Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What Do You Do When it Hurts? (Reaching Out)

Sometimes I wonder if anything in this world sucks more than being unable to forgive yourself. When confronted with the past, too often we make the decision to hold on to what we've been through, and we let it drag us down into the muck and the mire. We wallow in and wrestle with the anger until we are so covered with pain, regret, hopelessness and hurt that we no longer recognize who we are...

Yesterday was a really tough day for me. Yesterday I had the chance to have a conversation with someone I care deeply for, and I had the chance to apologize for some things that should have been made right a long, long time ago. Having the chance to say "I'm sorry" is a beautiful thing. Knowing you're forgiven is a beautiful thing... and forgiving yourself is a beautiful thing... but forgiving yourself... why is it so difficult?

I don't want hold on to the past and I don't want to beat myself up about things. So how do you live with the fact that the cycle of abuse you were sucked into caused you to make decisions that hurt others deeply? How do you forgive yourself for wounding someone you love?

My regular readers know that this entire process has been nothing but a public display of my healing, a complete transparency of thought and process and a look inside the mind of someone who is facing her demons, fighting her demons, and doing her best not to run from her demons. Since this is such an honest effort to give other survivors a glimpse into the reality of the healing journey, I'm doing things a little differently today. Remember when I preached at you all about reaching out for help? Remember when I told you to NEVER be too proud to say you need guidance? I'm reaching out today. It's that time for me. I need guidance and I need some strength. Help me feel my way through this. With today's blog I want to pose a question to you: How do you forgive yourself when the going gets so tough that you can't find your smile?

Until next time... I'm holding onto hope.


Tracie said...

The fact that you are able to hold onto hope shows just how far you have come! As for forgiving yourself....these are my usual steps. I look at the situation and admit to myself exactly what I did wrong. I also look at the situation, as you said, the cycle of abuse, so that I can have a real understanding of what was going on int hat time and why I did what I did (it doesn't always excuse my behavior, but I find it important to understand the situation fully or it will continue to capture my thoughts and hold me captive) Then the final step, which I will share because I know you're a Christian, so this applies to you.....Sit down quietly with the Lord and ask Him for forgiveness. Did He forgive you? Of course He did! Are you going to continue to hold something against yourself that God has already removed the stain of? No! But you are going to think of it again.....every time it comes up, you say, "That is over now, and I'm not going there with it" and then you put on some music and you dance it out. You call a friend and you have a good talk (about fun things!)because you are worth forgiving! You are a special spectacular person who deserves to be able to move on with her life! Not forgiving yourself is like locking yourself in a tower and refusing to open the door. Everyone is waiting for you to come have the key! Don't let yourself stay locked in that tower, there is big stuff going on out here and the rest of us want you to be a big part of it!

Angels Undercover and Undiscovered said...

I think time will help. But realizing that everyone in this world has made choices that they later regret and accepting that as ok is a first step to forgiving yourself. I have much trouble with this too. I have to always remind myself that no one is perfect, and we can be driven to choose something we later regret due to things like miss communication. If we truly do not understand the situation before us on all levels, emotionally, mentally etc, how can we make a wise choice? In this I find forgiveness for myself. I also understand that life is full of these choices every day. And I know that I've got to pick the wrong one every once in a while at least. But I also hope, that even when I pick a wrong choice, it some how, that I can not tell, has affected the world in some sort of positive manner. Maybe I accidently upset a person, but maybe that person from that experience was then able to look deeper inside themselves and learn about themselves, or even just learn how to deal with the world and the choices people make. I know this is kinda outside of the box but I hope it helps.~Sydney

Meggs said...

Tracie and Sydney, I think I needed to read EXACTLY what you both had to say. I'm trying to feel it and let it go but it hurts. Bad. really bad. I know it will get better but at this moment I've got to rely on my friends to pull me through. I feel lost. Thank you both.

Lori said...

Megan, we tend to blame ourselves for things that were either not in our control or that weren't as bad as we ourselves believed they were. We sometimes carry heavier burdens than we should, than common sense or logic dictates. I think this is true especially of survivors. Forgiving yourself in such a case is a matter of accepting that it wasn't truly your fault, or that you couldn't help it for whatever reason. It's important not to allow yourself to exaggerate the impact or your part in whatever happened.

The main thing, I feel, is to evaluate the circumstances honestly and accept what you should then let the excess go. In dealing with what's left, you need to look inside your heart. Search your soul and ask what your intention was. Consider what frame of mind and emotions you were in at the time. Compare it to your feelings and intentions now. Are you the same person? If not, is it because you've made better choices with your life and worked at coping and healing the aspects that were bringing you down, affecting your behavior?

Who you are now is the person you need to embrace. You can't change who you were in the past, or erase the things you feel terrible about. But you can let it go and forgive her, because she was still you and you are not a bad person. Looking in your heart will tell you that.

We all make poor choices at times, no matter how far we come. We just need to accept that we're imperfect and capable of messing up and get over it. Feel a bit bad when things go wrong, but don't blow it out of proportion. And give yourself credit for what you're doing right!

Boo said...

Megan, i'm so glad you reached out.
I think forgiving oneself is an ongoing process. Sometimes, it's okay to just accept that you can't forgive yourself yet but that you want to.
One thing that helps me is a loving kindness meditation.
You can google it... sharon salzberg has one that I really like...
Good luck. You're doing good. You're not faulty or broken. You're human.

Meggs said...

You all have no idea how much I love you. I mean REAL, sisterly, my-LORD-what-would-I-do-without-you LOVE! Squishes!!!

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