Day 31 of 45 Days of Courage

It takes courage to forgive yourself.

At different times in our lives, we look back on something we did, something we said, something we missed that we believe could have been different. What do we do when we recognize these moments?

I think it is a very human reaction to wonder how a doing something differently could have changed a situation. But the truth is, we can’t really know. We can’t change the past. We can’t go back. But we spend so much time beating ourselves up.

I spent the day yesterday with my school community, helping the people I work with and serve to begin to heal after a tragic loss. There were lots of tears and also some laughter. There were also lots of “what if”, “could I have” and “I should have” questions and wonderings. “What if I had said something different during that last conversation?” “Could I have missed something?” “I should have seen that something was wrong.”

But the truth is, we couldn’t. We have hundreds of interactions with people every day. And it will take courage for all of us asking those questions to forgive ourselves. Part of forgiving ourselves is accepting that we did not know what we did not know until we lived through it. And now that we know, we can learn and grow and do something else moving forward. However, healing and moving forward can only happen once we are able to forgive ourselves.

I recently recognized that I was behaving very badly toward someone I perceived was harming me. I asked for forgiveness and while she has not accepted my apology, I also hadn’t forgiven myself. I am now ready to forgive myself. And I will find the courage to do so.

What do you need to forgive yourself for? Can you find the courage to forgive? Will you try, with me, today to offer yourself some grace and begin to grow and learn and become more of who you are meant to be?

It may take time. My grieving friends may need time to process what happened before we get to a place where we can offer ourselves forgiveness.

If you need help today, please reach out.

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