Disclosure: I received a complimentary digital copy of Cheryl Bridges book “Me, Myself, & I ~ 28 Days of Creative Self-Love”. All opinions are authentic and 100% my own.
I was really excited to be able to participate in this #CreativeSelfLove blog campaign because I personally feel that “WE” as Women, Mothers, Sisters, Aunts and Friends have a tendency to take care of EVERYTHING and EVERYONE else and look at ourselves last! I’m notorious for it! I can be there to support everyone and pour my love into others but, what about ME? Once I read the title of this book I knew I needed to read it and take notes so I could learn to love me and be an even better person for everyone else. The daily topics are so good, it was hard to make a decision on which day I would focus on. Day 8: The Lessons in Fear and Day 23: A Formula for Forgiveness were my top two! I narrowed it down to Day 23 because Lord knows I’m a work in progress.
I was your resident grudge holder, non-forgiver and write you out of my life if I didn’t want to be vindictive before I gave you the boot kind of girl! That was a over decade ago though… I’ve done some serious growing up over the years but, still struggle with forgiving people who have done me wrong and moving past the hurt. It’s like I have the situation on replay in my mind and it can surface at any moment. I know this hinders me from moving on because I’m holding on to the hurt. I’ve stopped speaking to someone I considered a friend for years, I’ve completely shut certain people out of my life. It’s time to embark on the road to healing and self-love.
When there are issues that surface in our lives we know that “Change” is inevitable but, we sometimes don’t think we are the ones that need to change. I am here to tell you that I have learned it starts with YOU. Cheryl states that Forgiveness is what she calls a “metaprocess,” in that it actually involves several processes within it. Change is a big part of forgiveness. Then, there is an element of acceptance. One other component is that of release, of letting go. This metaprocess for forgiveness ends up looking like another chemical formula: Forgiveness = Change →Acceptance →Revenge → Release →Forgiveness →Peace.
I was also VERY surprised to learn that repeating stories, recurring memories are usually indicators of something, someone in your life in need of and ready to be forgiven. I was going about it all wrong because when these scenarios replayed in my mind, I started to get upset all over again. It’s like a vicious cycle that I didn’t know how to fix. I didn’t want to be the one that always lets past hurts fester, then get resentful and angry. I needed to fix this and realizing that it started with me was a my breaking point.
Cheryl shares that recent research points to the real possibility that prolonged bitterness sets up an inflammation response or autoimmune disease in the body and can possibly lead to cancer as the body turns against itself. We end up being the ones who pay the price when we refuse to forgive! We have become hard-headed and hard-hearted, refusing to budge, refusing to forgive. Who wants to live a life of bitterness? Cheryl states that the next phase is acceptance and recognizing what happened and coming to terms with your feelings behind the issue(s).
Cheryl stated that acceptance gets misunderstood in outmoded traditions, to accept it means, “deal with it,” “get over it,” “move on.” I have several people very close to me that think this way. So you can imagine when a conflict arises, it’s not pretty! People heal in different ways and have their own unique processes. When Cheryl talked about revenge I was surprised but, then when it was explained thoroughly I was intrigued. You can get your revenge through journaling your thoughts. I’m sure it can be therapeutic to remember a certain situation and express your honest feelings about it on paper.
I think one of my favorite takeaways is the daily affirmations that you can reflect on:
♥ I am willing to change, and I am willing to learn to forgive.
♥ I express all the emotions hidden behind my unforgiveness, trusting that they will find
♥ It is easier for me to forgive than I thought it would be.
♥ I forgive myself for not knowing what I didn’t know.
♥ The more emotions around unforgiveness I release, the more love I have to express for
myself and others.
♥ It is with joy that I am learning to love myself more and more.
This snippet doesn’t even begin to really scrape the surface of how awesome “Me, Myself, & I ~ 28 Days of Creative Self-Love” by Cheryl Bridges really is. Remember: You’re doing it for YOU and no one else. That was a huge lesson I had to learn, I wanted to stop giving people power over my joy. I make my own happiness and no one else. I had to stop placing my happiness in pother people’s hands. I am hopeful that my journey will continue in a positive light and that I can close the negative chapters of my life and start to rewrite new stories of happiness. Can I get a Amen? It’s time to start healing and loving YOURSELF! It all begins with YOU! Join me on this journey!