The Power of Forgiving Ourselves


#1

There are times when faced with tough situations in life that I felt a sense of guilt as if somehow it was my fault. I reflected back on everything in my life that I had done wrong and immediately saw it as the reason for the adversity I was presently experiencing. In times such as this we tend to hold ourselves to harsher judgment then we do others. Suddenly those little things we did that seemed so small before are now these glooming bright blemishes on our lives and we see them as unforgivable and the possible cause for all that is wrong in our lives now. I suppose this is similar to the feelings of guilt that can be experienced by someone who has a family member pass away. All we can think of is ‘What if I had done…?’, ‘If only I had been there…’ or 'I wish I had told them…'

Some people linger at the stage of blaming themselves for a brief time and some much longer. There are no rules regarding how long it takes to cope with emotions as strong as these. However, I had to realize that I must face these feelings of guilt to put them to rest. I couldn’t ignore it hoping it would go away because then the emotions would have only eaten away at me. One of my favorite sayings is ‘the only way to get past something is through it’. We must travel through it to get to the other side. We can’t side-step it or jump over it.

I had to begin this road to forgiveness by taking a look at the situation at hand. I had to look at what the facts were concerning the tough situation I was in the middle of. Was it something I had control over? Did I do what I thought was right? I had to learn to not focus on the “what ifs” and “if onlys” because they didn’t exist for me since those are things you do not have control over and cannot change. I had to remind myself that forgiving is not something that I’ve never done before. Although forgiving myself was a whole new ballgame. I thought about the fact that I had forgiven my child of a mistake or for breaking something? I remembered the gentleness I felt toward my child or perhaps a parent or sibling over mistakes they had made. I thought about the forgiveness I have held in your heart for those who had wronged me. It’s funny that we can readily forgive those around us, yet we can not seem to find compassion in our hearts for ourselves.

I came to the realization that I must try feeling some compassion for myself. I had to accept that those who love me have such compassion for me and if I could find a way to feel that for myself then I was well on the road to dealing with this. I knew that realization would allow me to see clearly the situation at hand and to see the potential blessing that had been bestowed on me. That’s right blessing. This kindness and generosity to me would be the groundbreaking event which would lead to moving forward and getting past this tough time in my life.

I was raised that forgiveness is something to be sought after. We must search ourselves in-depth for the goodness we hold in our hearts so we can see the whole purpose of our lives. We must know that even though we make mistakes, we have problems, or we get off base in our journey through life instead of punishing ourselves in our thoughts and actions we should accept that we all make mistakes. We have an obligation to honor that goodness inside of us and the good qualities we have and the heart of compassion we have been given.

I personally played the blame game for a time and that kept me from forgiveness initially. I questioned my creator, the adversity and the situation I was in, I began the “Why me” syndrome? However, the important question I finally asked myself was “Don’t you think it is time you offer forgiveness to yourself.” Know this…, bad things happen in this sinful world and I could write a whole other story on the reasons they do but I’ll save that for another day. What I grasped from all I experienced is this, that pain and suffering that we all bear can be turned around to do many good things. People who have met great challenges have done tremendous things and used it to bring blessings upon their own lives and the lives of others. Tough times can teach us so much about life.

We are often touched by the stories from people who show what seems as such courage and strength to overcome adversity. We must learn to look past the bad part of our situation and see the good that can come from it. Perhaps there is a hidden purpose for our life. Whatever life brings our way we should look for direction as to where this situation should lead us.


#2

Denise… Who ARE you? Wow, these are some great posts…


#3

Thanks for the compliments. I am glad that you enjoyed reading them. I love to write and really try to share things from deep inside in the hope that what I’ve learned from experience may help someone else cope with their own situations. I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and comment. I hope you are having a super weekend.