Friday, March 5, 2010

Can I Forgive Myself?

Why is it so much harder to forgive ourselves than it is to forgive others? That is because we hold ourselves to a much higher standard than we do other people. Take a moment when all is quiet and listen to our self talk... all the shoulds, the nevers and the always... we wouldn't talk like that to our children, our parents or our friends... but we all talk that way to ourselves.

The hardest part about forgiving ourselves is accepting that we are just like everyone else... we make mistakes, we screw up, we do stupid things that we regret. But because we hold ourselves to a higher standard in our minds, we somehow believe that we are capable of more... and we expect more of ourselves. So when we don't perform up to our own expectations we tend to crucify ourselves.

The hardest part about life is accepting reality when we don't like it. This is a part of reality we definately don't like... we aren't perfect, we never will be... we aren't supposed to be... that keeps us humble. When we accept that we are as flawed as others, and we bring that truth into our inner selves as a part of us... then we can begin to forgive ourselves.

Our kids may have been hurt by what they experienced as we made mistakes... mine certainly was... but he learned valuable lessons from me in the process... no one is perfect... not me, not his Dad and not him. He can accept that failure is a part of life and that when we get knocked down we get up and try again. That is an invaluable lesson... painful? Yes. But invaluable.

Our kids will learn that parents are human, they make mistakes and in the process there is pain. But, they will be able to accept that failure is an integral part of life to be expected and overcome with effort. They will see our efforts at rebuilding ourselves and their lives as a positive result.

Making mistakes and learning to forgive ourselves is all a part of being human... and isn't that the whole point?

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