I know what you’re thinking, screw ’em, all those jerks who hurt me, burned me, betrayed me, I know, I have a long list as well, and we’ll get those people, but what I want to talk about today, and what is most important on your journey to SLAYDOM, is finding forgiveness in yourself. Yeah, you! When I finally had the courage to sit down and talk to someone about the circumstances that finally brought me to my knees, I was asked to write down a list of people who had harmed me, finally I thought, let me show you why I’m here, let me know show you all the horrible people and the horrible things that were done to me to get me to this place, and I feverishly wrote that list. What was asked of me when I was done was, did you write your own name on your list?
My own name?! What? Yes my own name, because I had harmed myself the most, and I believed I deserved it, that I didn’t deserve to have good things and good people in my life because I was a bad person, I was weird, I was different, awkward. I was told in order to heal I needed to first forgive myself. That was a blow. How the hell would I do that?
This was a place in my life, my journey, when I romanticized taking my own life, when my self worth was less than zero, and all of the lies and manipulations and shitty things I had done to move through life without you asking me too many questions or letting you get too close, had caught up to me. I thought I was lower than low, the scum of the earth. I physically could not look at myself in the mirror and say “I love you,” it’s not that I wouldn’t, I could not, trust me, I tried, I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror, I brushed my teeth looking down into the sink. So, to now be asked to find it in myself to forgive myself, I thought it was impossible. Thankfully it was not.
No matter what we’ve done, or think we’ve done, it can be forgiven. What I learned is, I had to allow room for myself to be human, to be flawed, to learn, I couldn’t expect myself to know things I was never taught, and that I could now make a commitment to learn, to be the person I wanted to be, to hit the reset button and start again. But hitting reset didn’t mean forgetting the past, it meant taking full responsibility for it and learning to do it better. When I was able to look at myself from that perspective I was able to start forgiving myself. It goes back to those tools in our toolbox, if we don’t have the tools we need, we use the ones we have, so we can’t fault ourselves for not using tools that aren’t there. Our job now is to find and use those new tools so we can do it better, and that takes time, and patience, a blog for another day. But if we’re able to acknowledge the places where we’re lacking the tools to do it right, we can start forgiving ourselves for doing it wrong, and forgiveness is the first step to freedom. It may seem really scary, and it is, but that’s exactly where we want to be, because where it feels safe got us here, it’s time to do things differently.
We are always hardest on ourselves, but what if we stopped that, and started to love and nurture ourselves? Acknowledge our flaws and work to fix them, or find a better way, to maybe do the opposite of what our nature tells us to do because it’s what we’ve always done, or what those around us have done. Who do we want to be in the world, our communities, our families and relationships? We can be those people, we just have to work on it, and, start by forgiving ourselves for those things we think are unforgivable.
SLAY OF THE DAY: What’s stopping you for forgiving yourself? What do you think makes you unforgivable? What do you think you can do to start to forgive yourself so you can move forward from here? Building on the blog before, write a fresh gratitude list with five things you LOVE about yourself. Read it out loud before bed and in the morning when you get up. Don’t forget to smile SLAYER.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you