Can You Forgive Yourself?

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay.

Today I woke up asking myself that question. And my answer, after listening deeply to myself was: most certainly not. And with this answer came one of those a-ha moments when I realized that this may be the reason or at least one of the reasons I keep on sabotaging myself, missing out opportunities, keeping me stuck here in this eternal in-between space, never moving forward or out of here. And it is, because when you cannot forgive yourself you have to punish yourself somehow, because deep inside you believe you need to pay for it. And do you know a better way to do it rather than keep you trapped in this vortex where you are a major loser, with no chance to get it right at the end or to get out of there?

Exactly.

Remembering that forgiveness is not forgetting, that forgiveness doesn’t excuse the behavior, it only prevents it from destroying your heart, it prevents you from being a prisoner, a hostage from something that happened and you no longer have a power to change or re-do it if you could. You can only learn from it and do better, much better next time. And become a better person in the way.

And if you are stuck out there in this prison within, in order to break free, move on, you have to forgive… Others, but especially yourself. And this is so important and yet so hard to do…

I, for instance, am really good in forgiving others, but when I have to forgive myself… not that much. Maybe because I am a perfectionist who can only aim and accept perfection as a result of my attitudes and actions. I have to be that perfect girl. All the frakking time. In every single thing. If not, I feel bad, guilty, undeserving, ashamed, embarrassed, an embarrassment, not good enough, not worthy.

I ruminate things that I do and shouldn’t have done over and over and over again in mind, I feel them crushing my heart every single time. I hold on to them trying to understand, trying desperately to convince myself that “Ok, it happened, learn from it and let it go” but yet, I cannot. And I don’t.

I am there to myself, I comfort myself but still, deep inside I know that I haven’t forgiven myself completely for this or that.

And yes, I did things that I am not proud of, that I should indeed feel bad, ashamed, embarrassed, regretful about. But that happens even to little things that I know I have learned a good lesson from, things that made me a better person, for things I shouldn’t feel bad for because they are perceived as good actions by others, things that I know that at that time I was doing the best I could but still… was not good enough to my high perfectionist standards…

So, regardless, I am always feeling guilty, bad, unforgivable if things go a bit off the perfect road.

Why does it keep on happening then? Because even when you are aware of it, even when you are there for yourself and willing to fix it, still, forgiving is a very very hard thing to do. You have all those thoughts and beliefs pinned so deeply in you that it takes patient, time and effort in a daily basis to revert, to reset, to recover.

It is not going to transform itself like magic just because you know why it happens…

It is hard work, but it is also a vital work to heal yourself, to keep on going, to fulfill your destination.

And because of that it is so worthy.

So no matter how bad was something you thought or did, have the strength to forgive yourself and let it go. Let you go to where you should be. Let the good, kind person that lives within you thrive. If there is anything you can do to make mends, do it. If there isn’t, then learn from it, apply it and keep the lesson with you, let it make you a better being. And set yourself free. Because if you don’t, what is the point? What good can come from it?

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that a prisoner was you.”

– Lewis B. Smedes.

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