When I was younger and I heard this word.

I often thought of someone who had done something really bad and therefore the offended had every right to be angry with them forever.

Think about what the word forgiveness means to you.

I now understand the word has more to do with me more than anyone else.

In my life, I recognized the person most in need of forgiveness was who looked back through the mirror — me.

I did positive thinking, I let go of negative self-talk,

I surrounded myself with positive people, I focused on the success I wanted in the future and all these things did help.

Forgiving My Self

The one thing that stood out more than the rest was when I reached the point of being able to forgive myself.

“The remedy for life’s broken pieces is not classes, workshops, or books.

Don’t try to heal the broken pieces. Just forgive.”

— Iyanla Vanzant

I forgave myself for my mistakes, for not living up to my true potential, for settling for less than what I deserved, for giving up on myself and so the list continued.

As I freed myself from the perfection mode.

And accepting I didn’t have to be perfect, life took a very different meaning.

I felt true freedom.

The freedom to appreciate and love me

The freedom to live and though still making mistakes, to view it as learning steps on the journey of life.

The freedom to have permission to experience the wide range of emotions I may have with a situation, yet owning the emotion and then moving on.

Yes, freedom… the long sort after freedom that is elusive for most people their entire life!

This freedom bought tremendous peace.

And though at times life still throws valley experience, there is a lasting joy attained from forgiving oneself.

As a counselor, I see many clients struggling with this, they may be able to forgive an offender of whatever he or she may have done.

However, when faced with the reality that they must forgive themselves.

Forgiveness is More Than What You Think

They often view this as impossible to do.

And hold up themselves to standards that no human being should do.

Forgiving others has more to do with you than with them.

I have seen clients who live their lives holding on to resentment.

And bitterness for an event that in some cases occurred thirty plus years ago!!

When we get to the root of it.

It is recognized they may have done something similar themselves in the past to someone else.

Forgiveness Is Not Easy

Since they can’t forgive themselves, it is difficult to forgive others.

And so they stay in an emotional prison that results in physical ailments.

Forgiving is not easy. It never will be.

Popular belief has it that you need to forgive someone else first…

Forgiving yourself first makes it possible for you to let go…and then forgiving others naturally follows.

Your best life can be ahead of you but more than anything else to attain it forgive others and more importantly forgive you.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”

— Lewis B. Smedes