Sometimes people must forgive themselves to find purpose

Writing in Pique newsmagazine, Claire Nielsen offered some good advice for finding purpose for your life after struggling for years with addiction and bad choices in the past.

“The energies of guilt and shame (based on past life choices or genetic predisposition) may initially motivate the personal need to change and the desire to do better in the world,” Claire wrote. “But, sustained attachment to these energies rob us of being present, at peace, and connected spiritually with a sense of divine purpose.”

As part of their recovery process, many people have mustered up courage to ask for forgiveness from people they hurt the most, she noted. Yet, it’s sometimes hard for people to move forward without forgiving themselves for their wrong choices.

When people make bad decisions, it is usually influenced by a lack of human decency, learned behavior, genetic predisposition, self-medication, coping methods in chaotic times, post-traumatic stress disorder, or a deep disconnect from self, humanity and spirit, said Claire.

Mistakes are an inevitable as part of our maturing process. Therefore, our entire earthly lives should not be defined by bad decisions of the past. Forward From 50 embraces the idea that you can start over at any time by taking a single step to move forward.

“One way to help with the healing of guilt and shame, is to notice and name the feelings, and choose to surrender them to a higher power,” she explained.

In 1 John 1:9, the Bible assures us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

There are no strings attached to that statement. Therefore, if God can forgive you of anything you’ve done as a result of bad decisions you made, then you should forgive yourself, too. After all, you make a mockery of God if he forgives you, but you remain attached to that wayward episode or period in your life.

So, draw a line and confidently advance forward without looking back. God is THE God of second, third, fourth chances and 1,000 chances — with him rooting for us every time.. Make the most of this opportunity!

Hebrews 12:1 reminds us to “…throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

If you need help understanding this or applying it to your life, please reach out to me via Facebook or the Forward From 50 contact page.