Photo by Shimelle Laine flickr
“Beneath our personal stories of pain and discomfort, we can access
wholeness, love and compassion.”

From the Sacred Archives of Transformation Goddess. Photo by Shimelle Laine 

I love myself by fully appreciating and accepting the woman I am today. I’m learning to let go of guilt, shame and useless drama. I forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made. I am perfect just as I am. And You are too. You are perfect just as you are. I invite you to open the door to forgiveness and self-love.

If you are bludgeoning yourself for choices made in your unconscious youth or holding a grudge against someone who’s done you harm, it’s time to let it go and receive the healing power of forgiveness. Forgive and move forward in light and love.

How would you feel if you could forgive yourself and others for every boundary crossed, every harmful word, every irreverent action? What is the upside of holding on to all of this anger, pain and suffering? If you are holding a grudge, YOU are suffering. If you are hanging on to shame and guilt for choices you made in the past, YOU are committing violent acts against yourself.

Be honest: Are you ready to open your heart and unconditionally love yourself? If your answer is yes, then it’s time to dig deep.

Dance with your shadow. Face her. Accept Her. Embrace her. With deep introspection, you can learn to accept your precious self and receive all the love you deserve. 

Forgive yourself and open your heart to self-love: An exercise from the Sacred Heart Teachings digital program.

1. Identify exactly what is haunting you. Write your story. Let your tears fall upon the page. Squeeze every detail of how you feel about the ghost(s) of your past. What are you angry about? What do you wish you could change? Are you holding a grudge? How is this story serving you today?

2. Now that you’ve identified your story, write a love letter to yourself from the woman you are today. Write your letter to the little girl, teenager or woman who needs to know she is loved. Accepted. No matter what choices she’s made in her past.

Forgive yourself…


3. Create a sacred acceptance ceremony and honor the woman you are today. Your storied past. Your highs and lows. Begin your ceremony by lighting a candle, taking a deep cleansing breath and reciting (out loud) ten things that you love about yourself.

For example: I love myself because I am kind. I love myself because I’m a supportive friend. I love the way I can light up a room with my laugh.  Next recite the following phrase: “I am enough. I matter. I love myself just as I am. I forgive myself and others. I will no longer carry the anger, shame or suffering of my past. I am willing to let go of the past and love myself now. And so it is.” Now blow out the candle and give yourself squeeze. You are ADORED.


If you enjoyed this post and healing exercise, you will want to explore my lovingly crafted, Sacred Heart Teachings Digital Program. Many have begun to heal their precious heart’s with this offering.

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The Sacred Heart Teachings:
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About Shann Vander Leek

Shann Vander Leek

Shann is a Transformational Leader, Award-Winning Podcaster, Best-Selling Author, Voice Over Talent, Podcast Coach, and Producer. She lives in the village of Suttons Bay, Michigan with her beloved husband and mouthy old cat. This Goddess Shines!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Dominee May 7, 2012, 4:51 pm

    I really loved reading this, very wise advice!

  • Marla May 8, 2012, 1:26 pm

    Beautiful. Thank you so much, Shann.

  • Gin May 8, 2012, 4:08 pm

    Lovely post – thank you!

  • Petrea May 8, 2012, 4:27 pm

    Beautiful post with lots of good suggestions. It is amazing how our baggage from the past can wiegh us down and keep us from moving forward until we are able to let it go. Forgiving yourself is a powerful way of being able to release what is holding one back.

    • shannvanderleek May 9, 2012, 6:45 pm

      Hi Petrea, Thanks! I agree. Releasing negative energy creates more space for love, abundance and success.

  • Sue Kearney (@MagnoliasWest) May 10, 2012, 2:44 am

    Wow, powerful, simple and just plain awesome. I love the prayer.


  • Donna Pentrack May 16, 2012, 3:28 pm

    Awesome advice. Thanks for sharing!

    • shannvanderleek May 16, 2012, 3:38 pm

      My pleasure Donna. We all deserve to release ourselves from the pain of of back stories. That’s how the light gets in.

  • Tammy Vitale May 28, 2012, 9:26 pm

    Came over from the blog Circle, attracted by the name of your post, and was not disappointed! Your three ways to start a healing journey are right on! While I knew about writing a letter to yourself, writing in the context of having just spilled your story is a new concept – one that is very helpful. Finishing with the ceremony is genius. Thank you!

    • shannvanderleek May 29, 2012, 12:47 pm

      Hi Tammy, Thank you for your kindness. I’m happy you made time to come and visit. Happier still that you enjoyed what you found.

