Forgiveness. It’s something that seems like it would be so easy to do. We teach our children to forgive others, we forgive our partner for their hurtful words or actions, we find the grace to forgive our parents for doing the best they could, even if it wasn’t everything we needed. But even sometimes with these, forgiveness can feel difficult to grant.
What I have learned and continue to learn is that forgiveness of yourself is by far the greatest challenge. I have seen how easy it is to take on what I perceive to be someone’s thoughts or judgements of me and use them to criticize myself. This is the beauty of relationships and the healing that can be there if we allow it. Whether we realize it or not, every person has been brought into our lives for a reason. To teach us something, to help us grow in some way. To mirror back what we like or do not like within ourselves. The opportunity that we tend to miss is that we do not see these people as mirrors, but rather as separate.
Just the other day, I was talking to my mom and she was asking a lot of questions about something new I am doing with my work. I immediately went into a defensive mode and perceived these questions as questioning me and my decision making. When I was sharing how I felt with my husband, who is so much wiser than I ever give him credit for, he asked me if I could look at it, that she was being protective of me rather than questioning my decision.
In that moment, I had a choice. I could go down the rabbit hole of, “She doesn’t believe in me! She doesn’t think I can do this! She’s questioning my choices!” OR I could see her for the divine reflection that she was meant to be for me in that conversation. What she was really teaching me in that moment was to look at myself. All the stuff I wanted to put on her was really my thoughts and fears of myself. What if I fail? What if I am not enough? Who am I to say what I am saying and take up this space?
All the muck and yuck that is so much easier to put on someone else rather than face yourself. This was a miracle moment for me, a shift in my perception. To see love for myself instead of staying in this fear that I have hid behind for so long. Gabby Bernstein says it perfectly in her book May Cause Miracles, “Forgiveness restores my perception of myself back to love.”
Love dissolves the separation that you have created. Whether that be with your body, your partner, God or yourself. When you find forgiveness for this separation, you move out of fear and see all of what is abundantly available to you right now.