I’ve been teaching yoga and meditation at a community college for 17 years. This semester, I noticed more students struggling with self-doubt and negative talk. Their perfectionism about good grades and keeping themselves and their family safe during this pandemic was causing them stress and worry with good reason. However, their cruelty toward themselves was not helping the situation.
Our coping mechanisms start at a young age. We are taught how to receive love from our parents, family, and teachers before we have a chance to learn for ourselves. Often in these teachings, we learn that putting ourselves to the side and taking care of others first means love. Or worse, we are often ignored and taught that being as invisible as possible means no more hurt. Our childhood backgrounds profoundly contribute to our adult responses. The good news is that we can heal and shift.
What we are taught as children is one of the reasons setting boundaries can be so hard for some people. If we’re taught that they need to give and give to be loved, this develops a thought pattern that makes us believe if we say “No” or asks for something based only on our needs, it will threaten our love and safety. This amplifies some primal hardwiring we have as humans because of our parents’ dynamic; when we’re young, our survival is solely based on their love and care.
If this attachment work goes unchecked, we will likely not create healthy relationships, not even with ourselves. If we’ve been swallowing down feelings, we will likely create vast amounts of tension or even illness in the body. We can only have a collection of issues put to the side for so long before it becomes too much.
With my current students at school, we’ve focused on a forgiveness practice in a few parts. The students told me yesterday that they realized how hard they are on themselves and that our work helps them honor their humanity and mistakes.
We’re doing very general practice which includes forgiveness meditation for 15 minutes a day, working with an accountability partner, and keeping a meditation journal. Through this work, they are seeing results and making significant improvements. They manage self-compassion through kindness and understanding where healthy boundaries benefit their well-being and don’t hinder any love from others.
When my clients work with me in the HLM Program, we go a lot deeper and way more personal. By the end of the three months, the client recognizes their patterns and how to work through them independently. I help them create a personalized program for THEIR specific issues. I also help them witness with compassion and guide them to learn to be with anger, grief, sadness, and other uncomfortable emotions to help them navigate better. At the end of the program, I often hear from clients that deepening their self-understanding their lives have dramatically improved. Through this journey of deepening themselves, they’ve gotten raises at work; their sex life improves, their body feels more aligned.
This all comes from learning how to deeply honor all parts of their humanity and forgive the details that simply ask for attention, no longer needing to be ignored.
Forgiveness can be such a crucial part of your healing process, but it can also be challenging to navigate alone, which is why I created the Holistic Lifestyle Method. Working with me one-on-one can make the space you need with the tools necessary to let go of what isn’t serving you and step into forgiveness with yourself and others. Click Here to schedule a FREE Consultation with me today to discuss your goals and take the next step towards healing