I Forgive You

For selfish reasons, obviously.

Photo by Felix Koutchinski on Unsplash

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

I find it easier to forgive others than to forgive myself for things frozen in the past.

It’s easier for me to let go of hurt from others, mistakes that may have affected me negatively, things I had little or no control over but that placed other people in charge of an outcome I didn’t exactly find pleasing.

Then again, I find that most of these people don’t need my forgiveness. Apart from the fact that I am not a deity capable of bestowing divine retribution, the act of letting go is mostly for me.

When I forgive others, I benefit more than they do. I clear space and give room for future opportunities and growth.

The hardest kind of forgiveness I’m working on is forgiving myself.

It not only makes a lot of sense, but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. The freedom it brings, the lightheaded throb of a guilt-free relationship with oneself.

Attempting it, on the other hand, proves to be quite a struggle.

But it’s not impossible.

With practice and a dedicated effort to achieve the best of your time on earth, it’s possible to untether the chains of crimes past. Both on others and on ourselves.

When I feel the guilt or angst, I ask:

How does this help me now?

I always ask this question when I find negative emotions swell up. I notice that because I’m more logical in my thought process, I seek utility in every emotion.

This is how I can afford to stay offended in order to do something I care about. I don’t know how healthy this is, but it’s worked well for me more often than not.

The power of forgiveness lies in understanding that we can’t change our past lives.

That a change in perspective — extracting lessons from the ‘negative’ event and, finally, letting go — will provide a strengthened connection with self.

Like most valuable things, there is no one way that works for all, and it is not easy to do.

I’ve tried to fool the world but I never fool myself with how I feel.

I think self-forgiveness is the first step to self-love. When you can allow yourself to be free of past crimes, you allow yourself to open up for future opportunities. In a world where everyone has their battles to deal with, it is hard to fight for your dreams, pursue your goals, or survive the multiple hurdles that are inevitable on the road to achieving your personal legend.

When you find it in your heart to forgive yourself and realize that we deserve the kindness we seek, others can come to the light of gratitude projected from within.

This is hard.

Even as I write this, I can think of twenty things I need to let go of — things I cannot change and things I may never forget.

Every day that I take the time to accept that it’s okay to make mistakes, I find it easier to go through the process of self-forgiveness.

I know I will still make mistakes. Maybe some worse than the others.

I also know that if I can only give what I have. I don’t want to spend my life carrying grudges.

I don’t want the spirit of Christmas and New Year to find me in this unforgiving state.

I might as well empty my own basket 😉

“There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love” — Bryant H. McGill

What about you?

Written by

Cameroonian writer and video creator. Featured in LEVEL and P.S. I Love You. I write about building relationships and personal transformation.

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