I read an interesting post about forgiveness, more specifically self forgiveness. But before going any further, let us first review the word’s meaning.
Self forgiveness would be the action or process of forgiving yourself. Quite simple.
Back to the post I was talking about, the author expresses her deepest shame and guilt of having done a friend wrong. Later on, she explains how those feelings have been eaten her up and how, although the friend could have forgiven her, the burden wouldn’t, nonetheless, be lift of her shoulders. Why? You’d ask yourself. Well, only because she never had forgiven herself for her offensive actions.
It made me think. I already knew how hard I was on myself. I reviewed all the times I bowed my head down before some people just because I felt so ashamed of having done something so bad to them, all the times I kept thinking how I dealt so badly with something and wanted to take it back. Remembered all the times, I could barely look at the other’s despising face whenever that person would lay eyes on me. And worst part is the flashback wouldn’t stop. I just kept finding and finding more memories of me acting disrespectfully, awfully, wrongly, horribly, badly toward undeserving people. I must sound like a real bitch right now. Truth is, I’ve been bitching around too much than I shouldn’t to. I surely need to polish my social kills. Most of the times, I would sincerely repent and apologize but even though that person would have forgiven me and moved on, I’d still be unable sometimes to look at them without feeling out of place and embarrassed. I’d talk to them like I usually do but would be blocked somewhere. It was pretty obvious now, I had scarred myself. Some ugly deep scars that would sting, bleed and open up sometimes. And I had learned to live with them, getting used to the itch and pain, applying some ointment later. I never really thought of getting rid of them. The burden was deserved and I should learn from my past errors and these were the perfect reminder. It was absolute certainty that I needed forgiveness though and I would rely on God, comforting myself that if I beg His forgiveness, and I know He will grant it to me, then I wouldn’t need anything else, because everything else is retribution and punishment.
Psalm 103:8-12 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
However, that blog kinda made me think out of the box. She wasn’t wrong, wasn’t she? Forgiving others takes a whole lot of strength out of us but it gives us peace and tranquility, so it’s pretty logical to make a spring clean and get rid of those skeletons in my closet. Therefore, I decided to surgically remove those scars. Nevertheless, those scars, as trees, have deep, solid roots. It would take all my energy and will to successfully carry out my mission.
And Gandhi couldn’t be more right. Getting back to the definition, you can see the synonyms include absolution, indulgence, dispensation and mercy, keywords that I would like to draw your attention to. These words reflected pretty much what I had to do :
– be indulgent on myself (I won’t stop making mistakes, there’s so much a human being can avoid)
– dispensation (erase those poor actions, they do not necessarily define me)
– seek absolution (I can and must forgive myself)
– have mercy
Sometimes I’d feel like I would only be giving myself excuses, excuses for not being too careful, so carefree with my words and actions. In times like that, I’d turn to this quote :
Be courageous enough to forgive yourself; never forget to be compassionate to yourself.
I finally understood that compassion toward oneself is not weakness, it’s acceptance and freedom from my sins. Because forgiving ourselves has the same effect than God forgiving us :
Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
Isaiah 1 : 18
Ultimately, in the words of a Christian website out there : “Forgiving yourself is essential. There is a tendency in all of us to hold ourselves more accountable than we do others. […] Perhaps you believe that forgiving yourself is not even a consideration because you think you must hold yourself in a state of constant remembrance, lest you forget.” […] But “Unforgiveness of oneself will bring self-destruction, a haughty spirit, and a fall.” […] Only “Forgiveness will bring peace.”
The post I was referring to :
The Power of Forgiveness –
The site I was referring to is :