopened book in the discard pile. Just like every unforgiving thought I had of myself, these books were softly collecting dust on the bookshelf, ruminating amongst the landscape of my apartment. While upheaving my apartment, I finally noticed that these books - while I was proud to own them - were a reminder of the disappointment in myself. I realized that while I’ve been in practice of changing my perspective about obligations, I haven’t been accepting of where I am today as a person. By keeping items that reminded me of all the things I haven’t accomplished I was stopping myself from moving on. I challenged myself to let go of the thoughts, self-judgement, and find forgiveness in all of this.
How did I forgive myself:
Come back to My Intention
My intention is to LIVE GRATITUDE. This meaning that I want to let go of everything I am holding on to that adds pressure and expectation in order to have the space to let in joy and appreciation.
Celebrate the Journey
I get to give myself credit for where I’ve been, and the choices I’ve made to become the person I am. I also get to own my mistakes because they are the teachers of my life. They teach me about the future. They teach me that I am resilient because no matter many times I fall, I will get up over and over again.
Grant Myself the Worthiness
Recently I watched the Brene Brown Ted talk about vulnerability, and it illuminated exactly what I did but couldn’t capture in words - to grant myself worthy of forgiveness. My journey to gratitude and self-love can only go as far as what I believe I am worth.
Accept What Is
A powerful quote from the book said, “Just because you dispose of something does not mean you give up past experiences or your identity.” This rang so true for me because I tend to hold onto things for fear that losing them takes away from my identity. Accepting that I will always be who I am has allowed me to accept that losing a few things doesn’t take away from the effect it had on me and my life.
Let’s do it together!
This week discard 3 things you haven’t used since you’ve purchased the item. See what stirs up in you. Journal and celebrate yourself! Find out what makes you worthy of acceptance and forgiveness. Add 1 thing that brings you joy and will use immediately. Maybe let go of the books you will never read and pick up the 1 book you will read the moment you purchase it (it can be on your e-reader or even an audiobook!). We are giving up 3 things that have caused guilt for 1 thing that will bring joy.
If you want to share your journey, or have a buddy to talk to, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you!
Now. onto Pt. 4 - Letting Go to Find Joy