Tag Archives: Self-Compassion

Day 26: Radical Forgiveness


I haven’t been actively doing a lot of forgiveness exercises because I’ve been reading more about self-forgiveness, specifically, about all the “selves” that fall into “self.”

I often hear people talking about having different parts of themselves. Most commonly people talk about their “inner critic” and “giving myself a hard time.” Sometimes someone will also say, “I’m the one getting in my way.”

These are good examples of those other parts of ourselves.

What I’ve discovered so far is:

  • We all have parts of ourselves that we’ve disowned in order to get along better with other people. For example, I often tone down my creative side when I’m working with people who are focused on doing things in a logical, step-by-step way.
  • I was happy to realize how much progress I’ve made when it comes to rediscovering and integrating those parts of myself. It’s been fun and exciting to remember the things I loved doing when I was a kid.
  • There are still things I push down but I see myself making a lot of progress.
  • I don’t have any regrets about the way I’ve lived my life. That’s good too. I feel like I’ve usually done my best with what I knew at the time. Also, the things I might regret have ended up working out for the best.

This is encouraging.

Tomorrow I’m going to be reading about my “shadow” self and my “sabotage” self. I’m really curious and kind of excited to learn about these because these are parts of me that have kicked my ass in the past. I’m excited about the possibility of “diffusing” these selves. Not getting rid of. These are parts of me that have served a purpose in the past. It would be like saying, “I want to cut off my nose.”

But I would like to be able to say, “Thank you for doing what you did because you were wanting to protect me. I’m not going to need you anymore, you can go now.” More like, leaving these selves behind me as we leave old beliefs and habits behind that no longer serve us.

I really can’t wait to learn more!

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Day 19: Radical Forgiveness – Time to Create a Doorway?

draw a doorway

When I wrote my post on day 17, I mentioned that one thing I wanted to look at was my inability to make a decision about the direction in which I wanted to take my work.

I’ve been obsessing about the direction in which to take my business for years and as of today I still have no crystal clear direction to follow. On the other hand, I do have a few directions I’m clear I don’t want to follow and that’s progress.

Today I completed the Radical Self-Forgiveness to have more peace with myself and my lack of direction. It’s challenging not having a sense of what’s next but it’s a lot more difficult when I make that challenge all about what’s wrong with me.

One of the main insights I had was on how many beliefs I carry about the right way to go about finding my “right work.”

Although I had good grades when I graduated from college and I was a marketing major, I wanted to find a job in consumer research and at the time there weren’t many companies offering entry level positions in marketing research. The easiest marketing-related job to get was in sales and I pretty blew all the interviews I had for sales jobs.

What most people I knew did was read the want ads and send resumes to the Fortune 500 companies. I lived in Chicago and there were plenty of big companies to go after.

But because I wanted a job in an area most people had never heard of I did things differently. I followed the advice in What Color is Your Parachute and I did informational interviews.

I know my parents were really nervous about the fact I wasn’t sending my resume like everyone else. They thought I was spinning my wheels and probably that fast forward 30 years into the future and I’d be living in the basement with six cats and still no job.

It turned out that the best thing I ever did was those informational interviews. It’s the reason I got a job in my field of interest to begin with and I probably spoke with more leaders in the field than I ever would had I used a different route.

It took me about 18 months to find the “job of my dreams” and I made a lot of mistakes and detours along the way.

Then I kind of forgot that experience because I decided I “knew” what my career was supposed to be. I guess I decided the soul-searching part was over and I knew enough about what I wanted and didn’t want to be in a position to make quick decisions.

I’ve done a lot of zig-zagging: technical writing, life coaching, business coaching, creating information products, etc.

At this point, where I’m leaning toward is going through the self-assessment process again as outlined in Parachute and that will probably be my next major project. For one thing, it doesn’t exclude the option of technical writing. For another thing, I think I needed to cast a wider net than I’ve allowed myself in the past. Finally, I suspect I’ll end up creating something original to fit my particular set of talents and whether I work for someone else or decide to make it a business, it’s going to be important that I’m clear about what I do, who I help, and the value I bring to the table.

For the last ten years I’ve been trying to force myself into a particular value definition and it’s been more or less an exercise in frustration. Not unlike throwing myself against a brick wall and wondering when it will stop hurting.

When I stop throwing myself against a brick wall and create a door to walk through, that’s when. Not unlike the Pink Panther tossing a black circle onto the ground and jumping into the hole he just created.

Not a final decision as of today but feeling like the most promising direction. Having a promising direction I’m willing to commit to is real progress.

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Day 17: Radical Forgiveness – Sales and Self-Worth


Yesterday I wrote about how I have a tendency to want people to hire or buy from me. This is regardless of whether the person is a prospective customer or even makes sense to be a customer.

