Forgive yourself

How hard are you on yourself? Do you have extremely high goals that you don’t reach? Do you carry around guilt for choices you’ve made or regret for those you haven’t made? Are you a person that overuses the word “sorry”? As in, do you say sorry for things that no one needs you to say sorry for? Are you drowning in a shame that you placed on your own shoulders?

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Well, you aren’t alone. But maybe, just maybe you should figure out why you default to feeling all this shame, guilt and regret? Chances are pretty good that you’re just being really mean to yourself. I’m of the mind set that life has some pretty cruel twists and people, both strangers and loved ones can be pretty careless. So, maybe, we shouldn’t be soo mean to ourselves. If you are a cruel, heartless, shameless person that doesn’t take into consideration how damaging your actions are on other people, this rant is not for you. It’s for all the bleeding hearts and the perfectionists.

Not only should we not be so mean but we should actually be nice to ourselves. We should take time to nurture our spirit, mend our broken hearts and forgive ourselves for the mistakes we’ve made along the way. Think about it, what do we get out of “self punishing” ourselves for years? We probably just waste time feeling bad, instead of doing things that could make us feel proud. We literally shame ourselves into being insecure, overwhelmed versions of ourselves.

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Maybe you’re a people pleaser and you want everyone to approve of your choices. You want to be likable at all costs. You care more about what other people think of your choices than what you think. Maybe think about it this way, how are you supposed to be the CEO of your own life if you are always second guessing you and checking in with your secretary before you make any big moves? Here’s the thing, that puts the secretary in charge of the company that is attached to your name. So essentially, you gave so much of your stock to other people that you don’t even own your life anymore, they do. They are running your show. Make sense? Not necessary. Start making a game plan that doesn’t factor everyone else’s feelings and needs into the equation.

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I remember being a kid on the playground and hearing girl’s taunting that another girl “loved herself”. It was meant to insult and poke fun, it was meant to say a girl was vain. I think women especially have a tendency to get together and individually confess our faults or flaws. Culturally, we are expected to never be happy with our bodies or our relationships.  Think about a time when you were with a group of girlfriends and one girl started to complain about her thighs, another joined in support by complaining about her gut, another her sagging breasts and yet another, complained about her flat butt. Suddenly everyone feels better about being flawed and equally insecure. If in that same scenario, one girl spoke up and said, I think you all look great and then went on to say that she loved her thick thighs and tiny breasts, every other girl in the room would think that girl was being fake or vain. That is where those little girl’s learned it, they learned it from grown women who complained about their bodies. We learn from the start that we will be more relatable, more accepted if we hate ourselves than if we love ourselves, flaws and all. 

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Schoolgirls dance in front of the mosque. Cordoba, Spain. 1954 photo by Inge Morath

I bet that lone girl that loved herself thrived as an adult. When we truly love ourselves, when we appreciate the things that make us who we are, including the mistakes that shaped us. When we love ourselves, we deem ourself worthy of love. We teach people how to treat us. When you constantly drown yourself in shame and regret, your insecurities and weaknesses will hide you. It will hide you from the love and the life that you are totally worthy of. Be the kid on the playground that loved themselves.

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Love to you, especially you,

A

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3 comments

  1. Love this post, thank you for sharing! I’ve been on a path of forgiveness and though still a challenge, this post reminds me to keep it up.

    Ana at The Asian Destination
    http://theasiandestination.com/

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