I've been working on forgiveness lately. Forgiveness of myself.
As a concept, I'm am PRO forgiveness. It's a soul-liberating thing to do. I'm actually pretty good at forgiving other people, it's in forgiving myself that I run into a few hiccups. Spending a great amount of time in my life trying really, really, really hard to be perfect, there was a lot of opportunity for me to be angry and disappointed with myself. Now that I have lived enough to know that perfection is a total myth, I am finding the need to forgive myself for all the things in my life that fell short of my extremely high expectations.
I'm forgiving myself for loving people who didn't love me back.
I'm forgiving myself for sharing parts of me with people unworthy of my trust.
I'm forgiving myself for the blame and anger directed inward for the big and small things.
I'm forgiving myself for the fear and judgement I placed on other people.
I'm forgiving myself for failing.
I'm forgiving myself for not being perfect. Not even close.
Forgiveness is hard. There's no blueprint for what it looks like, what it feels like, what it tastes or smells like. Forgiveness doesn't mean that pain goes away. To me, it means that the senseless whipping of the self in the name of a mistake starts to stop. Bringing awareness to the feelings and then saying 'ok, babe, I forgive you. let's learn from this and move on.'
Without mistakes in life, it is difficult (if not impossible?) to grow. The times in life we fail are the times that we learn the most about what and who we are. The things that went unsaid, the things that were said too often, the words and actions that we regret are often the ways we learn about what lies deep within.
In working with my coaching clients, I'm beginning to realize that many of us, especially the sensitive, soul-searching types, are so dreadfully mean to ourselves for many ridiculous reasons. I think there is a hint of a belief (for me at least) that if I judge myself really harshly, it won't hurt so much if someone else judges me. Well, I'm here to tell everyone that that concept is total bullsh*t. It still hurts to be judged by others.
The power of forgiveness is that we can release the pain of the past, let it go and know that we can move forward to learn a new lesson. Forgiveness allows our souls to heal, our hearts to begin to mend. Forgiveness allows us to live the life we are meant to live.