I think one of the hardest things I have had to learn in my life was the art of forgiving myself. When we talk about forgiveness, we tend to focus on forgiving others for hurting us, mistreating us, or talking badly about us. We tend to talk about relationships and heartache and focus on the phrase “I forgive but I will never forget.” Or we focus on asking others for forgiveness because we have hurt them in any kind of way. But what happens if you have to forgive yourself?
I have learned there is power in forgiving myself. The power in confronting the mistakes I have made without putting myself down. The power of looking in the mirror and telling myself “I forgive you.” We are so tough on ourselves. Most of the time, we are our toughest critic. I have done many things in my life that I regret. I have hurt people. But even though they forgave me for the mistakes that I made, I still saw myself in the mirror and genuinely knew I had not forgiven myself.
Sometimes we come short. We set expectations for ourselves that we miss by just a little bit. We go back to the same habits that we promised ourselves we would overcome. We almost hate ourselves for that. We push and push our bodies to the limit without realizing that we are crawling instead of running. That we are hating our lives, instead of enjoying every moment we are alive.
There is grace. We have to show ourselves grace. We want others to love us despite our failures and shortcomings, but we refuse to love ourselves, and embrace those weaknesses we hate. I spent many years focused on asking for forgiveness and not once, did I think about forgiving myself. I think that is why at times its hard for us to move on.
I encourage you to search your heart. Sit with yourself and examine the times where you might have been too hard on yourself. Take note of them, dig through them, and let yourself heal. There is freedom in healing.