Forgiveness can be a personal and tender topic. I have been thinking about it for a while now and have really wanted to write about it, but for whatever reason, every time I’ve tried to get words out, I seem to freeze up a little.
I considered myself to be fairly good at this action. Forgiving others and letting things go quickly…what I didn’t realize however, is that when it comes to forgiving myself, I could use some work.
I never really felt like I struggled with this growing up. I was pretty happy-go-lucky and forgiving myself as well as others didn’t seem to be much of an issue. It wasn’t until I got to college that I recognized more of my perfectionistic tendencies and my challenge with self-compassion…and not until recently reading another bloggers inspiring post, did I realize how I haven’t really forgiven myself for things in the past.
Sure there are those little day-to-day things that require time and forgiveness, and with my OCD brain, even those things can be hard to let go of…but the things I am referring to are those big things. Or maybe they are just big to you. Maybe those things you consider heart wrenching or label shameful. Maybe something you did, or something someone did to you. Those really, really hard things you may carry that you haven’t let forgiveness relieve you of…it’s that kind of forgiveness that I am talking about, and something that I totally need to work on. And something I think we could all work on.
So today we are talking about forgiveness. About working on letting those things in the past go and relieving yourself…whether it is forgiving yourself or forgiving someone else. There is so much power and beauty in this word! So where do we start…
First I want you to read these two articles:
These will give you great places to start when it comes to forgiveness.
Like I said, forgiveness is something I am really trying to work on, so I am no pro…but here are a few insights I have found when working on forgiveness:
Acceptance. One of the articles talks about this word; about the difference between tolerance and acceptance. Face the area in which you need to work on forgiveness, accept it currently, and know that you can and will change it. It all starts with a little more acceptance.
Patience. Ohhh a word I am constantly trying to work on. Sometimes all that it takes to really forgive yourself or someone else, is time. Take the action necessary to forgive, but know that it probably won’t happen overnight, and that is totally okay. Baby steps.
Be gentle & open hearted. Be gentle with yourself along the way and through this process. You aren’t going to be perfect. Know that God is there helping you every step of the way, and that there is true value in your experiences. Your experiences are shaping you into exactly who you are supposed to be—who God needs you to be…so try your best to find the value and learning in it. Good or bad.
…I tend to think that I have completely forgiven myself for things of the past, but then suddenly I can flip a switch and continue to feel guilty. I know this comes with time. That the things of the past may continue to enter my mind from time to time, but by working on forgiveness, these things no longer need to consume me or hold me back. That is the goal J
Let’s all try to work on forgiveness a little more.