Everyday we are reminded of the ‘value’ of forgiveness.
And the necessity of practising it, to allow us to move on and heal.
We usually think of forgiveness in terms of allowing for the faults of others. I guess this makes sense as nobody is perfect and relationships of all dynamics are tested when mistakes and misunderstandings occur.
Looking back, I have always been able to forgive and move forward from most things, until a certain line has been crossed. Once crossed I may forgive with time, but rightly or wrongly like an elephant I cannot forget. Based on this, relationships with certain individuals may never fully recover.
I’m not here to contest the benefits of forgiving others. No matter how hard, I believe the act of forgiving one another is a blessing. Perhaps a blessing in disguise as although it can take a lot of strength and grace, the closure it provides is necessary to live a life that is not imprisoned by the past – to move on and enjoy the present. The value of forgiving others is thus immeasurable to internal peace, and reduces many mental burdens.
Now as I said above, I am not here to debate about the worth of forgiving others. That is clear. What I’m here to highlight is something even more beautiful… and that is the act of forgiving yourself.
We have all been through situations in life that we could have handled better. Or situations we wish we hadn’t put up with for so long. Instances we continue to beat ourselves up for. Seemingly big or small, significant or insignificant, these moments play on your mind, and your heart.
Look, sh*t happens. Life happens. But as cliché as it sounds you have to remember that everything does happen for a reason. And (as a good friend of mine always says) usually that reason is a lesson or a blessing.
But how can we embrace that lesson if we can’t move on from said sh*t. How can we enjoy that blessing if we are stuck in said sh*t day in day out, sinking deeper and deeper? Living in a world of mistakes and self loathing. Festering.
Don’t fester. Take the time to acknowledge what’s happened. Examine yourself. The why, the how, the next steps to make things better. To make you better. Remember that you only have one life to live which you must, well, LIVE! Stop focusing on what you wish you did or didn’t do, or how to change the past. The past is in the past and can never be rewritten, but you can learn from it and use those learnings to write a better future for yourself going forward 🙂
As a Christian I believe that God has insurmountable and unconditional love for us. That he made each and every one of us unique and special. He made us in his image, but most of all he also made us human and has unending patience and forgiveness for our human nature.
Now, regardless of your creed or colour, you can at the very least agree that you and I are both human beings. So why is it such a struggle to afford ourselves that right – to be human? You have to allow for yourself to make mistakes. To be imperfect. To be patient. To be you. To learn from your experiences and develop into a better you. To love yourself and your journey of growth.
As Joe Public told us in the nineties (showing my age a bit here ha!) – ‘you’ve got to live and learn’. This advice rings truer than ever in this increasingly suffocating world we live in, where one never seems good enough for anything due to constant comparison, peer pressure, exposure and oneupmanship on social media platforms.
But I digress. Perhaps I will write about that another day. Back to my point.
If there is something that happened that you still can’t quite come to terms with – whether it was years ago or just yesterday, whether you snapped at someone or you keep on doubting yourself – I hope you can reach that magical moment where you are able to take a deep breath and forgive yourself.
Whether you shout it out loud, or whisper it to yourself quietly – FORGIVE YOURSELF! Or you will never be able to move on. You will never to be able to love yourself. At least fully. Which means you’ll never truly embrace who you are, your best light will never be able to shine – it will forever be lingering in the shadows of your self doubt.
Remember that life is what you make it. Don’t spend it in a cycle of self loathing and self sabotage. It can be a struggle yes, but let it be a beautiful struggle of self improvement and self love. All you can do is try and find your way, but you will never find it if you are stuck in the same place. You’ll never find it you don’t let yourself and help yourself move forward.
Don’t let the struggles of your past limit the potential and joy of your future. You are in control of you. Forgive yourself. Be free! Allow yourself to move on and be the ‘you’ you are meant to be 🙂