When my kids were quite small, I was a stay home mother and I was consumed with the everyday things that stay home mothers are consumed with.
Some of them were important, like food in the pantry and on the table having clean clothing for school. Other things were NOT at all important, like whether or not a child was smiling in a family photo.
I have an awful memory of myself making one of my children feel really bad for not smiling in the family photo.
I was so HELL bent of having this “perfect” moment, that I could not find the maturity to ask a simple question like, “Honey, what’s the matter? Are you feeling ok?” or to just let the photographer do their thing and realize that the photo was just a moment in a long string of moments.
As I remember this, I feel so sick about my own actions that I can barely forgive myself.
But forgiveness of self is exactly what I need to do here.
I did the best I could. I really did. We all do the best we can.
As Oprah says, “When we know better, we do better.”
I know better and I do better these days.
If you can think of something you could have done better and you have a chance to apologize, do it.
Do better next time.
Begin a conversation with someone who you have inadvertently hurt and ask for forgiveness.
Tell them how much you care.
It is very cliché, but authentic remorse really does clear up a lot of fog.
Love really does find a way.
I forgive myself for holding a grudge against you.
I forgive myself for allowing the past hurt to etch new wounds on old scars.
I have been holding on to a deep grudge for over 20 years. Yes, 20 years and I am quite ashamed to admit it. Even as I express to myself and all who would listen that I have changed, this grudge I will not let go of.
Let’s get it out there. Shall we?
20 plus years ago I was at a funeral and I approached someone with whom I had been feuding. We actually had been feuding together, and doing a great job. A jab here, a sarcastic comment there, a nasty look when we thought no one was paying attention, and so on. We were great adversaries.
At the funeral, I wanted to call it quits and I approached this person and said something to the effect of life being short and we never know when…blah, blah, blah.
I asked if we could drop the past and start over.
They said NO.
They said that I would have to prove myself and my intentions TO THEIR SATISFACTION.
From that day on, they were my sworn enemy. Every time I got a chance, I was distant and cold and unfriendly and I enjoyed the game. BTW, my opponent was quite formidable.
We would pretend to hug and kiss each other in front of others, but if we saw each other at the store, we would look straight thru each other.
People from far and wide could see the great divide. Neither of us cared!
Fast forward 20 plus years, and I am TIRED OF THE GAME!
If I die tomorrow, I do NOT want to take this well played game to my grave.
I do not want the rules of this game etched onto my heart any more.
What once gave me great joy and guilty pleasure now makes me sad and makes me feel less than human.
YOU WIN… I GIVE UP.
YOU MAY PLAY ALONE.
I AM DONE.
I HAVE NO MORE ENERGY TO INVEST IN HATING/DISLIKING OR MALIGNING YOU.
There, I’ve said it.
It feels good not to have to dig for the hurtful memories and to relay to people the how and whys I am still at war.
I am putting down my weapons.
I will still keep on my armor, especially over my heart, but I will no longer throw offensive or defensive moves.
I will move out of the way of jabs and insults.
I may even say something like, “I am tired of this exhausting game so you win”
Now how do I move forward?
I must find the courage to forget all the history. I must find the courage to see God in that person.
I must focus on that person’s good qualities, the ones I admire.
As I focus on their strengths, I will heal myself of all the rancor of the past and hopefully expel the pent up toxicity and enable my heart to be free of past pain.
If I am truthful, they have not been on my radar for quite a while, and it’s only when I am going to be in their presence that my claws want to come out.
So, I will keep my claws nicely manicured and polished and use them as a decorative feature not a hidden weapon.
I forgive me.
Such a small sentence.
Such a powerful sentiment.
Congrats to me, I am a courageous being.
You all know the lesson here.
Will you step into the courageous act of forgiving yourself for something/s you have done?
Good luck, it may take a while, but it’s worth the journey.
Love and light
Donate to Indrani’s Light Foundation
Your donation will be used towards eradicating gender violence, training community leaders and sharing behaviour-change tools with people who are ready to leave violence behind and create a brighter, more peaceful world.