Today, we're going to take a step forward, you and I.
I've written often about forgiveness over the past few years... how to extend it, how to find the strength to do so, how to jump over your hurts to feel it. But there's one place that, more than anything, I struggle with forgiveness. Forgiving myself.
No one can punish me better than I can. No one can draw it out longer. No one can berate right where it hurts in quite the way that I can... and do.
There are moments where I said things that I shouldn't have... things that hurt others. Those moments when I didn't hang onto my tongue before it went flying. There are decisions I made... sometimes just plain bad ones, but sometimes choosing one of two evils cost me friendships. And those I can replay over and over and over. The other options were just as bad... but maybe if I had chosen them...
It's not merely going over the what-ifs... it's repeating the belief that, because I didn't choose one thing, then I am bad. I recently had an interchange with my daughter who was telling me that she thought an old music idol was bad because of some choices he made. I told her that making bad choices doesn't make a person bad, it just means they made some unwise choices -- but it doesn't make them a bad person. And if we can have that sort of understanding about others, then why is it so hard for us to have the same understanding for ourselves?
Am I the only one who struggles with this? If you do too, I want you to take my hand today. Today, we're going to take a step on the road to self-forgiveness. I don't know what it is you did. I don't know the choice you made, and I don't need to know unless you want to tell me. But today, I'm telling you and I'm telling me that choosing what we did doesn't make us bad people. You made a choice, whether out of pure intent or selfishness, I don't know. But you made it. I made it. And it went wrong.
But you have a good soul. And because you do, that choice has eaten away at you. It's made you question so many things about yourself, about your very worth. And that doubt you feel... that doubt is all lies.
So today, we're going to stand together and we're going to take a step toward forgiving ourselves for being human and for being less than perfect. And for making a choice.