In full disclosure, I have not done the exercise below yet. It is my weekend project. I saw this on Mind, Body, Green and had to share this exercise for getting to the place of being able to forgive yourself. Forgiveness has always been a touchy subject for me. I get upset... ok that is not true, I get downright PISSED... when a therapist or random person calls me to forgive my bio mom. I still cannot forgive her because I cannot let go of this concept of forgiveness that a think a lot of us have. I view forgiveness as something that is earned, and is a gift. Bio mom does not deserve this gift... at all. I feel as though if I forgive her she will be getting away with something. Do I want her to suffer? Yes. Absolutely. Do I think that she even has the capacity to understand the pain that she caused me over and over and over again? No. Absolutely not. She will never be able to suffer or feel regret for everything she has done to me and not done for me because she is literally, incapable.

I know all of this, but I still can't even give her one sided forgiveness (ie, I forgive her in my heart (whatever the hell that means) and "let go" (also another one of my favorite cliches... right up there with live in the moment)). So that said, I am going to give the following exercise a try and see, just see, if it helps me feel a little more of a sense of peace.

Exercise Can be Found here!

1. Get out a pen and a pad of paper. If you feel more comfortable on a computer, then close everything and just open up a word processing program. Write down every single obligation of any kind you have. This includes intrapersonal dramas you need to address, relationships you wish to maintain, bills you need to pay: Everything. Anything at all that you cannot forget. Assume you will never share this with anyone. This list could take upwards of an hour. If you have more to write about something, especially something complex you need to forgive yourself for, do that. If you feel guilt and beat yourself up, that’s fine, too. Get it out.

2. Now relax. Once you have everything on a piece of paper, put it somewhere safe (or save your file) and disconnect. You can forgive yourself for doing this, because everything you need to remember is on those pages. If, as you're trying to disconnect, you remember something you can’t forget, go and write it down. Your relaxation will wait, and will be more complete when it comes. Often, I disconnect by losing myself in music or poetry. I know many people appreciate a good bath. A good yoga class can do wonders. Whatever works for you.
3. Revisit your list. Whenever you have more to write, write it. If you beat yourself up over something before, write what your actions will be going forward. Don’t write “because” in these sentences. You don’t need to justify yourself to yourself. Every moment is an opportunity to become a new you. The past can be sour or sweet, but it cannot be changed.