Stress blog

First forgive yourself

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. July 3, 2013

Need more help?

If the stress in your life is more than you can cope with, get help right away.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Go to the nearest hospital or emergency room
  • Call your physician, health provider or clergy
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
    www.nami.org
    1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

A wise colleague of mine recently pointed out that forgiveness really starts with forgiving ourselves. If we harbor a grudge against others or wish them ill because of what they did to us, we allow them, in effect, to live in our soul.

Let's suppose that you have a package beautifully emblazoned with ribbons and flowers, and it represents your soul, your personhood and serenity. And let's also suppose that you give the box to someone who defaces or worse destroys it. This is exactly what happens when you harbor bitterness and resentment toward someone else, someone who may not even know that you are angry or upset with them.

So the bottom line is that you need to take care of yourself. You have to draw healthy boundaries around your own soul so that you can mature and reach the destiny of greatness that's within you.

I'm reminded of the quote, "For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: 'It might have been.'" Of course, some individuals have opportunities that smooth their path to greatness, but we all can think of legions of people who came from nothing, who seemingly had no options, and yet somehow carved out a life of meaning and connectedness for themselves. There are beacons of hope out there. There people who can help you on your path. You cannot simply sit by the phone and hope for it to ring or sit by the computer and hope for an email to rescue you from life's unfairness. It is up to you. Give it your best shot or you too will have a life of regrets.

With

Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

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16 Comments Posted

Jul. 03, 2013