The Benefits of Forgiving Ourselves
Welcome back to the Art of the Onward everyone. I hope and trust you are each progressing on your journey to your own inner wholeness, and pray this blog is an aid for you as you take your steps.
It takes courage to step forward.
We've talked about this a lot.
It's not easy to try again, to rebuild a life, both within and without.
In fact, I'm doing just that these days. I'm dissolving a house I've lived in for 14 years. I've raised my two daughters here. We've shared a million happy moments together here, and we've had some heartbreaking times here as well. Yes, it became our home. This is the longest I have ever lived in one place, and I am well aware that the changes coming will be massive.
And thrilling. And challenging.
This is the last of the major hoops I need to move through before I arrive where I need to be.
There is a peace within me, within my heart, that passes all understanding. Yes, it's from God. But it's also from doing the work that I share in these posts. Every post in this blog sequence stems from my personal discovery of what works.
Without finding my broken and stumbling path to forgiveness, I am convinced, I would not have this peace within me during these consuming days.
It took a long time. The forgiveness thing. And because we are human beings, having a human experience, I know there are elements I will need to continue to revisit, until they too are fully forgiven.
It's easy to be angry at ourselves. Easier than at someone else - for me anyway. Because when we are the cause of our issues, we maintain some sort of control - the control to hold on to our pain at will, to return to it when we feel like it, or just relish in the blaming of ourselves. The control to hopefully, somehow, in our desperation, make it right again. These are all very real reasons for why we tend to blame ourselves.
Forgiving someone else does not mean forgetting. Or inviting the same back into our lives.
Similarly, when we forgive ourselves, we don't forget.
But we are then able to receive a few things:
- A sense of Calm deep within our beings
We are not responsible for the behaviour of anyone else but our own. Following this logic, there is no way we can be blamed (by ourselves mostly) for the pain caused us by someone else.
Occasionally, a part of the pain we experience has been caused by our own selves. What do we do with that?
Because we want that peace, the calm, and we want to learn from EVERY experience we encounter in life:
*Good Experience - we learn what to do, how to do it, and we hope to repeat it.
*Bad Experience - we learn what not to do. How not to do it. And we make every attempt to not let it happen again.
Then we forgive ourselves and are finally able to realize that our stumbles and apparent mistakes or failures are actually our learning experiences. If we do not forgive ourselves, we become stuck. And stuck is no good long term.
Once we regroup, we want to journey daily toward finding this forgiveness.
Remember this quote from the very insightful Mary Morrissey: "We learn to walk by falling down."
Once more - "We learn to walk by falling down."
We make mistakes, we fail ourselves, we fail others, we "fall down". This is simply a natural aspect of the human condition. We are divine beings, in a human experience. Fallible.
Failures, by the way, are not a bad thing. They simply teach us what didn't work and allow us to try another way next time.
I thought myself a failure at the deepest level. I was angry with myself for being blind for so long. I even allowed the shock and trauma to cause me to doubt my self, my worth, my talents, my gifts, completely. That's what happens when we get hit without seeing it coming.
For myself, the process didn't take long to head straight toward the path of self blame.
Why did I do that?
Because if this was the case, I COULD FIX IT. (aka control - which I badly needed when everything was crumbling around me)
Except not a single iota of anything that occurred was my fault. Or my doing. Not by default, not by turning around every angle I tried to twist. In fact, what happened had absolutely nothing to do with me. It could have been anyone.
It just happened to be me.
This realization was the first step to forgiving myself. And it took a long time to get there.
A sense of Calm washed over me.
Although I did not do anything wrong, I still needed to walk the path of letting go. Only then could I stop blaming myself even on the tiniest level. Only then could I find freedom to be. To truly just BE.
And that is when the true healing began.
I could finally look myself in the eyes again.
I hope you begin your path toward self forgiveness. I truly believe this is the key to pursuing our baby steps toward inner wholeness, peace, and freedom. Remember mistakes aren't awful, they are learning experiences. And remember you are not responsible for someone else's behavior - on any level.
I know you can get there. Journal your thoughts, write random words, paint, draw ... anything that connects pen to paper. This allows us to tap into our deeper levels of consciousness and allows us to process what has happened.
Do not be afraid. The light on the other side is so much stronger than the fear of letting go. I promise you.
Wishing you freedom this week, a sense of calm, of peace, and the ability to look yourself in the eyes.
Feel my Love and the Love of the Divine every day,
PS - If you want to talk some of this through, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is an open invite from my heart to yours.