After ending the relationship with your narcissist it is very common to be left with destruction to your security, assets, connections with family and friends, and shattered emotions, as well as all the other losses you have sustained as a result of being in a relationship with a narcissist…
As you look at the rubble left lying at your feet it can be very easy to beat yourself up.
You might think, “How could I have been so stupid?” “How could I have let this go on so long and get so bad!” Or, “I have ruined not just my life but also my children’s lives…”
It is very important to understand that when you are stuck in shaming and blaming yourself it’s impossible to start forgiving yourself, and ultimately start recovering.
Forgiveness can be a very hard step to make. But it is one that is truly vital for you to move on and start feeling better.
That is why an entire module in the Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program is dedicated to this very important step.
In this article I am going to share an exercise from module 3 of NARP: Forgive Yourself and Life For What You’ve Been Through.
After applying this exercise you will begin forgiving yourself for the pain, trauma and devastation you have been through, and what you have subjected the people you care about to, so that you can start moving into the acceptance, healing and claiming of your true life.
You probably have realised that it is essential to forgive yourself. You know that when you are stuck in blaming yourself you don’t feel good and things don’t start getting better
But you might be asking “How’ do I forgive myself?”
Before I show you “how” I want to touch on something that you must understand first.
Why We Blame Ourselves
We’ve often been so focused on things outside us that we lose ourselves. Often, in the aftermath when we take a look at ourselves, we can be deeply disappointed with who we are.
The truth is that we usually blame ourselves, at some deep level, for everything that goes wrong in our life. This self-blame is trigged by feelings of guilt, shame and unworthiness. These feelings of disempowerment have to be healed. Forgiving ourselves is an essential release from the past. If we don’t, we risk re-creating anything negative that we haven’t unconditionally accepted about ourselves.
We might have spent weeks, months or years enduring much more than necessary in order to understand the lessons. It was our resistance to soul truth (listening to, honouring and acting on our feelings in truth) that caused us to be trapped in pain, negative thinking and disappointing experiences for so long.
At the end of the day, all of it was at some level meant to be. Our ‘less than’ actions and choices were a gift; we manufactured them at soul level as a lesson that grants us the opportunity to create new beliefs and choices that empower us.
This is what I mean when I talk about narcissistic abuse providing ‘the gift’ to clear up your unhealed parts and childhood wounds.
How to Forgive Yourself
Learning to forgive yourself can be extremely challenging at first.
You may have been stuck in blaming yourself for so long that you don’t know any different. This is normal and what I have observed from members in the Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program is that when they apply this technique I am about to show you (combined with the Quanta Freedom Healing therapy in NARP) they are able to shift mountains of self-blame and begin moving forward into forgiveness almost instantly. (Even the ones that seemed the most stuck initially).
So let’s get started.
Get a Journal and Pen and know that you will need quite a bit of time and a few sheets of paper. Makes sure you won’t be disturbed.
STEP ONE: Write the heading: How I perceive the painful mistakes I made.
Now write out the details regarding how you let yourself down. Don’t hold back. Write as much as you can.
STEP TWO: Embrace Your Feelings Fully
Now write about how you feel in regard to what you wrote in Step One. It is really important to have a good cry, or be angry as your write the words describing your feelings. Don’t hold back with your emotions, and make sure you use feeling words. You may wish to google ‘feeling words’ to grant you some ideas. Please know that painful feelings must be acknowledged in order to be shifted.
STEP THREE: Bigger picture perspective.
Now write out – ‘Even though what I have done to myself hurts, I recognise on a soul level I was really granting myself the gift of understanding and healing my unhealed parts – so that I can create a true, real and wonderful life.’
Now write down a list of the ‘gifts’ – the new positive belief systems regarding ‘what has happened’ that you now realise and can commit to creating.
Please note that these will be the opposite of what you did attract and receive, and how you did ‘behave’ (the old painful beliefs / unhealed parts).
- Men / Women I love are faithful and honest and possess integrity
- Love equals support, truth, kindness and love
- I now honour, love and respect myself enough to lay boundaries
- I am now the supplier of my own emotional wellbeing and life. I have the power to ‘be this and attract more of the same….
Make this list as long as you can, by digging deep into reversing all the things which did happen.
STEP FOUR: Gratitude
Now write out – ‘I thank myself fully for perfectly co-creating these experiences to finally come home and fully heal.’
Really feel this statement…
I know forgiving yourself can feel extremely difficult at first. As co-dependents we tend to blame our self for everything that goes wrong. I’ve been there and I totally get it.
Be conscious of when you start shifting into self-blame and remember to be kind to yourself.
Before you know it you will begin to recognise that on the other side of your narcissistic abuse experience (or any other hardship in your life) is a gift to keep growing and learning. And once you do your life will just keep getting better!
As I mentioned before The Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program helps you shift mountains of self-blame and rewrite the pattern of self-blame you may have been living your entire life.
Members of the program describe this as a huge relief, like a weight has come off their shoulders, and it feels like for the first time they can sense life in a completely different way – a way of freedom and unconditionally loving and accepting themselves. If this is something you would like then please have a look at NARP here.
Please share any questions and comments you have below. I’d also love to hear what you thought of the forgiveness journaling exercise as I am planning to include many more practical exercises in future articles if they help you.