That title made a few of you bristle I know. I remember when I was asked to make a list of people who I felt had harmed me, I feverishly started writing down my naughty list, finding satisfaction in naming all the people I felt had wronged me and made my life difficult. It was pointed out to me that my own name should have been on the top of that list. That made me pause. And, at first, a little angry, because I thought, no, this is my chance to point fingers and name all of the people who hurt me, but it was right to suggest I put myself on top of that list, because I had hurt myself the most.
When I looked back to all of those situations and people I had put on that list, the common denominator in of them is that I was also there, I had participated, allowed myself to be in those relationships, or situations that harmed me. Now as much as that was a hard pill to swallow, once I was able to take responsibility for my part, and in most instances I did have one, I was able to take my power back by choosing to make better choices today.
We can’t fault ourselves for not knowing things we never learned, well, I guess we can, I used to, but we shouldn’t. Punishing ourselves for our past mistakes is pointless, we can’t change the past, nor we are the same people who may have made those mistakes, in fact, if we’re on a path of self-love and self-discovery we are very likely not those people that we once were, so why are we beating ourselves up for being someone we aren’t anymore? Life is a journey, and we may travel the same road, but we each travel at our own pace depending on what we are able to handle, depending on what our personal experiences are, and depending on what life throws at us, we are doing the best we can with what we have. Recognizing that we did the best we can in our past, or that maybe we just weren’t able to do our best at that time, is the beginning of self-forgiveness.
I found that finding forgiveness for myself happened in different stages. But as I began to forgive others and they found forgiveness in me it became easier to find some of my own. As I grew on my journey and was able to put more and more tools in my toolbox, I realized how few tools I had had up until that point, that also helped me with finding forgiveness, I couldn’t fault myself for not using what I didn’t have. And, truthfully, beating myself up over and over for my past only holds me back there, it doesn’t let me cut the strings and move forward, so for those of you struggling cut those strings and allow yourself to move forward and prove to yourself that today you are capable of making better choices, choices that are loving towards yourself, choices that honor who you are and the life you’ve built, or are building, and choices that, even if they prove to not be the right choices, are choices you can own and learn from so that you can make a better choice next time, without carrying a resentment for yourself and how you handled the situation. Set yourself free, look back only to learn as you continue on your road to who you are destined to be. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you hold a grudge against yourself for decisions you’ve made in your past? Why are you not able to move past those decisions and choices? Did you have all the knowledge, information and tools you do today back then? So why do you expect yourself to have known better? Did you know better but made a decision that wasn’t in your best interest anyway? Why did you do that? Where looking to harm yourself? Why were you looking to do that? Are you still looking for ways to harm yourself today? If yes, why? If not, and you did make decisions to harm yourself in the past and have stopped doing that today, then that is already a victory, you’ve already let go of the way you used to live, so why not let go of any guilt or resentments you may have been harboring and focus on loving yourself as you move forward from here.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you