I don’t know if it’s just me but every time I hear the word “forgiveness” my mind goes straight to the Don Henley song “Heart of the Matter.” So I would like preface this post by saying that “Heart of the Matter” was playing on repeat while I wrote this…Anyway…
In the time between my much needed date night with my husband and the next morning where he was violently throwing up due to a fierce stomach flu (fun!) we decided to sit down and peruse good ‘ole Netflix. After flipping through all of the options we agreed on watching Kevin Hart’s “I’m A Grown Little Man.” I laughed a lot throughout the movie from his story about his run in with gnats, and the ostrich, but my favorite part was when he got to talking about him and his wife and what makes them tick. This was when he said this little line that made me laugh at first and then it became stuck in my head all week….While talking to “women” he said:
“Stop forgiving men for stuff, and after you forgive ’em, then forget that you forgave ’em and talk about the shit you already forgave them for. And get mad about it! Stop doing that. You forgave them. Forgive them!”
Dan started laughing right away and I kind of did the little side-eye guilty look. When we caught glances we both laughed. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of this. That inappropriate thing that he said in front of everyone 3 weeks ago? Haven’t let it go. Even though I said I forgave him. Thinking about it made me laugh even more because the things I “hold on to” with him are kind of dumb in the scheme of life. Normally I feel like I can forgive and move on…Normally. But there is one person that I have had a very hard time of forgiving and letting them move on and I didn’t realize that until I heard this. I, for some reason, have a very hard time forgiving myself for things I’ve done and moving on above anyone else.
When I looked up the word “forgiveness” I came upon this definition:
“Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.”
Up until now I was under the false impression that I forgave myself for putting back on all of the weight that I had worked SO hard to get off in the first place. I was wrong. According to this definition I didn’t forgive myself at all. Did I change the feelings of resentment toward the person that I thought I was? No. Did I let all of those negative emotions and thoughts go? No. In fact, I struggle daily with a little inner voice that still tells me that I am not good enough and I should have never been back here in the first place. I constantly think about how disappointed I am at myself for getting back to a place where I said I never would. Yes, I am working on it and slowly chipping away at my “damage” and HAVE to push that voice away daily in order to move toward my dreams and all that I hope to achieve. But there are some days that the inner voice wins and I start a small decline of negative thoughts. Some days. But there are also some days that my stronger and more determined thoughts win and I come out ahead. Sometimes I believe that this actual negative voice is justified and if I didn’t have these self-doubts that I’m going to forget how bad I felt and get there all over once again. It’s really a vicious cycle that I haven’t examined much until this quote.
If we can forgive so easily when it comes to others, why can’t we do this with ourselves?
Well, I’m sure that’s because we are all harder on ourselves than anyone else we know, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try. Pertaining to my weight gain/loss, which is what I beat myself up most about, I really do examine so many things that were reasons why I got to where I was and start to see why I shouldn’t be so tough on myself. I didn’t have enough knowledge on the subject so my calories were too low to maintain. This bad thing happened and then this other bad thing happened and I didn’t know how to handle it. The list goes on and on. Maybe I shouldn’t be so rough on myself…So today I’m going to try to finally forgive myself for a years worth of doubt and worry and damage and focus on rebuilding and forgiving myself. NOT bringing up something that I already forgave myself for or getting mad about it. If I forgive myself. Then I forgive myself. It’s done. No more bringing it up. Is this going to be hard? HECK yes. But I know that it won’t get any better unless I try.
To anyone else out there feeling this way: Treat yourself like a good friend and I hope you can forgive yourself for whatever it may be and move on. Life it too short to live in resentment. All we can do is try.
P.s. Austin. I finally forgive you for adding some choice words onto my “Anna” label on my protein powder a million years ago….Haha Just kidding. I actually thought this was just as funny then as I do now.