The Long Road To Forgiving Myself

[cred: californiabeaches.com]

Learning and forgiving.

“Although you should not erase your responsibility for the past, when you make the past your jailer, you destroy your future. It is such a great moment of liberation when you learn to forgive yourself, let the burden go, and walk out into a new path of promise and possibility.”–John O’Donohue

For me, the past few years have been filled with everything. Heartbreak, building myself back up again, learning to trust and trying harder to make things work. Getting out of pointless relationships, occasional hookups, losing friends and making new friends. From being married, making bad decisions, almost losing my job and just needing to take a break from everyone.

I use to think that if someone didn’t love me; I could do whatever it takes to figure it out and make it work. It just put too much responsibility on my own shoulders to figure out why other people felt the way they did. I felt it I could always be better and change so that other people could love me more. I made it my fault, and it made me feel as if I wasn’t worthy of love. Needless to explain I was devastated when I had to end my 5-year marriage.

“I was so out of touch with reality”

I secluded myself and focused on avoiding drugs and alcohol as ways to cope with my depression. Managed my time and became obsessed with healing. Read every self-help book I could find I wanted to share it with everyone I knew. I was so out of touch with reality and too focused on what I could have done better. I couldn’t possibly connect or relate to anyone. So I decided to stay on my own and be my own person again.

Being in a different environment made a big difference for me. I got to spend more time with myself. I rediscovered myself and gained a confidence that I never thought I had. With that new found confidence I got to meet new and exciting people, and make new friends. I loved it!

ttempted to start dating and tried to connect with people but it was hard I failed miserably. I just couldn’t open up without thoughts of how I let my marriage fail. How I wasn’t good enough for anyone else. My new found confidence would vanish from time to time when I needed it most. I would often find myself and lose myself again after a while. I would try to be something or someone in order to get the attention. The connection. The love that I was looking for; that was so unsettling for me.

You see, when you have to “try” to do something, make something happen. It just gets harder and harder to get to where you want. Believe it or not, IT”S NOT WORTH IT. It never is

The journey towards healing your heart

I was looking at myself as I’ve always done; realized that I had become someone I didn’t want to be. I didn’t like myself at all. I had become someone who lost their way. Lost in anxiety, in and out of depression. Looking for love and running from it moments after. Did not see that I wanted the wrong things from the wrong people. I had to stop.

I needed to understand who I wanted to be and take a good look at my actions. The results I was getting from them in my life, and how my actions affected others.

Asking for Forgiveness

An ex that I haven’t spoken to for over 7 years called we talked for hours and apologized for the way things were when we dated, it was easy for me to forgive. It hit me, I needed to go back and apologize to the people that I’ve hurt before. It was brutal. I had to be open, honest, and humble, and it wasn’t easy. When I managed to ask for forgiveness I was humbled, I felt lighter, but something still felt off. Some nights were harder than others I was often confused about what was really going on with myself emotionally.

The struggles that went on within were mine, and as long as I didn’t take a better look within myself. This pain would get heavier and heavier. I understood that I had asked for forgiveness of the people I had hurt. But I hadn’t forgiven the most important person I had wronged: MYSELF.

Forgiving Yourself

Maybe it sounds strange, or selfish, but forgiving others is one thing. Being forgiven is another, and to forgive YOURSELF, that’s a whole different story.

I had an “aha” moment; I understood that I was really holding on to pain, resentment, and loathing towards myself because of my mistakes. All the bad decisions I made, and the beautiful moments I had ruined because I was so hard on myself. I needed to forgive myself in order to be able to feel together, lighter and at peace again. These were what I had been missing from my life at that point.

That was the moment I had admitted to myself the many mistakes I had made. The was the first step to understanding that beating myself up would never change the past. It would only hurt me more. I decided it was time to forgive myself for everything, all the crazy things I felt bad about and start loving and appreciating myself.

We all make mistakes, we are human. The important thing is knowing when to stop, reevaluate our actions and know when to press STOP and how to press PLAY again because if and when you know better; you do better. Maya Angelou said it so beautifully: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”