  • Christiane May 29, 2012, 6:14 am

    Just discovered you on the goddess blog circle 😉 This is a lovely post and should be repeated all over the net to nurture self-worth, self-esteem and confidence. I just love empowering messages like yours. Thank you.

    • shannvanderleek May 29, 2012, 12:48 pm

      Thanks so much Christiane! I’m glad you found this post of value. You are welcome to share the contents wherever you wish.

  • Tanja @ Crystal Clarity May 29, 2012, 9:47 am

    Wise words, Shann. I love the Buddhist analogy (I think it’s Buddhist) of resentment/anger towards someone else as being like grasping a hot coal tightly and expecting the person we’re angry with to get burned.

    How much more true is that when the person we’re angry with is ourselves?



    • shannvanderleek May 29, 2012, 12:50 pm

      Thanks Tanja! I guess it is a Buddhist analogy isn’t it? =) Thank you for your kind words.

  • Wendy Van de Poll Nov 26, 2014, 8:55 am

    Thank you for this beautiful article. So many wonderful reminders to stay true to our inner ecosystems!

    • Shann Nov 27, 2014, 9:54 am

      My pleasure. I’m glad this post resonated with you. Big LOVE.

  • Lisa Nov 26, 2014, 9:13 am

    OMG Shann, absolutely love this quote…As Seane Corn said, “We have to look at where we’re broken and deal with it. Not to smooth things over and be fixed, but to truly be able to allow love in.” A beautiful and healing piece about forgiveness, thank you Shann.

    • Shann Nov 27, 2014, 9:55 am

      Hi Lisa,
      I know right?! Seane is a wise woman. Thanks for your kindness. XO

  • Laurie Seymour Nov 26, 2014, 10:15 am

    Hi Shann–The feeling of self-love anchors everything else within me. I find that deepens and grows, allowing me to extend that to others in a way that is so nourishing all around!

    • Shann Nov 27, 2014, 9:56 am

      Hi Laurie,
      What a gorgeous way to live your life! Happy Thanksgiving! XO

  • Chara Nov 26, 2014, 10:21 am

    Very interesting…I notice I feel quite uncomfortable about doing a self-acceptance ceremony, so I imagine that means I need it! Thanks for offering this and opening up an area of inquiry for me.

    • Shann Nov 27, 2014, 9:57 am

      Hi Chara,
      My pleasure. I’d love to know how you feel after your sweet ceremony. XO

  • Kimberly Duboise Nov 26, 2014, 12:03 pm

    I felt so amazed by this article. It is so heartfelt and inspiring. It is honest and real. This is the kind of reading I love to do, the kind that uplifts you! Thanks for posting!

    • Shann Nov 27, 2014, 9:58 am


      Thank you! You just made my entire day! So much love. XO

  • Mary Pritchard Nov 26, 2014, 1:56 pm

    I so needed this today, Shann! I am doing a lot of release work right now and am struggling with self-forgiveness.

    • Shann Nov 27, 2014, 9:58 am

      I’m so glad my writing could support you today. If you need additional support, please let me know. Big LOVE, XO

  • Pamela Thompson Nov 26, 2014, 5:09 pm

    Hi Shann,
    Beautiful post. …
    Forgiveness of ourselves and others is easy to say yet much harder to do. It IS so powerful to forgive yourself and let love in (and to forgive others). Loved the Seane Corn quote! Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

    • Shann Nov 27, 2014, 10:01 am

      Thank you for your kindness. I’m glad you enjoy this post and Seane’s gorgeous quote. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Dina Nov 26, 2014, 7:37 pm

    Great tips! I especially love the sacred acceptance ceremony…what a great way to make forgiveness tangible and REAL. Thank you for this wise advice!

    • Shann Nov 27, 2014, 10:03 am

      Thanks Dina. Sacred ceremonies are such a powerful way to heal our past and open our hearts. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Cathy Taughinbaugh Nov 26, 2014, 9:43 pm

    Beautiful post. Happy Thanksgiving to you. It has been great connecting with you.

    • Shann Nov 27, 2014, 10:03 am

      Thanks Cathy! You are a love. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Andrea Nov 26, 2014, 10:32 pm

    I am always amazed at the harsh judgments so many of us carry… and so often, as you mentioned, for mistakes we have made. I am quick to tell others “you did the best you could with what you knew at the time”…. and am getting better at including myself. Thanks.

    • Shann Nov 27, 2014, 10:04 am

      I love knowing you shine your light to help other’s remember they are human! Big LOVE to you and Happy Thanksgiving!