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Self-Forgiveness on the Path to Freedom

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Imagine the person you love most in your life, the person you pour your time and affection into. Think about all the energy and care you put into your relationship with this person, the mistakes you've forgiven, the flaws you've come to cherish. What a gift it is to love. And what a gift for that person to be loved by you.

Now consider this... Do you love yourself as completely and effortlessly as you love this other person? Imagine having that immense reservoir of attention and care on hand at all times, available to dip into whenever you need it. In the latest episode of "30 Days of Intent" on The Chopra Well, Natalie and Iman meet with counselor Alyssa Nobriga for a lesson in self-forgiveness, perhaps one of the most powerful tools of self-care.

Many think self-love is just a form of narcissism, but the purest love knows no conceit. From a spiritual perspective, loving the self communicates humility and gratitude to whatever force gives us life. From a pragmatic perspective, studies show that self-forgiveness reduces procrastination, helps us break negative habits, and promotes personal growth.

As Alyssa tells Natalie and Iman, we have at our disposal a peacefulness in our hearts that largely remains untapped day to day. It is a space of softness, free from judgement and criticism. People often describe the feeling of letting go of anger, resentment, or guilt as similar to taking a deep breath. A huge weight is lifted. In this vein, Alyssa leads them through a self-forgiveness exercise to tap into that space of peaceful self-love. Back and forth Natalie and Iman take turns saying "I forgive myself for..." and one after another, layers of pain and self-anger peel away. The key is to choose healing, to choose wholeness and empathy. Feeling remorse is fine, in fact, it can drive us to apologize and make amends when we've done wrong. But this is very different from clinging to our faults like a poison. We can decide instead to be our own best friend, the one whose desire and intention are perfectly aligned with our greatest good.

What would you like to forgive yourself for? With the year coming to a close, let now be the time. Try Alyssa's exercise and let us know how it goes in the comments section below the video.

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and don't miss the "30 Days of Intent" finale next week!

Related Articles:

Master the Art of Empathy

Do You Have the Courage to Love?

A Lesson in Love: How to Be Your Own Best Friend

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