It can be a challenge to give ourselves the very thing that can free us. The key to our salvation many times is to look at ourselves in the mirror and to see ourselves as human. Many of us hold ourselves to a very high standard, one which cannot be readily achieved. Many of us as children were held to a high standard by adults in our lives, standards that were often either age-inappropriate or ones that the adults who were imposing them upon us could not themselves achieve.
When we have missed our mark, when we did not clear the bar, we were often assaulted with guilt that we learned to then turn upon ourselves, creating layers of shame. Unfettered, we continue to carry these burdens upon our backs. Looking down at our feet as we walk through life narrows our vision and keeps us from seeing ourselves as we truly are: infinite.
To gain perspective and to release ourselves of these burdens, we must begin to loosen the straps and unpack the rucksacks. Sorting out the truths from the untruths, we can begin to lift our heads up high and to live our lives in this moment; without living in the pain of the past or in fear of the future.
It takes trust in ourselves to be able to see from the perspective of an adult the things that we have seen from the perspective of a wounded child. By learning to forgive ourselves of our own trespasses, we learn to forgive others, too.
Clearing out is a process, much like cleaning out a room or closet that has stored unwanted objects that have collected over our lifetimes. Once the decision is made to start clearing away the dust, the clutter, the cobwebs, and all of the unwanted and unneeded stuff, you begin your journey of self-discovery. That which no longer serves you, once cleared away, reveals to you the lovely gifts you have within you to share with the world.
This journey can begin with these three simple and effective words that can often be difficult to utter, “I forgive myself.”
Just know that the sooner you start, the sooner you begin to stop accumulating self-hatred. The sooner you begin to see yourself with compassion. The sooner you begin to love yourself.
How long have you suffered from the guilt and shame laid upon your face like a heavy, wet blanket by yourself and others? How long do you plan to carry around these burdens? When you make a mistake, how many times does your family remind you of something “wrong” you did as a child, a teenager, a young adult or decades ago? How many times do you tell yourself that you were bad, or you made a stupid choice?
We all walk around with sacks on our backs that are filled with unprocessed guilt, shame and unforgiveness from yester-years. Let’s learn to unburden ourselves of that which no longer serves us.
Unforgiveness, splinter in your breastbone, lives there lodged like a small tree. Withers in winter, blooms in spring. Its fruit is sweet on first bite, then turns into the taste of your own flesh.
― Katerina Stoykova Klemer,
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