Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Forgiving Ourselves

I had lunch yesterday with a friend of many years.  This is an extremely emotional time for her.  She recently lost a former husband who was a dear friend, and she is racked with guilt regarding decisions she made over 25 years ago.

We are taught at a very young age to say we are sorry and to forgive those who push us, grab our toys and say unkind things to us.  But, we are never taught to forgive ourselves.

Many of us take on burdens that we don’t own.  Things we do in our youth that might be selfish, self-serving or just plain surviving. Does that make us responsible till the day we die for the actions and choices of the people in our lives?

Most parents spend years blaming themselves for the decisions their children make as adults.  But, the reality is we really do the best we can with what we have at the time.  Wisdom comes from experiencing, acknowledging and hopefully learning.

Forgiving others and moving on is an important part of life.  Forgiving ourselves?  This is truly the best gift we can ever give ourselves.  We all make mistakes. 

I was going through a relationship break-up several years ago.  I was feeling so guilty and sad.  I knew I made the right decision, however, I couldn’t get past that I was hurting someone who I cared about.

One of my best friend’s husbands said to me “Roni, take whatever responsibility you want, then forgive yourself and move on.”  This was not as difficult as I thought.  After all, I am human and we all have flaws.