January 19th, 2013

I wrote this Pema Chodron quote on my Facebook page: “The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we gave ourselves.” When we think about it and get really honest with ourselves, this is the most truthful truth. We often get mad at outside forces, but usually, it comes back to disappointment in ourselves, and the difficult times we give ourselves. For example, you get cheated on and you feel betrayed and hurt. But truly underneath it all, it’s usually is yourself that you are mad at. Upset, that you allowed yourself to ignore your gut, your intuition. You’re upset with yourself for having been in that situation and allowed that situation. We lose faith in ourselves. Below is a little story of a woman who did just that, lost trust in herself.

Not too long ago I went to NY for my first TV appearance for a segment called Mujer del Dia (Woman of the Day). It was so fun and exciting to be able to share psychologically savvy advice on a national TV news station. The first day I arrived in NY, I went to see a beautiful man by the name of Abdy, a healer. I was in a cab on my way to see Abdy, and the cab driver was a woman.

We got to talking, and she asked me what I did. I responded, “I work as a psychotherapist, fusing modern advice and spiritual approaches to my sessions.” She asked me, “So then how do I forgive my ex husband?” I asked her, “Did he abuse you?” She responded, with her head shamefully down, “Yes.” I said, “It’s okay- I’ve been there.”

I began to explain to her that she was really upset at herself. She was confused. I told you, she is still mad at the woman who would allow herself to be abused. She is mad at the girl who allowed him to call her names and hit her. She is mad at herself for being so weak to allow someone to degrade her holiness, her majesty, her goddess. She is mad at herself for being in that position. I told her she let herself down, she didn’t do her job to protect herself, and so she’s still hurt with herself. Yes, she was mad at him. But she is more mad at herself for allowing it. She sighed in relief, she said, “Wow. And all this time, I thought I was just mad at him. You’re right, I’ve never heard it like that. I am mad at me. I am mad at myself for allowing it.”

I told her to pray nightly for herself, to send love to the wounded little girl that felt unworthy of love and so she allowed abuse and stayed around for more. Pray and forgive her. Tell her she is worthy of love nightly. I then told her when she feels ready pray for the little boy within her ex husband that was wounded enough to hurt another human being so much. I told her to find the seed of compassion and cultivate it, like a garden, for herself, for him, and all that have hurt her.

Lastly, my advice was to begin to let go of that old story and for her to begin to have trust in herself again that she is safe to be loved, because she can trust herself again to protect herself.

We have all been this woman before. Mad and hurt at ourselves for allowing others to hurt us, for breaking our own promises, for letting ourselves down. Let’s regain our trust in ourselves again, re-build our relationship to ourselves again. This is the root of healthy relationships with others, to have a healthy relationship to the self.

Trusting ourselves is a key in unlocking the trust we seek to have with others.

Below you will find an exercise in understanding and forgiveness.

In what ways have you let yourself down?

Can you remember a specific moment where you made a promise to yourself and broke it?

With gentle love and observation write these moments down. With awareness, comes change.

Then write down, “I forgive myself for letting myself down. I learn and grow with each mistake I make. I am ready to love and trust myself again.” And so it is.

Remember, your relationship to yourself is one of the most important. So begin to regain trust in yourself again, begin to fall in love with yourself again, keep your word to you- at least a little more, and forgive yourself when you don’t.

Sending love and trust your way.

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