When you think about bad habits, some thoughts that may come to mind are drinking in excess, smoking, or having too much ice cream before bed. I’m guilty of one or two of those habits, but I’ve actually had the most trouble with a certain issue I’ve battled for the majority of my life.
We have all made choices that have brought pain to ourselves and others. I’m not the type of person who is too stubborn to apologize when I’m wrong, and I’m not one to hold a grudge after someone has apologized. My problem is different. After realizing I’ve done something wrong or wronged someone, I have a difficult time forgiving myself. Even when the situation or the person involved is long gone, I keep my mistake alive in my thoughts, and I enter a self-inflicted loop of blame.
Obviously, when you make a mistake, you have to deal with consequences. In my case, I lost a friend. When you make a mistake, the goal is to learn from it and change, not punish yourself forever. Somehow, I have always felt in debt to the person I hurt, and I had to put up with them throwing it back in my face. Once you can’t handle this toxic behavior from another person and their guilt trips, the next step is cutting off the relationship with that person.
Here is where my problem or "bad habit" comes into play. In my situation, not only did I not see they had not forgiven me, but I also had not forgiven myself. If that was the case, I wouldn't have guilty emotions that would make me pick up the phone or answer a negative message because I care what they think. "If I don't answer, that will make me seem like a bitch all over again." This mode of thinking and doing would throw me back in the cycle of feeling like a piece of shit again.
The first thing that helped me on my path toward self-forgiveness is recognizing this bad habit. I used to care too much that someone would think I was a bad person. Deep inside, I know I’m not. I know I’m another human that makes mistakes. If someone can’t forgive you after you apologize and forgive yourself, the problem is within them, not you!
I HAD TO LET THAT SHIT GO.
The same way I had to learn compassion for others, I had to have compassion for myself as well. You can’t change the past, but you can change your negative behaviors for the future.
I'll leave you with this quote:
“Do as the heavens have done, forget your evil; With them forgive yourself.”
If God forgives, why can’t you?