“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much” – Oscar Wilde
As forgiveness goes, I’ve never done well in that department. In fact, I consider myself to be inexorable rather than forgiving; towards everyone that has ever hurt me, and especially to myself. Bottom line: I don’t do well when it comes to forgiving people for their evilness. Or myself for my mistakes.
So how funny is it when you enter a new age shop and there’s a whole stack of rectangular, plastic cards lying in front of you with a sign above them that says: “pick a card for your daily word of advice,” and you pick the card that reads: Forgiveness.
Hilarious, right? Right! Because the thing is, even though forgiving people is not my forte, I’ve recently discovered I find it easier and easier to let things go (and no, not just because of the song! This has been a quiet, silent process within myself that’s been happening steadily over the last couple of years). Letting go of things that trouble you mean they lose their grip and therefore cease to negatively affect you. It causes relaxation to take over from stress, and that’s great! So I’ve been trying to apply this new method of thinking to more situations and it gets easier (although I’m still no expert at it).
But forgiving… now that’s another story. But when walking back to my mum’s car, me and her discussed our words of the day. And out of the blue I said: “I think mine means I need to forgive myself.”
This was strange for two reasons: 1) I had no intention of saying that, yet I did, and 2) when I said it, I felt I meant it.
I can be angry at certain family members, but that’s nothing but wasted energy. I can stay mad at people telling me what to do with my life, even though there’s no way I’d want mine to be anything like theirs, but that’s just time badly spent. I can stay upset over someone who decided I no longer matter to them, but that’s done and in the past.
So if I do need to forgive someone (according to the card), who is it then? The answer is it can only be me.
I’m so mad at myself for not being the person I want to be, even if I’ve made a lot of progress. I can be upset if maybe my mouth isn’t as big as I wish it was (at times I swear I wish I was a meaner person and not
a doormat so well-raised), but maybe being passive-aggressive rather than just aggressive isn’t so bad, either. At least I have a certain level of decency and a good mind, not many people (at least not in some of my surroundings) can say the same.
I can be really, really upset about not being able to do what I promised my dead aunt I’d do, although it’s futile.
But secretly this is what gets to me most. I made a deal with her and I want to keep my end of it. And I can’t. Not because I don’t want to, but because it’s being made impossible. And I thought I’d let that go, but I’m guessing I didn’t.
Maybe letting go isn’t good enough in some cases. Maybe this time I need to tell myself that I did well, even if the outcome isn’t what I wanted or strived for. I don’t need my aunt’s forgiveness, I need my own. And I’m not sure I can give it to myself. You know, being inexorable and all…
But how DO you forgive yourself? If you know the answer to that, please share it with me.