"I don't know if I continue, even today, always liking myself, but what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself." Maya Anglou
A friend called...really upset. She kept saying she couldn't forgive herself for messing up....for being a failure...for eating too much...and lying...and doing other stuff she thinks is really bad. I listened to her....and then I thought about something - 'forgiveness.' Not forgiveness for others...but forgiveness for ourselves.
The hardest thing for me...was to forgive myself. Somehow I had become my number one enemy. I hated everything about who I was...and I blamed all the things that happened on me. Over and over....I beat myself up inside....and hurt myself. I believed I deserved to pay for everything "I allowed" to happen....until the day my therapist talked about forgiveness.
Forgiveness, she said, not for others....for yourself. Everything in me recoiled hearing those words. I can't. I won't. I don't deserve it.
You want to be free from the pain?
Then you must forgive you....
I tried but the words got stuck in my throat. I couldn't get them out. It was easier to forgive the people who hurt me....who hurt me really bad....but to forgive myself....that was really hard. I struggled with it for a long time.
Not forgiving myself though... kept me stuck in a cycle of self-abuse. My head told me I deserved everything I got....my heart screamed for freedom. Eventually it dawned on me ....not forgiving myself was hurting me more than anything I was physically doing to myself.
When I finally said the words.....I forgive myself...something inside broke. It released something and in a way...moved me further down the road towards freedom. I wonder though....why do those of use who were hurt....and abused hold ourselves accountable for what happened to us? And why is it so hard to forgive ourselves for just trying to survive?
What I have learned...a chunk of my healing and freedom came from forgiving myself. With that forgiveness came an acceptance that it was ok for me to be real. Being real...means we all mess up some times. And it helped me to be easier on myself. I had been so hard...pushing myself to do things or be a certain way. Forgiving myself helped in accepting the parts of myself I never could. And something else....if He could forgive me....how could I not.
An Overseas Tale...
5 days ago