Fighting Parkinson’s, and practicing forgiveness, part 2

A couple of weeks ago, I posted Fighting Parkinson’s, and practicing forgiveness. After a discussion about forgiving others, I wrote, FORGIVE YOURSELF! IT IS NECESSARY!!! In a coaching call later that day, and in subsequent coaching calls, we have been exploring this concept further, and today I will present a more in-depth look at forgiving yourself.

The conversation began by exploring what exactly did I mean by “forgiving yourself.” I answered with a handful of questions:
Do you ever look at the past with guilt or regret over what you feel you should have done?
Do you ever look at the past and think “I wish I had handled that differently.”
When you look at the past, are your thoughts about things you did filled with “I should have,” “I would have,” “I could have?”
When you are doing things now, do you ever think, “this isn’t quite good enough?”
When you are doing things now, do you ever think, “I should have done that differently” or “I wish I had done that differently?”

The response was “yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.” And I responded by saying, “All of these are judgments about yourself; they are self-criticisms.”

“So, you are the one doing the judging, right?” “Yes.”
“And, who is your victim?” “Me.”
“If you are the victim of self-criticism, then who is your tormentor?” “Me.”

“So, if you are the judge, what does a judge do to a tormentor on behalf of the victim?” “The judge punishes the tormentor.”

“If you are the judge, and the tormentor, and the victim, can you see the vicious cycle you are in of tormenting yourself with self-criticism and then punishing yourself?” “Yes. It is like running around a hamster wheel and never being able to get off.”

As we were pausing for a moment and letting this concept sink in, the person said to me, “If we take this to the logical end, then I am the jailer who puts me in the jail cell as my punishment from me, the judge.”

To that, I smiled, and said, “Yes. However, if you are the jailer, then you hold the key to your own freedom. And that key is called forgiveness of yourself.”


Here are the steps to your forgiveness-of-self “Get Out Of Jail Free” card (for our Monopoly game enthusiasts):

1. Stop judging and criticizing yourself.
2. Agree with yourself to not utter a negative word about yourself.
3. Agree with yourself to not think a negative thought about yourself.
4. Do not break these agreements, ever!

Accept that your best is good enough, and that life is a learning experience…experience by experience, you are learning something. Sometimes what you learn is that things did not turn out how you wanted them to turn out.

Instead of self-criticism for the result you did not like, how about saying, “Okay, that did not turn out how I wanted. I will do it differently next time.” And then move on to the next experience. You learn and you move on. No self-criticism.

Please forgive yourself. It will set you free.

You are worth it!!!

All my best,



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13 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and practicing forgiveness, part 2

  1. judy says:

    This is a hard one for me, but i’m workin’ on it!…..judy

  2. Thank you, Howard…. wise words. I sometimes find it benefits me when I’m in self-critical mode, to ask myself the question, “Okay….when I have the thought, for example, that I’m not good enough, what am I yearning for?” Invariably the answer is a quality that is beautiful and life-serving like “contribution” or “meaning” “purpose” etc. So when I put my attention on these beautiful qualities, it is pretty easy to celebrate my values and myself…and forgiveness is almost a given.

  3. Lloyd says:

    Do you know, Howard, or anyone out there, if the PD medications are addictive and if so, how long does it take to rid the meds completely?

  4. Howard says:

    Hi All. Thank you for your comments.
    Judy, yes, hard, but worth it.
    Penny, thank you for your beautiful words of wisdom.
    Lloyd, please read this:

    Love and blessings,

  5. Jon Patch says:

    Timely, Howard, thank you.

  6. luke m says:

    thank you always, Howard, for your strength & compassion

    love, light, blessings, & healing to everyone on their journey

  7. jimmy says:

    Cuando valoramos los aspectos positivos de una situación, nuestra
    mente se fortalece. Cuando aprendemos a reírnos de nosotros mismos y de los problemas,
    nos liberamos. Cuando aprendemos a disfrutar y a no ver los problemas como
    algo negativo, nos volvemos más positivos respecto a todo. Pensar positivamente
    es un hábito
    maravilloso que debemos desarrollar, porque proporciona bienestar
    y felicidad a nuestra vida. Practicando estas enseñanzas nuestra mente se volverá más amable. Nuestra
    actitud se volverá abierta. Nosotros nos volveremos más agradables. Tendremos
    una mente valiente. Nuestro aprendizaje espiritual no encontrará obstáculos.
    Todas las circunstancias adversas nos parecerán estupendas y
    Nuestra mente siempre estará satisfecha gracias a la bendición de la paz



    When we value the positive aspects of a situation, our mind is strengthened. When we learn to laugh at ourselves and the problems, we are liberated. When we learn to enjoy no longer see problems as something negative, we become more positive about everything. Positive thinking is a wonderful habit to develop because it provides comfort and happiness to our lives. By practicing these teachings our mind will become friendlier. Our approach will become open. We return most enjoyable. We will have a brave mind. Our spiritual learning not find obstacles.
    All adverse circumstances will seem great and favorable.
    Our mind will always be satisfied thanks to the blessing of peace


    • Melanie says:

      Thanks Howard for your valuable reminders and cognitive strengtheners. And thanks Jimmy for your words of wisdom and peace to the soul! Thanks to my fellow solders willing to fight this battle together! There is strength in numbers! It is a hard battle but so worth the fight! We all can do this and we will!!!!!!!!!

  8. Howard says:

    Hi Jon, Luke, Jimmy and Melanie.
    You are welcome. Thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts and inspire others.
    Love and blessings,

  9. Karen says:

    Some time ago I setup daily reminders in my phone that touch on your posts, ideas to keep in mind every day like having an ‘attitude of gratitude’ and to ‘exist in the moment’. I’ve now just added ‘learn & move on. No self criticism’. This one in particular will be helpful because until I read this post I wasn’t really aware of how critical I am of me. Thank you for your insights Howard, I know one day I’ll be free and balanced once again and I’ll have you to thank for it (and me too!)!

  10. Helen Gill says:

    Hi Howard and everyone, thank you for your message Howard. I will watch myself more, and listen and if I hear myself criticising myself, I will forgive myself . That’s the plan, here goes…… I am grateful for these lessons and choices to grow in self love, and love and forgive past hurts, and judgements from myself to myself or from others. Love Helen

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