Article by Ku’ulei Shafee
Self-forgiveness wasn’t a concept I thought I needed to embrace. I was wrong. After years of taking therapy and yoga, in hopes to heal my anxiety and depression, I still sensed something painful was holding me back. Eventually, defeat set in and I felt as though I’d never truly be healed or happy. Then came Reiki. The beautiful catalyst that ripped my world apart and exposed me to the depths of my sadness. Reiki. Giving me a bird’s eye view into the fight or flight based decisions I made as a child. Reiki. Teaching me that the healing practices I exercised up until this point weren’t a waste, but preparation for the deep healing that Reiki was going to open me up too. Has opened me up too.
Sitting with my laptop in hand, in what seems like rock bottom, I’m here to tell you that it’s not so bad down here. Rock bottom is seen as a hole in the dirt, but it is so much more than that. Once I was able to put my sadness aside and dust myself off, I found that behind the muddy walls were beautiful gems of wisdom and truth. A hole filled with light, love, and the potential for vulnerability. While being in this place can be painful and at times traumatic, it gives a person the opportunity to look at their life with honest eyes. Forgiving eyes. And hopefully, this can be a place where we leave our baggage and guilt behind.
Guilt is a natural human trait. Everyone has a guilt barometer with a pointer that lands anywhere from 0 – 100, depending on the situation and personal triggers. The ego has the ability to place a memory at the forefront of your mind after months (even years) and that pointer could land on the same number it did when you first made the “mistake”. I know this to be true. Not just because of my own personal experience with Reiki and therapy, but because almost every Reiki client I’ve worked with have spent their lives in a state of guilt, shame, and/or blame. The word that sums it up? Inadequacy.
Gratitude journals, positive affirmations, and mantras are all wonderful in the process of healing and maintaining. There is no doubt about that. Though before I could allow the gratitude and mantras to ring true on a deep level, I needed to begin my journey at forgiveness. Forgiveness of the self.
One morning I was listening to Louise L. Hay’s 101 Power Thoughts. This is a morning ritual of mine that I never tire of. The power though I’m meant to marinate on that day or week gleams like a jewel amongst the rubble. “Forgiveness of myself and others releases me of the past…”. I sat on this thought for a long moment, then asked myself, “What am I still blaming myself for?”. I started with the ego imposed thoughts that were swirling around my brain as of late, and it didn’t take long for my mind to remind me of moments I hadn’t thought of in years. Thirty forgiveness lines and many pages later, I had a true sense of freedom. My shoulders calmed, I could…