This is embarrassing because it’s so illogical and I also know it’s disrespectful and often inappropriate in the context of the relationship. There’s no better way to lose friends and irritate people than to turn every encounter into Let’s Make a Deal.

And no matter what I tell myself, the impulse stubbornly comes up.

To get at the bottom of this, I did a Self-Forgiveness Worksheet yesterday from the Radical Forgiveness program.

I learned something really interesting about this compulsion.

Like a lot of Baby Boomers, I was raised by Depression Baby parents. Although my parents both grew up in relative comfort, one grandfather was a successful salesman and the other ran a successful menswear store, they heard stories and saw evidence everywhere of how easy it was to go from comfort to poverty. They had close relatives who couldn’t find work and heard all the time what a “terrible thing it was when a man couldn’t find a job.”

So although they were comfortable, they constantly heard “be grateful because you’re lucky your father has a job.”

They also grew up with lots of stories about how even the most menial job was not only a JOB but it was a FOOT IN THE DOOR to show your employers what you were made of and make something of yourself.

When I was working for other people, for example, working in the corporate world, I usually felt successful when I had a job. Being employed meant someone thought I was valuable enough to be worth hiring. The desire that other people buy from me didn’t cross my mind.

When I started my coaching business, it seemed like the main way I could judge how well I was doing was by how successful I was when it came to enrolling clients.  So I began to equate my sense of self-worth and value based on whether or no someone wanted to buy something from me or wanted to hire me.

This is what I discovered as I did the self-forgiveness process.

Having seen this clearly helps me have a lot more compassion for myself because if this is one of the few ways I can find to feel good about who I am as a human being of course I’m going to constantly desire getting this kind of affirmation.

So this brings up some questions for me to contemplate (without any pressure to come up with answers):

  • What are other things from which I can find self-worth
  • How can I feel secure in my value as a person that aren’t dependent on what is outside my own control? This is because ultimately I have no control over other people nor do I have control over most events. My control ultimately comes down to my choices including how I choose to respond.
  • What would it take for me to truly believe in my intrinsic value (which would pretty much address point #2)

That last point is my dream, to feel so secure in my own self worth and the value of what I create through my work that I don’t require the approval of other people to feel fulfilled. It isn’t that I won’t love it when my work makes a difference for people and when I’m paid. But what I receive from other people makes things that much more sweet. It isn’t what I require to feel successful and good about myself.

I believe the answer is in me. I don’t see it right this moment. So for now I’m going to continue putting my energy into what is immediately in front of me.

Maybe one thing I could do is to do the self-forgiveness process on this very situation…to forgive myself for not knowing because I do feel like I’m failing somehow by my lack of direction. I also feel bad because it feels like I’m letting my family down as well.

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Day 21: Kicking the Online Shopping Habit – Results so far …


From Addiction to Forgiveness

It’s the official three week mark since I decided to stop my obsession online shopping behavior.

What surprises me is that it’s been a lot easier than I expected it to be. I honestly thought I’d struggle with stopping.

Results so Far

Some of the benefits I thought I might see as a result of ending online shopping included:

  • More time because my online shopping jags could go anywhere from 1 – 8+ hours at a stretch. I’d say the average shopping period was 2-3 hours. If I wasn’t shopping online what would I do with the extra time?
  • In fact, this doesn’t even include the time I spent trying things on and returning things I didn’t like or that didn’t work! So I could easily double the time to at least 4-6 hours!
  • Saving money because I tend to spend between $50 – $200 per shopping binge. Although my husband worries a lot about me spending a lot of money the truth is most of the stuff ends up returned. Nonetheless I’m still paying for shipping returned items back and in the case of heavier items like bags and shoes, shipping can get expensive.
  • Having more emotional space because it isn’t taken up in worrying about getting refunds and disputes with vendors.

Of all the above, the most noticeable benefit so far is with the money. During the 21 day period, I’ve spent only $50 in total. Two e-books and a software app. Figuring I usually spend $200 – $250 this is a big decrease and if I could have been a bit more patient I could have saved $10 getting one of the books from the library (the other was well worth owning).

I don’t yet feel an appreciable increase in time because so many other things have rushed in to fill the space. Still just having the time to spend on journaling and reading Radical Forgiveness this month has made a big difference in my emotional state.

21 Days of Tracking Feels Like a Good Stopping Point for Kicking My Online Shopping Addiction

At this point, I’m going to stop officially tracking my efforts to stop shopping online. This doesn’t mean I now give myself permission to go hog wild and back to my old habits.

It means I’ve been successful when it comes to internalizing a new set of habits. I’m so mindful now of my tendency to lapse into mindless shopping when I feel stressed out or am considering a painful action that I believe I’ve formed a new habit.

I realize this habit is new and still may be fragile. At the same time I feel ready to take on a new challenge in my life.

