If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year, it’s this: Forgiving others is hard; forgiving yourself is even harder.
I have no shortage of pardons to hand out in life. Though some have been harder than others (and I’ll get to those in their own blog post), the hardest have been the ones I have had to say in front of the mirror.
And yet. Those difficult “I forgive you”s? They’re life changing.
Inspired by the words of Heide Priebe and her essay on forgiveness, I have decided to create my own list of things I think we all need to forgive ourselves for:
Forgive yourself for longing for what you no longer have
It’s human nature to want what you don’t have, and to blame yourself when you no longer have it.
In truth, you need to remember: What will be, will be and the only way you will come to peace with a loss is by forgiving yourself for losing it in the first place. All you can do now is move forward.
Forgive yourself for taking your time to get to where you need to be
Everyone has their own path. Some paths are straightforward, some come with major speed bumps, and others make you question whether the map you have is even right.
Whether it is through life, heartbreak, or anything in between, rest assured: you will get there. Your journey will help you grow and your destination will be beautiful.
Forgive yourself for not being able to forgive so quickly
Our hearts can only take so much, but they are resilient. Eventually all open wounds will heal and you too will find the answers or closure or whatever you need to move forward.
But in the meantime? It’s OK to take your time.
Forgive yourself for all the ways you told yourself you are not enough
First of all, you are always, always enough, even though there will always be people who seem to be more perfect.
Second, remember that sometimes it’s natural to beat ourselves up; just another way we are human and imperfect. Forgive yourself for this, too.
Forgive yourself for all the breaks you’ve taken
Whether you were having a bad day, bad week, bad semester, or bad year: in the thick of these moments it is easy to feel like a failure.
But we all need to take breaks, sometimes — to breathe, to be, to bounce back. In the end, you will be stronger because of the grace you gave yourself.
Forgive yourself for not anticipating the curveballs
You could have never known that ‘your one’ was never actually ‘the one’ for you, or that your friend was never really your real friend. You don’t have psychic powers.
If we live with fear, we will never truly live, and sometimes it’s those curveballs that make life worth living.
Forgive yourself for all the ways you have changed
Physically, mentally, emotionally. Growth is all a part of the process.
Forgive yourself for all the times you allowed the actions of others to impact your own self-worth
Other people’s thoughts and actions have no bearing on YOUR relationship with yourself. Even when it feels like they do, they don’t.
Don’t forget that.
Forgive yourself for all your weak moments
We are all more than our weaknesses, our bad decisions, and our shortcomings. But without these things we would not be here in this very moment as the very people we are now.
Be thankful for how you got here because I, for one, am happy to have you.
Forgive yourself for all that comes next
It will all work out the way it is meant to. Especially if you are good to yourself throughout the process.
I want to hear from you in the comments below!
Forgiveness has a timeline of its own, but no matter where you are in your life and what’s going on, I hope some of these might resonate with you. Hopefully they will help you get to where you need to be within yourself — and remember, it’s a process!
What do you need to forgive yourself for? Tell us in the comments.