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Forgiveness is Key to Self Esteem

That inner sense of knowing one is good or bad comes from interaction with one’s earliest caregivers. These are the people who spent the most time with you and helped form your self-concept.

Caregivers or parents who are hurt themselves, and are hiding their feelings from themselves, cannot be real and present for the children entrusted to their care.

These parents did the best they could, they did not intend to hurt anyone. They had injuries from the past that kept them from being able to be emotionally present for their children, to parent in the way a child needs to be parented.

As a young child, you could not see your parent’s faults, therefore, if you were treated poorly or neglectfully, you decided that you were at fault. This created an internal core of shame- a deep, false belief system that says something like: you are bad, you are no good, you are wrong, inadequate and unlovable. Believing this false core leads one to look for validation outside of oneself.

This never works. This child part of you will choose, over and over again, someone just like the parent who couldn’t give what was needed. This results in getting stuck in repetitive compulsive relationships.

Healing comes from seeing the truth and coming to believe the truth. The truth is that you are a valuable and worthwhile person. This is not about blaming your parents. That only serves to keep you in a victim role.

When this underlying faulty belief system is exposed, one is free to forgive and see oneself as a valuable, worthwhile person. What will follow is being able to live in the present, not on a re-enactment of the past.

One word of caution: the process of forgiveness cannot be attempted until you have taken the time to feel the feelings, including grief for the loss of what you needed and did not receive. These are healing feelings and the hiding of these feelings can create problems.

Note: The above was a handout from LeAnn McKenzie of Healing Grace in Lees Summit, MO, used with permission.

My comments: Forgive and live. I don’t think you can live a happy life until you forgive those who have hurt you. It’s not a quick fix but a sure fix. I had to read and re-read this article many times to absorb and understand everything it is saying because the concept of it was foreign to me. So dear reader, take some time here. Ask God to take you through the healing process of forgiveness. Choose to forgive. Then you will be free to live out His plan and purpose for your life.

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”. ¬† Matthew 6:14-15

©Karen Kay

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