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Forgiving Yourself: Making Peace With Yourself

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It was a beautiful summer evening. The earth’s thirst had been quenched by a hearty drizzle in the afternoon. The sky was light grey with a tinge of orange left by the setting sun. Elena was driving the car with her mother in the backseat arranging some papers. She had got her driver’s license the day before and was obviously excited about it.

Everything was fine, her favorite song was on the air, and she was yapping about all that had happened in school. She was absorbed in discussing her dress for the homecoming dance over the phone with her best friend when her mother told her to look out, and by the time she could understand what was happening their car was hit by a truck that was hydroplaning. Everything went black for Elena then. Three days later, she opened her eyes in the hospital to find out that her mother had passed away in the accident.

Her world had gone upside down that day. She cursed herself each day for what had happened. Every night she cried herself to sleep, saw her dad as a broken man and her younger sister lost. Guilt and regret infused the air she was breathing. She loathed herself, for she was the reason her mother wasn’t there with them. She went into depression for several months wherein at times she exhibited violent behavior. She even tried committing suicide twice, but was saved.

Something so devastating cannot be denied or forgotten. We all know that we have to move on, as should Elena, but the incident has left a mark on her soul. In order to move on, she should first embrace the reality and then forgive herself.

What is Forgiveness?

Forgiveness is letting go of the grudges you might have towards someone or even yourself for something offensive or remorseful, and it also involves an enhanced understanding of hurtful and anger-inducing events. Forgiveness is a boon that you shower upon yourself, acknowledging the fact that you are human and supposed to be imperfect.

“Forgiveness is the scent that the rose leaves on the heel that crushes it.”
– John Arnott

What Does “Forgiving Yourself” Mean?

Forgiving yourself doesn’t mean exempting yourself from all guilt or consequences of your actions, but embracing the reality, accepting it and moving on. Instead of letting your guilt, anger, and shame break you down, accept the facts and try improving yourself. Stop trying to change your past, and make peace with it instead. You owe it to your loved ones to be strong. 

It is a decision that you have to make because if you don’t, you’re just marring yourself. The way you see yourself is very different from the way others see you. You see yourself as a loser, a sinner, while others may depend on you.

Elena needs to come in terms with her grief, get over her guilt, and accept herself. She can’t run from her past or change it; what she must do is learn to love herself again. Only then will she be able to forgive herself and move on with her life.

Concede the fact that we are humans and are bound to make mistakes, and forgive yourself.

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About Jill Magso