Thomas Kempis once wrote, ” … make peace with yourself, so that you may then bring peace to others.”
When victimized, its essential to acknowledge that one’s self has been wounded or damaged by an offender. Some people deny or repress the hurt they experienced. They want to appear unaffected. They try to forget without working through. They make excuses.
Because they do not want to risk shaming themselves or harming their dignity, they betray themselves by refusing to admit or face their damaged emotions head-on. If this is happening, any efforts towards healing of one’s self from the offense and sin of others are going to be unattainable and merely illusory.
What exactly can you do to make peace with your self when a spouse has betrayed you … a friend duped you with millions of money … a group of men raped your daughter … the police killed your loved ones … And so forth? How do you heal your self from these terrible offenses?
Let me cite here one major key psychological and spiritual step: forgiving your self. Before you can even think of forgiving your offender, you need to first re-establish your own internal harmony. To do this, you have to avoid being “contaminated” by the offensive acts of the other with forms of vengeance or self-harm. You attain internal harmony by forgiving your self.
Forgiving one’s self, as psychologist John Monbourquette put it, means “reconciling within one’s self the offender and the victim: stopping the offender in one’s self and breaking free of victimization.”
That involves refusing to identify your self with the offender. You need to call on your Higher Self with the Higher Power than that of your wounded ego self, naturally caught responding in the “twin role of offender and victim.” It is this Higher Self that can break the impasse and recreate your internal harmony to make peace with your self, finally.