If You’ve Hurt someone, learn to Forgive Yourself
LIFE'S ESSENCE - Katherine R. Oyson (The Freeman) - July 21, 2019 - 12:00am

One afternoon while I was in my moment of solitude, I had a painful memory rushing through my mind.  I pictured those moments that happened many years ago when I was 13 years old.  I treated my first boyfriend badly because I wanted to break up with him. I threw away the engagement ring that he gave me. It swirled in the floor and made a thud sound as it stopped. My boyfriend begged for reconciliation but his words fell on my deaf ears. Tears fell down his checks. He left our house with his head down like a wounded soldier.

As the scenario recurred in my mind, feelings of guilt and shame hit me. I asked for his forgiveness, especially that he was now in another world with the heavenly Father. I said a prayer for his soul. I told him, “Wherever you are now, please forgive. Maybe I acted in that manner because of my tender age. Please forgive me.” As I uttered these words, tears welled up in my eyes.

How about you? Have you hurt someone and is not able to forgive yourself? Michael Davidson, of www.tinybuddha.com, shares his story: “We all make mistakes. Oftentimes, through our actions, somebody is hurt. During these past years, I served as a liaison between my fraternity and a 17-year old cancer patient in a local hospital through the Adopt-a-Family program. This patient, Josh Goldstein, passed away around the beginning of March. My responsibility as a liaison was to have a regular communication with Josh. I failed in this responsibility. In the month that Josh died, I was overcome by shame. How could I be so neglectful? Why did I not spend more time with him?... A strange thing happened. I realized that not only was I not going to forget Josh, but that I would never make the same mistake again.”

If you have not forgiven yourself for a mistake done, there are ways to forgive yourself. Davidson cites the following:

Accept yourself and your flaws. You are not perfect. You make mistakes. But you are also on a path of growth. Your mistakes and failures help you improve. You have to accept your flaws, if you are to make a progress in your life.

• Remember that you are not a bad person. You didn’t do something bad because you are a bad person, there was an intent, or valid motivation behind your action.

• Talk to someone. Sometimes you just need to get it off your chest. Talking to someone else about what is bothering you can have serious benefits.

As a final say, Davidson has these reminders:

“Forgiving yourself is far more challenging than forgiving someone else because you must live with yourself and your thoughts 24/7. Despite the challenge, emotionally healthy people must have the capacity to forgive themselves when they have made a mistake.

“Not forgiving yourself is like picking at an open wound. You are only making a bad situation worse. The wound is already there. Your reaction counts so you can stop it from getting worse. Forgive yourself.”

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