On Forgiveness

There have been many times in my life where people have either intentionally or unintentionally hurt me. I am not unique in this experience; we all trip sometimes. My difference tends to be that I have an abundance of forgiveness for the crack in the pavement that sends me hurling toward the sidewalk, but last night I finally learned something incredibly important.

Perhaps the crack has always been there, or has been their longer than I’ve been traveling my path. Perhaps I could have seen it and avoided it if I had paid attention to where I was going; I could have taken more notice of what was around me, what was ahead of me, and what was inside me. But even with numerous precautions, sometimes we trip. It may be only a stumble, or it may be a full-on sprawl, drawing blood and forming bruises. In the end, my habit of tripping has always been the same; I internalize the pain, so no one can see how much I hurt. I pick myself up, brush myself off and lock this misfortune deep inside my mind. I completely forgive the crack in the sidewalk, and keep going on my path, hoping that no one is the wiser.

I’ve always missed an extremely important step, because I didn’t realize that instead of numbing the pain, this step would remove it. Sure, the side effects might include tears, or people knowing that I fell and how hard, but instead of icing my wound, this step heals it.

Last night I learned to forgive myself. Instead of taking all the blame for the crack in my path, because I can always logically explain its existence, which causes me to acknowledge its purpose and absolve it of its sins against me, I have finally opened my heart to allow myself some of that abundance of forgiveness that I have given to others in the past. Perhaps some people didn’t deserve it, but I gave it anyway. If I share my forgiveness with someone who intentionally threw me at the sidewalk, I should be able to extend that courtesy to myself; however, I’ve always interpreted their shove as my fault, as though I have some inherent flaw that makes sense as to why I deserved to fall.

Not anymore. I still have a myriad of forgiveness for those in my life who misstep over their own cracks and bump against me, aiding in my downfall. Now, however, while I am forgiving them for my scraped knee, I can also forgive myself for my role in the fall.

The moment I forgave myself, I felt nothing short of hysterical bliss. It seems so funny that it took me so long to afford myself the same kindness I give to those around me, but I am truly grateful to have found this peace.

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