We’ve all been wronged. We’ve all been taken advantage of and hurt. We all know that we will have to forgive that person that hurt us at some point. Most of us are self aware enough to know that if we don’t learn to forgive those who wrong us, it will eventually eat us up inside and cause more harm. So, often we make the decision to forgive someone before we actually ‘feel’ like forgiving them. Then, eventually, after we continue to choose forgiveness for that person over and over again, we begin to feel like forgiving them. I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. But what I have found is that there is almost always one person we don’t forgive. In most cases we don’t forgive this person because we don’t even think about forgiving them. We may not even be aware that we are angry with, disappointed with, or disgusted with that person. But we usually are, and that person needs forgiveness too. I’m talking about forgiving ourselves.
When we’ve done wrong or we feel like we are responsible for harm or pain, emotionally or physically, that has come to someone else, we rarely extend ourselves the grace we would extend to others. We feel like everyone else deserves a second chance or forgiveness but us. We feel somehow like the things we’ve done just don’t deserve forgiveness. But you do deserve it. You deserve it for all the reasons why everyone else deserves it. Because there is no healthy way to move forward from hurt and pain or wrong doing until forgiveness is extended.
It’s amazing to me the amount of grace we are willing to extend to other people, yet we aren’t willing to extend it to ourselves. We don’t like to talk about it in those terms. So instead we say things like, “I’m just a perfectionist” or “there are just some things I can’t accept from myself, like failure”. Some of us even wear the term ‘perfectionist’ like a badge of honor, not realizing the perfectionism isn’t possible and only leads to a downward spiral of the psyche and our emotions.
Maybe you’ve made some mistakes. Maybe people have even been emotionally or physically hurt by your mistakes. Maybe you meant to or maybe it was completely unintentional. Maybe you believe that what you’ve done is beyond forgiveness and that you don’t deserve a second chance. Maybe you’re just becoming aware yourself that you have strong negative feelings toward yourself. Whatever the case may be, I know a way forward. Choose to forgive yourself. You don’t have to feel like it. You don’t have even have to want to do it. Simply choose that you’re going to forgive yourself. And maybe as you choose to forgive yourself over and over again, you’ll one day FEEL like forgiving yourself. It’s a start down a wonderful path.
Today I choose to forgive myself for anyone I may have intentionally or unintentionally hurt. I release myself of any and all anger or disappointment that I have with myself. I deserve forgiveness.