Updated: Apr 2
As we go through the journey of life, in our relationships and especially our romantic relationships, we have had our hearts broken and we have hurt others. Even when we have the best of intentions, there’s no way around this.
As I sat down today to write this, I thought about what is most needed in order to open our hearts for giving and receiving the love we want. And this is it.
You may have heard this before, but allow me to explain how a lack of self-forgiveness can be sabotaging your search for true love in ways you don’t expect.
These are some signs that a lack of self-forgiveness for past mistakes and for what you did or did not do may be affecting your love search and may even be sabotaging it.
So, for example, in dating and relationships, you may find yourself
· Playing it small by choosing to date people you feel comfortable with instead of going for the ones that seem the most interesting to you; the ones you really want
· Holding yourself back from initiating contact or conversation with people in your daily life, like a stranger in the Starbucks line or grocery store line
· Not putting your best foot forward. You may show up on dates with a lack of enthusiasm or energy and not take a moment to get yourself in a better mood before a date
· Not paying attention to your appearance or making the effort to dress and present yourself like you would for a job interview
· Dating or being in relationships with people who don’t treat you well or aren’t capable of deep intimate love
· Settling for a relationship because deep down you don’t feel you deserve more happiness or more love than this
· Thinking more about what you don’t want or what can go wrong in a relationship than thinking about the happy life you want with an amazing partner who adores you
· Not dedicating time and energy to your love search, but instead allowing work and other obligations to take up your energy and time, leaving you with none left over for your search
There are countless subtle ways that you can hold back, play small, pass up possibilities for love or simply not show up at all to find a partner.
These are other ways you may be feeling when there is a lack of self-forgiveness.
Feeling guilt about past breakups and how you handled things or reacted when you were hurt. Or feeling you didn’t give as much as you could have to a person or relationship.
Guilt requires a punishment and what can happen is you’ll unconsciously sabotage your search for love or your relationships as a way of punishing yourself for your perceived or real transgressions… This a big one, isn’t it….? You won’t allow yourself to receive the love you want as punishment.
Guilt can cause you to feel unworthy of receiving love again.
Maybe you regret getting into certain relationships. This regret and lack of self-forgiveness prevents you from trusting your own judgment to pick people who are good for you.
Feeling shame. This is a whole other topic I will cover separately.
You don’t feel you deserve love.
When you don’t forgive yourself, you don’t feel worthy enough or deserving of the love you really want. The result is that you will find ways to silently, unconsciously sabotage yourself in dating and relationships, in big and small ways.
You can’t fully love yourself.
Ultimately, a lack of forgiveness for yourself prevents you from fully loving yourself, warts and all. A part of you will hold you back because of past mistakes and this may prevent you from even looking for love at all.
You can’t feel hopeful and optimistic.
Lack of forgiveness for yourself erodes your ability to feel optimistic and hopeful about your future.
You may not even be able to picture the life of your dreams because you feel held back in the past in the land of unforgiveness, believing that something you did was unforgiveable or irredeemable.
What self-forgiveness does.
Self-forgiveness pulls back to you your vital life energy from all those situations where you’re expending thought and emotion not forgiving yourself. It disentangles you from those people and situations so you can let go of them and bring your power to the present, along with your self-worth and hope for your future.
If reading and thinking about this right now feels heavy to you, then you can imagine how not having forgiven yourself and others is weighing on your mind, your body and emotions, how it’s robbing you of the vital energy you need to live life to its fullest in this moment. Unforgiveness is exhausting and depleting!
Think about how much of your thought and energy has been and is still being syphoned off to old situations and people whenever you think about them (whether consciously or unconsciously)?
This is like traveling on the road to love with extra-large extra heavy suitcases.
How far can you get with all that heavy baggage weighing you down?
As you prepare to get out and look for love this spring, I invite you to do a little spring cleaning within yourself to start releasing that baggage, so your journey to love can be smoother and your heart can be fully open to receive your soulmate.
To forgive yourself (and anyone person or situation) there’s a beautiful Hawaiian healing prayer you can use. It’s Ho-oponopono, the Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness for forgiving yourself and others.
Forgive yourself for past choices, decisions, mistakes, events, things you’ve said or done, for who you were then and what you didn’t know then. If there are specific events or people involved, then you might wish to do this prayer for each of those people and events separately. Or you may wish to do the prayer for yourself as the younger version of you when you feel you did or said something unforgiveable or when you let your own self down.
You did the best you could for who you were and what you knew in the past.
Self-forgiveness releases you from the past and opens your heart to give and receive more love.
Self-forgiveness allows you to fully love yourself. All of you.
These are the basic steps for saying this prayer. Bring to mind the event, situation, person or circumstance and then begin saying the prayer. It can be repeated many times in one sitting and as often as you wish.
Step 1: Repentance – JUST SAY: I'M SORRY. ...
Step 2: Ask Forgiveness – SAY: PLEASE FORGIVE ME. ...
Step 3: Gratitude – SAY: THANK YOU. ...
Step 4: Love – SAY: I LOVE YOU.
Practice Ho’oponopono to forgive yourself and others. It will help you let go of the heavy baggage so you can travel freely into your happy future, with hope and your heart wide open.