Imaging what life could be like if we could simply stop carrying around our own backpack full of what we think is wrong with us. How much lighter would life feel?

What if they established one day per year where we could take all the things we consistently trash ourselves for and we could simply let them go? Put them down and walk away. To forgive ourselves for what we’ve done or not done, for who we are or who we think we are supposed to be, for what we haven’t yet done with our lives?

You know. Those gnawing feelings we get about ourselves. Those little voices reminding us of who we think we really are. Our short-comings, our failures, our doubts and fears, our thoughts about not being good enough. What if we allowed ourselves the opportunity to simply forgive ourselves and start new?

Amnesty.

Emotional amnesty.

The good news is today is Emotional Amnesty Day. Today can be the day to gather up all the limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging habits you don’t want to carry around with you any longer. The stuff that keeps you feeling stuck physically, spiritually, and emotionally. The guilt. The shame. The unworthiness.

Just put them down.

Emotional amnesty.

The process is quite simple.

Find a mirror. Look yourself in the eyes and say “Please forgive me. I’m sorry. I love you.”

That’s it?

That’s it.

I remember how cathartic it was when I stood in front of my own mirror and made peace with myself. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, to lovingly stare deeply into my own eyes as if for the very first time, and to accept that I had been withholding love from the most important person I will ever know in my life. Me.

“Please forgive me.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I love you.”

What was I sorry for? What exactly was I forgiving myself for? I was sorry for the way I had treated myself. I was sorry for holding myself to expectations I wasn’t able to live up to. I was sorry for beating myself down when I didn’t live up to them. I was sorry for the things I said to myself, things that kept me exactly where I didn’t want to be. I was sorry for not loving myself at a time in my life when I could have used a little more love. I was sorry for not being the friend I needed myself to be.

This was a significant moment in my life.

The reality was that the younger, lost, angrier version of me was doing the best he could with the open emotional wounds he was dealing with at that time. And when this older, grayer, more spiritually mature version of me finally understood that, it was easy to see what I needed to do.

“Please forgive me.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I love you.”

It is a bold, transformative expression of love to stand before our own self, to look our self in our own eyes and tell our self we are sorry. To forgive our self. To set us free from a past we’ve allowed to keep repeating. Our ability to love ourselves and accept ourselves and to make peace with ourselves forever changes the relationship we have with our self. The unseen emotional war within ends and life begins again anew.

It’s not so much what we did or didn’t do that holds us back as it is our unwillingness to forgive ourselves for what we did or didn’t do. We can be brutally unforgiving towards ourselves, can’t we?

Perhaps today is the day you stand in front of your own mirror and look deeply into your own eyes? Is there a version of you who could use the unconditional love only you can offer to you? 

The love you are so willing to give to others?

You deserve to give some to yourself.

Happy Emotional Amnesty Day.

It’s a great day to be you!

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