The hardest task in life is forgiving ourselves. Why is that? Is it because things become so cleverly disguised; tucked safely away in the hidden recesses of our minds, that we are unaware of the need of forgiving ourselves?
Forgiving others is a simple task compared to the act of forgiving ourselves. We look noble and loving and down-right saintly when we choose to let someone else off the hook. And just so you know, I am aware that forgiving others has way more to do with our own stuff than it does with the person we need to forgive.
I am reminded of the song by Simple Plan a few years ago, Perfect. This is a song that a son wrote to his abusive father. “Now it’s just too late and we can’t go back, I’m sorry I can’t be perfect.”
We all have an unconscious expectation that we are supposed to be perfect, and when we mess up (and messing up is a given), we find it very difficult to forgive ourselves.
Is that the case with you?
Sometimes the need to forgive ourselves comes wrapped up as a need to forgive someone else. That has been my experience. When I have taken the steps to forgive, I am often left with a hollow, empty feeling, so I conclude that I didn’t really forgive that person after all. As I dig a little deeper and examine it a little more closely, I find that the person I need to forgive is me.
Unforgiveness isn’t a fun place to live. It may feel like a well-worn comfy sweater, wrapped around our lives, this familiar, safe-haven of our own unforgiveness. For to take it off and let it go means taking a risk, and taking a risk is an avenue few people choose to venture down.
It is necessary if we are ever to achieve the tasks that are set before us, and to step into the shoes to walk the higher path of life; then it is imperative to let go of the past and the mistakes we have made and forgive ourselves. As simple as that sounds, it’s the hardest thing we will ever do.
Living in unforgiveness is giving someone else power in our lives. Who has the power when the person you need to forgive is you?
It is more of a peeling away instead of putting aside, and often a choice that we must make again and again.
A difficult task to do alone.
A necessary task to be free.
Ask God for help.