Forgiving Yourself: A Personal Anecdote

Last week I struggled a little bit.  Our brand new 11 week old puppy got super sick and we had to take him to the vet.  Due to work Eric was unable to come with either of the days that our little Theodore was there receiving treatment, so when I brought him home, he had a ton of questions. A lot of which I didn't have answers to.  I felt like an idiot for not asking some of these obvious questions, but I was running on very little sleep from staying up with Theodore the night before, behind on work, and malnourished.  I really did the best I could given my current scenario.  We disagreed a little bit on his post-treatment routine and diet for the next few weeks and it made me flustered.   

This is Theodore! Isn't he precious??

This is Theodore! Isn't he precious??

This went on for a few days, and I became incredibly upset, NOT by the fact that were in disagreement, but because I was unable to control my emotions.  I felt like I should have been able to not take any of our conversations personally, and that I should have been able to choose my reactions.  We become upset not by what happens to us, but by how we react to the things that happen to us.  I felt like I had failed in my reactions.  These are the things I have been working on since returning home from Costa Rica over the last two months.  I know I'm not going to be perfect at it yet, but I felt scared that I might be "slipping" back into my old thought patterns.  Scary.

I took a moment to myself and picked up the spot I was at in "The Four Agreements" by don Miguel Ruiz.  The section I read could not have been more fitting for me.  Iboga definitely was there to remind me that I am NOT reverting to my old ways.  The few pages I read gave me everything I needed to continue on. The first page reminded me that we are all on a conquest of battling our negative thoughts and emotions and that we won't win every time.  There are tons of battles to fight, and we won't win every single one.  This made me feel immensely better.

The second was about forgiveness.  Ruiz says that forgiveness is the only way to heal.  I know we've all heard how it important it is to forgive others that have wronged us, but this talked about FORGIVING YOURSELF.  I had never thought about that before.  The section explained that once we forgive ourselves, then the self-rejection we have in our mind is eliminated.  Once the self-rejection is gone, then self love will grow and you will have self acceptance.

After reading that passage I put the book down, took a step back, and re-framed the entire situation.  So I wasn't able to control my reactions and emotions. Big Deal.  I won't win every battle, and I must forgive myself for not winning that one.  I immediately felt purified as if I had processed and released pent up negative emotions.  You can do this too.  Just try!  I used to be SO hard on myself, and it's actually something I am still working through, but giving yourself permission to forgive yourself for not being perfect is liberating!

Since that moment I was able to take what Eric was saying and interpret what he really meant.  We talked it through one more time, calmly and rationally, and it was completely resolved!

Begin the process of forgiving yourself.  Forgiveness is the key to your freedom!