On Forgiving Yourself

I’ve been ‘real’ a lot on here lately but this isn’t a bad thing.  I woke up this morning wondering why I’m judge, jury and executioner when it comes to my own achievements or failures.  Need it be that way?

To reprise a bit, I have some well-documented self-esteem issues.  These have gotten a lot better in recent days, but as with most things, ‘getting better’ is a process.  There are good days and bad challenging days.  Sometimes I’m the bug, sometimes I’m the windshield.

Sometimes I’d rather wallow in a pool of self-pity than owning up to the fact that I’m actually pretty badass, and the implications that entails… and that’s fine.

That isn’t to say that wallowing in said pool is as productive as generally being a badass.  While wallowing, I have successfully procrastinated on a great many things both in hobby and real life, perhaps missing opportunities that may have been pretty awesome.  In some cases the time elapsed on this self-immolation is years.  Then the sheer weight of the time elapsed becomes the reason why its allowed to persist, and down the spiral goes.

For example, it took me 3 years to finish painting these guys for no other reason than I wasn’t sure how they’d turn out.

I have other examples both professionally and socially, but this is one simple example.  I’ll leave it there for now…

What I’m trying to get at is that there’s no sense wallowing in the fact that I spent a day (or month, or year, or decade) wallowing.  In order to get out of that vile pond I need to forgive myself.

Oof.

That’s a hard undertaking.  I’ve done a lot of things I shouldn’t have, and haven’t done a lot of things I should have.  I’ve read a lot about the topic, and for me anyways, this quote best takes a sledge hammer to those well established institutions of self-loathing:

“Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past.” – Lily Tomlin

That’s some good stuff there.  I need to remember the past is behind me, and I’ve made it this far.  Life is pretty good now, so there’s little to no sense holding my old failures as the gold standard.  All it serves as is a boat anchor around my neck, reminding me of how awful I was (or am, if it is allowed to continue).

Smash that way of thinking – forgive myself – and start getting stuff done.  It’s in the past, leave it there.  I’m a new me now.

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