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How Forgiveness Can Improve Your Body Image
When we just canít seem to have a better body image, it can sometimes be because we have failed to let go of the past. We hold onto the beliefs, resentments and hurts of things that have happened before. We tell ourselves that we are limited because of who we were, where we have been and the people we have known. The truth is, is that when we cling so tightly to those beliefs about ourselves, we can not grow. We cannot challenge ourselves to become the people we want to be nor live the life that we deserve. Holding on to our past, can ruin our future.
So what if you have been truly hurt in the past? What if there was a person or even more than one person that truly did you wrong? Donít you have the right to be resentful? Shouldnít you continue to carry that pain with you? If it was your parents that harmed you, isnít it their fault your life is not the way that you want it today? Sure, you can carry all of that discontent with you. You have the absolute right to do that. But at what cost? Is it worth sacrificing all that you could have in life just so you can be right? I donít think so, I believe that you deserve so much more. So how do you go about letting go of those resentments or hurts? By recognizing what your part is and then by forgiving the person that harmed you and forgiving yourself.
Forgiving the people that hurt you is not about forgetting the past. It does not mean the person who harmed you should not still be held accountable for their actions. You do not even have to associate with them if you choose not to, in fact you donít even need to speak to them to tell them you are forgiving them. What forgiveness is about, is realizing that you are not a victim any longer, you are not the other personís judge and jury and that forgiveness is your choice. Forgiveness is about your thoughts and feelings towards them, not how they treat you. One method that has worked for me is to look at the person whoís harmed me as someone who is sick. I had to realize that what they did was done from some injured place in their own soul and their misguided attempt to make their unhappiness better. Making them more human and less of a ďmonsterĒ has helped me gain some compassion for their struggles. However, it is important to note, that just because they are struggling to make themselves feel better does not in anyway make it ok for them to abuse another person.
You may think you have no part in the pain that you have been holding on to. That you are justified in feeling the hurt and holding on to it. That you had nothing to do with the original betrayal so you could not possibly have any part in the resentment. Letís look at the example of child abuse. If you were hurt as a child, emotionally, physically or sexually, you were not at fault. No adult ever has a valid reason for causing harm to a child and no child is ever responsible for being injured. If the abuse has caused you as an adult to be fearful, mistrustful of others, angry, those are all normal responses. So you didnít cause it and you have a right to be hurt, so whatís your part? You are allowing it to still affect you. The injury occurred and has passed, yet you pick at it like a scab and keep opening the bleeding wound. You blame the person or people that hurt you and use them as an excuse. Now, you are the one that is hurting you. That is your part. Forgive yourself and move on from the past.
Forgiveness is probably not going to happen quickly, especially if you were hurt over a long period of time. It may take years to fully let go of hurts, but by making a beginning, just by making the decision to forgive, your life will start becoming better. You will start recognizing how amazing you are, just as you are, right here, right now. You will feel better about yourself and your body and you will begin to live the life you were always meant to have.
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