Today I am thankful for the ability to forgive. In life, we are told by people of various walks of life – often those who care for us the most – that it is important to forgive others, and that that forgiveness is not for the other person’s benefit, but rather for our own. I agree with this adage – it is right on point. However, I think that not enough emphasis is placed upon the act of forgiving oneself, which is oftentimes the hardest thing to do.
As human beings we tend to be so hard on ourselves – expecting only the absolute best from ourselves, a standard of perfection that leaves positively no room for failure. And when we fail to live up to our impossible to satisfy standards, we find ourselves feeling unworthy of redemption, because in our eyes we have treated ourselves worse than others have treated us, an argument that is justified, in our eyes, by the fact that we know ourselves better than anyone else, so we should have taken better care of ourselves.
Yet, just as we are able to find it in our hearts and minds to extend understanding and compassion towards those who have hurt and mistreated us, we need to make it a point to extend those same blessings to ourselves. Forgiving ourselves does not mean that we are letting ourselves off of the hook for the role that we have played in bringing about the circumstances that we find ourselves immersed in, it just means that we love ourselves enough to address one of the most central needs of our spirit, the need to absolve ourselves of self-imposed guilt, which is necessary in order to be able to learn from the situation and make better decisions as we mature and grow. And just as there is no peace without the choice to forgive others, there is certainly no peace without the choice to forgive ourselves.
So, as you travel through life on the path of forgiveness of others, I encourage you to extend that same forgiveness to yourself. After all, no one affects you and your wellbeing more than you do. #lovebythedrop