Girl big jump under heart clouds

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We are often told the key to happiness is forgiveness. We forgive others, not for their benefit, but for our own. I’ve spent a lifetime forgiving people. I’ve never been a grudge-holder, so forgiveness has (for the most part) come fairly easily for me. Or so I’d thought.

Yesterday, I had an afternoon visit with a new friend. We chatted about the importance of defining our needs. What do we need to make us happy? Most of this discussion was in the context of writing. What do I need to do to get back to working on my novels?

I admitted that much of what was holding me back was a feeling that I needed to complete my works-in-progress before I moved on to something new. This is no major revelation. I’ve long known this was a problem for me, that my belief that I had to finish what I started was holding me back from moving forward. I knew guilt over these incomplete projects was hampering my writing. Guilt about disappointing my few (very few) fans by failing to complete my Spellbringers series as promised. Guilt about not following through on my commitments. Guilt about not writing at all.

I began to examine other areas of my life where guilt had taken over. And that’s when I had a major, life-changing revelation. Guilt has impacted every area of my life. I’ve carried guilt for every single thing I’ve ever done and I’ve made decisions accordingly. I’m so afraid of hurting someone’s feelings, I never say no. I never speak up for myself. I never voice my own needs. I’d rather inconvenience or harm myself than say no to someone else.

There are people in my life who know this about me. They have used this against me and manipulated my feelings to get what they want. These are people who have harmed me in the past, and I’ve forgiven them. Some, I’ve allowed to harm me again.

Today, I decided to forgive myself. It’s great that I’ve forgiven others, but now it’s time to be compassionate and kind to myself. I forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made in the past. All of them. I forgive myself for the times I’ve been unkind to others. I’ve made reparations. It’s over.

I forgive myself because I’m worth it. I forgive myself because I’m human and we all make mistakes. I deserve to be happy. I deserve to have a good life full of creativity, friendship, and love. I don’t need to apologize to anyone for my decision to live life for me.

For those of you who are struggling with guilt, let it go. I know that’s easier than it sounds. I’ve reminded myself a hundred times today that I forgive myself. I’ve whispered it in my mind. I’ve said it out loud. And now I’m saying it to all of you.

I forgive myself. I hope those of you who are carrying the burden of guilt can do the same. Forgive yourself. You are worth it. You are important. You deserve happiness.

5 thoughts on “Forgiveness

  1. Oh wow Tricia. Your post hit a nerve with me, as I’m exactly like you. I carry around so much “guilt weight” that it can be completely exhausting. I feel guilty for everything in my life, even if there is nothing to be guilty for. I have sacrificed so much of who I am because I feel guilty for who I’m not.

    Forgiving yourself is so important. And so often we forget to forgive ourselves. Thank you for writing this post. It was incredibly touching, and I really do need to work on that forgiveness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for your comment. I’ve discovered forgiveness is an ongoing process, at least for me. Today, I’ve been beating myself up for not doing enough in the house, for leaving work early, for not paying enough attention to the kids, etc. My back is hurting so badly, I can barely walk, but I’m feeling guilty for all the things I’m not doing. Your comment reminded me about my vow to forgive myself. In this case, I’m feeling guilty for no reason!

      Like you said, we sacrifice so much of ourselves when we succumb to guilt. It truly is exhausting. And it’s destructive. Forgiveness is important, but so is being kind to ourselves. If we were as kind and compassionate to ourselves as we are to other people, our lives would be so different.

      I hope you are able to forgive yourself and let go of the guilt. You are worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

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