Beginning tomorrow, 12/3/14 I’ll be practicing 30 Days of Radical Forgiveness using Colin Tipping’s book as my guide. I’ll write more tomorrow about what I’ll be doing during this challenge and the results I hope to attain through practicing radical forgiveness.


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Filed under Celebration, Habits, Mindfulness, Radical Forgiveness

Day 15: Kicking the Online Shopping Habit

Like a Feather D r i f t i n g Along the Roadside

The other day my son told me he felt I was “drifting” when it came to my work.

That was painful to hear and I can understand where he’s coming from. I feel like I’m drifting as well. I do a little work on decluttering. I do a little work on the Business Success from the inside Out Mastermind. I haven’t done much work at all on selling m clothes on eBay.

It’s easy to feel guilty and wrong.

I know it wasn’t Matt’s intent to make me feel bad. He was just making an observation but I’ve lived for so many years under the belief that moving forward quickly and purposefully toward some goal is “good” and not doing so is “bad.” It’s hard to avoid judging myself harshly.

On the other hand I do feel I’m having some big shifts around some of the beliefs that get me stuck in places of anger and resentment.

Staying at my parents this year has been remarkably stress-free. I usually feel a combination of resentment, anger, and sadness and this year I’ve been able to simply appreciate that time I’ve been spending with them and I’ve been able to appreciate them for themselves.

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Day 14: Kicking the Online Shopping Habit

Not Much to Report Today

Spent most of yesterday traveling to Chicago where I’ll be for the next week.

Although I didn’t feel much of an urge to shop I am aware of a lot of resentment coming up towards other people.

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Day 13: Kicking the Online Shopping Habit

Letting Go of Perfectionism Through Forgiving

I’ve been reading the book, Radical Forgiveness by Colin Tipping and am finding it illuminating and inspiring given what I’m discovering about myself.

In my experience, when I do something that causes problems, the behavior and the pain tend to be symptoms of an underlying issue.

It’s tempting to focus on the symptoms as the superficial cause. When I do this, it sounds like “If this situation were different, I’d be happy.”

Meaning if I could change the external condition, everything would be fine.

Sometimes the external situations DO change and I think that creates the illusion that this is the way to go.

But the truth is I don’t have much power over anything outside of myself. In fact, usually, when a situation changes, it’s a reflection of an internal shift I’ve made.

The big enchilada shift for me has to do with the story I carry that I use to explain why I’m getting what I want. My story is “I won’t get chosen because I’m not good enough.” In life this has translated to “if it’s between me and another person (or my idea and someone else’s idea, etc) I won’t get chosen because the other person is (smarter, more outgoing, more talented, more confident, etc).

I assumed if I could just somehow get myself to believe I was enough things would shift.

The obstacle I keep running into is that belief has been reinforced and reinforced over many years and wanting to change the belief hasn’t been enough.

One thing I’ve resisted is forgiving people who I feel are responsible for my having this belief to begin with.

Not just my parents…there are lots of people in my past; some minor characters and some major characters who I feel did not do right by me.

I’ve resisted forgiveness because I’ve always felt:

  1. Forgiveness is one of the few powers I had as a victim. I could choose to forgive or to withhold my forgiveness. If I withheld my forgiveness I retained this power.
  2. It infuriates me to “let those people off the hook.” This is especially true where I believe someone has no remorse or regret for the pain they caused. It nettles me to no end. In my opinion they don’t deserve to be forgiven to begin with.
  3. It seems to me that the only people who truly deserve my forgiveness are those who apologize  and express sincere regret for their actions.

My resistance comes from the idea that forgiveness is a gift given to the person responsible for the wrongdoing and why on earth should I give such a gift to anyone who hasn’t earned it?

The problem I’ve discovered with this idea is of all the people who didn’t do right by me, the person who has hurt me most is me. So I have a lot of self-forgiveness to do and I now realize that it’s hard to feel worthy if I have all kinds of resentments and anger directed at myself. Self-compassion is going to be all but impossible.

Based on the recommendation of my coach, I started reading Radical Forgiveness and it’s been a fascinating.

The idea of Radical Forgiveness is that until we can begin forgiving those we feel have hurt us, we’ll just continue bumbling into situations that give us opportunities to re-experience those core injuries. The author, Colin Tipping offers a process to forgive in a way that allows for completion and healing. And once you forgive in this way, your emotional wiring shifts and the dynamics shift.

What I like about this approach is that it repositions forgiveness as a gift in which I am the primary beneficiary. And it feels like a more concrete way to shift these beliefs a more substantive, effective way than some of the other processes I’ve tried.

I haven’t yet done what I would consider a “complete” process of forgiving but I feel hopeful that this will help me have some relief from some of the beliefs I’ve been carrying that feel very heavy and hard to heal.


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Self-Compassion – Buddha

Buddha Quote

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November 12, 2014 · 6:14 pm