Christiane Northrup on forgiving ourselves: Total BS

Christiane Northrup on forgiving ourselves: Total BS

Why are innocent women always being told to forgive themselves?


I used to be a fan of Christine Northrup’s Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. And while I can’t say that I discount her writing entirely, there are some aspects of her book that I just don’t quite get. Much of the book is about women’s intuition. Other parts touch on sensitive topics for women such as sex, pms, and menopause.

One chapter rubbed me the wrong way. Ironically, the chapter was on forgiveness. I’m not an unforgiving person, but a passage in the book struck me as way too benevolent to those who may have offended others. Somewhere in the middle of the chapter “Steps for Healing”: “Now picture someone who has great resentment for you.” And continues with the message that you should let that person into your heart and ask them for forgiveness. That is the kind of bullshit that I am sick and tired of.

First, why should I assume that the person that has resentment for me is right and that I am wrong? Why should I justify their negativity and anger by begging for forgiveness? Second, if I could in fact see people into my heart, why would I first choose the most negative person around me? Wouldn’t I choose the most positive person around me? What would seeing the darkest energy do to my (relatively) pristine soul?

The passage does continue with forgiving all around you, and then, ultimately, forgiving yourself. Again, I think this message is bullshit. The message that the chapter—and many others give—is that we need to forgive ourselves.

I’m sorry, but most of us are not guilty. Most of the women I know are not guilty of anything more than the occasional white lie. Most women I know are not guilty of anything. The chapter possibly relates to the message of shame, but I would like to reiterate that the victims are NOT THE GUILTY PARTIES. Is it so wrong to blame the guilty parties? Or to get angry at the people who resent us because of their own insecurities and faults?

Or do we, as women, have to take everything on our shoulders and constantly blame ourselves? If I’m “guilty,” I’d rather take responsibility for my actions and change my behavior than sit and silently “forgive myself.” Likewise, if someone has a grudge against me, it’s not my job to “ask them for forgiveness in my heart.” As for what the person does with their heart, I have absolutely no control.