Ask Dr. Orloff

How do I forgive physical abuse and be more loving with myself?

Question: Dr. Orloff

How do I forgive myself and my father for physically abusing me--he told me that I was bad...so I have internalized this belief in my body as well with that thought. Anger has lodged inside of me. And I have blamed and shamed myself because I felt I wasn't good enough to be validated for my feelings of acceptance.
Thank you,
Dalia
Aurora, Ontario


Answer: Dear Dalia

In Emotional Freedom, I emphasize how important it is to view everything that happens to us from the standpoint of spiritual lessons that can help us grow more heart centered and strong. Most important, you must practice self-compassion because you have not done anything wrong. To forgive an abuser, is a huge act of compassion and shouldn't be done unless it intuitively feels right. But when you forgive, you forgive the suffering that caused your father to commit such a terrible act--you don't have to forgive the abuse itself. The Dalai Lama discusses this beautifully in how he deals with his exile from Tibet by the Chinese and all the torment that this exile caused the Tibetan people. But start with loving kindness meditations towards yourself focusing on the beautiful loving person you are. Then, when the time is right, you can focus on your father.
All the best,
Judith

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