Day 73 S-366-LYDoG:
Today I am so thankful for the power of forgiveness. I’m sure we’ve all experienced the freedom that comes when we choose to forgive someone who has done us wrong. I know that I have and yet, I’ve also found that it is one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do as well. It is never easy to take that step back and offer forgiveness, especially if that person shows no remorse for the damage they’ve done.
There are many other types of forgiveness. Sometimes it is easy when the other person or persons involved are repentant, or the damage is slight. Often we may find ourselves needing to be the recipient of such forgiveness. Both instances require great humility and compassion.
What I’ve been thinking about most today, though, is the kind of forgiveness we must learn to give ourselves. I don’t know about you but, I am so very hard on myself. I can guarantee that I will beat myself up more thoroughly than anyone whom I’m offended might. I have a hard time accepting my humanity. Why am I not perfect? Why is it that I spend so much time with my silly foot in my mouth? What is wrong with me that I cannot seem to stop making the same stupid mistakes over and over and over?
I’ve decided that, for me, the most difficult person to forgive is “yours truly.” I’ve wondered a lot lately about why that is. Often I discover that, in the end, the person that I’ve been beating myself up over has no idea that I felt like I was mumbling around my foot to begin with. Or maybe they do and are too polite to say so but, the point is this; I have lived most of my life under the falsehood that any mistake I make, any wrong I commit knowingly or otherwise, is utterly unforgivable.
Do you ever feel like that?
The silly thing about that ideology is that I’m also a Christian and as such I believe in the Atonement of my Savior, Jesus Christ. Further, I believe that through that Atonement I am totally and completely forgivable.
Or do I truly believe that?
I must have some lingering doubt in my mind if I am willing to be so brutally hard on myself. I don’t want to use the excuse that “I’m only human,” in order to get away with bad behavior either but, when am I going to come to terms with the fact that I am only human?
I thought a lot about that throughout the Sabbath today wondering how I might summon the faith to truly believe that the Atonement works for me just as it does for all mankind. I thought I understood that until I realized how I’ve been withholding forgiveness, not from a friend or neighbor, but myself. When that realization hit me, I stood in front of the mirror and caught just a glimpse of who my Father in Heaven must see. I think he sees my beauty; I know he sees my soul; I know that his vision of me is derived from his perfect love for me. I think that if I can learn to see myself the way he sees me, I will soon realize that forgiving myself is the most freeing experience of all.
Here’s to bygones, of which I will learn to let be bygones … for myself.