Self-forgiveness

Just the other day I had the opportunity to talk with a very dear friend about forgiveness. Thinking about our talk I realized how deeply important forgiveness is. Forgiveness of self is perhaps the most important action we can take that leads us to self-love.
I, like many of us right now, am going through what I call the dredging process. Old hurts, angers, misunderstandings, betrayals, are coming up for me to view. I have relinquished them to my imaginary alter and begin to feel they are banished only to have them appear later, even more intense and deeper than before. Learning to look at them again and feel the ache in my heart, has taken a great toll on my self-confidence. Trying to stay in non-judgment has been like walking on a balance-beam high above a swiftly moving river. And the way across is so long. Honestly, I have not known how to do this and move it from my mind to my heart.
The heart is the sanctuary of forgiveness, love, and peace. To forgive others is much easier to do than to forgive yourself. Often we are not aware of the possibility of being able to do this, nor do we see the importance of the need. After all, it is “only” me. Thus you discount your own importance and the reality that you are equally important in the equation of forgiveness. In fact the need to do this is very important. Self-realization is an important step on the path. Awareness of self and your needs is just as important as caring for others. In fact one cannot fully care for others if they cannot care for themselves. This was an important survival skill I had to learn while taking care of my children as a single parent. I realize now that I did the best I could with what I had to work with at the time. It was not much, but I learned to use it all. Still, I did not forgive myself for what I could not do, for what demand I could not meet, for disappointments I could not make right at the time. I felt like a failure and carried that all these years.
The task that I needed to perform was forgiveness and to relinquish the idea that I had to analyze it and still solve it. I needed to just realize I did my best under the circumstances with what I had to work with, and release it from my mind so it could travel to my heart where it can be released in the love of the source of all that is. It is that simple.
I am now aware that the mindset that I choose to carry determines the awareness that I experience in life. I choose self-forgiveness and love so that I can work in my world from my best point of view.
Namaste, Patti

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