Having been thinking about the subject of condemnation and how insidiously this state of mind and heart works—almost certainly back upon itself from the “location” of self-condemnation—it’s logical to deduce the best advice is simply to forgive ourselves.
Gee, such a synch.
Why is it so hard then? Most people don’t even recognise they’re condemning people, so they have little understanding that it’s their own lack of situational self worth that’s driving it all.
Self-forgiveness. It’s a taboo subject, really. For anyone who expects to be held accountable for their ways, their work, their interactions and other deeds, holding something against yourself serves a logical purpose. It’s a sadistic sort of restitutive retribution. In other words, we get ourselves back; we redeem from ourselves the cause of wrong. It makes us feel better, or it’s supposed to. It seems strange that we do this, but it’s true. Our guilt and shame drive us to inordinate places.
To forgive ourselves takes a sort of self-believing courage—a boldness of self-love—that many people have grown up to be not comfortable with, and even in many cases, despise. It sickens some that they might be inclined to stick up for themselves, even long after others have forgotten about the issue. They can never let up and this is tortuous on the soul and spirit of the person in question.
Enough! Give up castigating yourself. You did the best you could at the time; and even if you didn’t—not foreseeing with wisdom, you deserve a second (or a sixty-second) chance. Give yourself a break. Everyone deserves a break.
Sometimes if we won’t step in and be our own advocate no one else will. Frankly, it’s nobody else’s responsibility. It’s ours alone.
If we have a practical inability to forgive ourselves we need to somehow learn how to be gentler with ourselves. This is a problem for some people. A solution probably lies somewhere within some sort of counselling relationship—it probably can’t hurt. After all, counsellors are simply holding a mirror up to us so we might readily see what everyone else sees to the negation of our negative self-talk.
We buy into our own psyches much too often. Our neuroses will be the death of us mentally, emotionally and spiritually—if we’ll let them. We’re in control here.
Forgiveness always begins with us, whether we’re forgiving others or ourselves—or any morphed reality between—it doesn’t matter. It requires of us acceptance, patience, adherence to truth, and finally, wisdom—wisdom to know what is best for us, and in that, for others too.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.