Dangerous Compassions

self-forgiveness ritual

self-forgiveness ritual

Hey, I did a self-forgiveness ritual for Thanksgiving.  I don’t see relatives anymore, and we had a special feast with the Las Vegas Catholic Worker a few days early.  So we’re free to make holidays special however we want.

I wrote this self-forgiveness ritual last year, but I don’t think I ever performed it.  So Thanksgiving was the day.  I invited Ming, who said yes, and we collected the materials.

My mom’s mom died in Thanksgiving, so Thanksgiving was always weird for her.  Often she would drive to Lompoc to put a flower on her mom’s grave, and sometimes I went with her.  Carnations were her mom’s favorite flower, and roses were my mom’s favorite flower, which is the significance of those flowers in this self-forgiveness ritual.

I share in case you’d like to adapt it for yourself and let go of shame / guilt that’s not helping to you.  It might help you to get your mind, body, and spirit on the same page, as ritual is good for.  Also it might be helpful if you need to learn more self-love.

It’s important to me to stop wasting energy on self-hate, because I can use that energy to do more good in the world.  That’s what Thanksgiving is all about, for me–I’m sorry colonization destroyed cultures, families, lives, traditions, and histories.  Any good I can do in the world is to help heal the violence of colonization and other violence.

Or you could read this ritual just to see what I do for fun.

self-forgiveness ritual

  • candle and lighter
  • small object to charm
  • palo santo in a small tequila bottle
  • water in a dish
  • water to drink
  • persimmon with knife
  • pink carnations
  • rose oil
  • dirt from the cemetery of my ancestors in Carrizozo, New Mexico
Mother song

[Ask Ming to light the candle and palo santo, sit in silence, sing a Mother song, then speak.]

beginning words

Thank you to Love for bringing me here to this place I’ve chosen to live life and be who I am. Thank you to Love for witnessing me and my intentions of healing and helping the world, by forgiving myself and nurturing myself.  I recognize my inter-dependence with all, while choosing to offer myself a dose of healing compassion. Thank you to Love, for hearing this ritual.

Thank you to my mom for forming me in her body, and to her mom for forming my mom in her body.  Today is Thanksgiving, and I invoke my mom and her mom to witness my self-forgiveness.  Thank you for teaching me how to love.

I am a beautiful child of Mother God, and will always be sacred to her and held in her embrace.

I, Laura-Marie, am on Earth to do love, learn, enjoy having a body in the physical realm, help others, encounter the Mystery, and speak my unique truth.


[Anoint each body part in turn with water.]

  • My mouth is blessed to tell the truth with kindness.
  • My eyes are blessed to see clearly and create true vision.
  • My ears are blessed to receive the vibrations of all the sound–human voices, animal voices, music, wind, rain, thunder.
  • My hands are blessed to create art that’s needed, to help it cross over the sacred double rainbow from chaos into physical reality.
  • My heart is blessed to love with compassion and a generous care that values myself and cherishes myself as well as others.
  • My tummy is blessed to transform food into energy for doing good work.
  • My vulva is blessed to give vigor-joy to my life and the lives of those lucky to know me.
  • My legs are blessed to walk with freedom.
  • My feet are blessed to connect with Earth and to keep me solid on this vibrant blue and green planet that is my home.
forgiveness words

I recognize that I’ve struggled, as all people do. My mistakes, mis-steps, and poor choices were understandable given the circumstances I was in. I belong at the table of humanity.

Considering the gravity, I acknowledge the harm I did, to others and to myself. I ache for the pain, and I pause to extend love to the hurt, wild person I was who did things I would prefer never happened.

[Pause to extend love to myself back through time at different ages.]

I love the person I was, and I let go of the resentment I might hold toward her, as I choose to make different choices now. I recognize the spark of life in the younger me, and the goodness I’ve always held, since I was born. Many incidentals have come and gone, but the deep excellence of who I am is eternal and unchanging. [Place hand over heart]

Thank you, Laura-Marie of the past, for the things you did to get me here today, to a better place. Thank you for caring for this body enough to keep me alive in the world, to do all the life activities I enjoy today. I owe so much to you.

Thank you, Laura-Marie of the past, for doing your best in shitty circumstances. I release all disappointment, anger, and pain I hold toward you. I breathe a breath of deep, whole-soul, generous forgiveness to you. I release you from the bonds of anger I held you in.

You’re free to be who you were, without my hate. Thank you for all I’ve learned from you. I release harsh judgments of you and expectations of you, with a smile. You are free.

charging the object

[Hold object to charge.]

Glory be to Mother God for second, third, and thousandth chances, to do my best and be who I am. I’m grateful for the bottomless well of the universe’s compassion. I can draw from it at any time to quench my thirst for self-forgiveness and self-love.

This object has witnessed my commitment to loving who I am today and being free to care for myself, unencumbered by guilt or the burden of self-judgment. Life is hard enough, without unneeded shame. I’m happy to let that unhelpfulness go.  And I thank you, object, for seeing my intention and caring for that intention. [Put down object and raise arms to the sky.]

thank you and end of ritual

Thank you to Mother God for witnessing also, and caring for me, unconditionally. All these choices, feelings, and intentions are shared with respect, and my heartfelt request that I continue to be a happy person who can do the work I was put on earth to do. All my love to you, always. [Anoint myself with rose oil.]

Thank you to my mom and her mom, for your nourishment.


[Breathe a breath, smile at Ming, cut up the persimmon, eat it, drink water. Anoint Ming’s wrists with the blessing water.  Extinguish flame, pour the blessing water outside, dump the persimmon peels in the garden. Put the object, flowers, and other materials on the altar.]


By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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