it’s a pretty heavy topic around here & something that i’ve thought a lot about for a really long time.
i, like most people, can carry around a few guilty feelings.
things i feel bad about or ashamed of or embarrassed by.
they weigh us down & just feel heavy.
well, for me, most of my guilt came from the end of my marriage – surprise, surprise.
i was the one who left. i was the one that walked away. i was the one that ‘gave up on my marriage’ when according to some people in our lives, was when my husband ‘needed me most’.
oh yea. people actually said that to me. told me i was making the wrong decision & ‘ruining our lives’.
so, naturally, i carried that guilt around for months & i carried it all the way into my therapist’s office.
where i honestly thought we would talk all about my husband & how i could work through my feelings & eventually forgive him for all the horrible things he did to me & all the hurt he caused.
but you know what?
we hardly talked about him. like barely at all.
instead, we talked about me.
why did i feel bad about leaving?
why did i feel bad about getting angry over the lying? the drinking? the cheating?
why did i feel bad about ‘bugging’ him to go to counselling with me?
why did i feel bad for getting upset, crying, losing my temper?
i felt like everything was my fault & blamed myself for the end of our marriage, while at the same time i was mad at myself for sticking it out as long as i did.
that was a heck of a weird spot to be in, let me tell you.
some heavy duty forgiveness was needed.
so, i started therapy thinking i needed to forgive him – to move on, get rid of the bad energy & feel happy & weightless again.
but what i learned was that forgiving myself was much more important.
i had to stop punishing myself. stop berating myself. stop talking to myself like i was weak or pathetic or stupid or mean or miserable.
because i was none of those things.
i was a woman who had been living in a bad situation & was getting hurt each & every day. who was acting out of a place where i was broken & not myself.
now – this isn’t about passing the responsibility to somebody else or blaming him or not owning up the things i did.
i know the role i played & i know my side of the story, but i also know that i did the best i could at the time to make it through.
to make it to where i am now.
a place where i can see & more importantly feel how i needed to forgive myself.
and i can honestly sit here & say that i haven’t forgiven him & i no longer care to.
i’d much rather use my time & energy focusing on how i feel about myself & what i can do to continue to improve my life & move past the hurt i experienced.
so, if you’re struggling to forgive someone, please know that you need to forgive yourself & free yourself of that guilt.
you deserve that peace of mind, love & compassion that you’re trying so hard to give to someone else.