Ever wonder why it’s easier to forgive others than ourselves? If you are anything like me, you beat yourself up for the most simple transgression. We can so easily forgive family members and friends, but forgiving ourselves is another story. We are hardest on ourselves, and yet we would easily and kindly forgive our family and friends.
Why do we do this? If we can forgive a friend, a family member, a stranger; we can forgive ourselves. I’ve had the great privilege of good people in my life; really wonderful people. I have looked up to them and wondered how they came to be so good, so understanding, so loving and so completely real.
I am sure that there were times when they felt they could never forgive themselves for one thing or another. But somehow they found peace in doing so. Then there were people in my life who could not and would not forgive. It became both sad and ridiculous to hear them say that they no longer saw this person or that person because they couldn’t forgive something they said or did. I watched as their lives became so circumscribed that eventually there were no friends at all.
It becomes a measure of pride for some people to hold a grudge. It’s kind of a Hatfield and McCoy everlasting feud; it goes on for so long that everyone forgets how and why it started in the first place. Forgiveness becomes not so much an act of duty, but of the sheer relief of just letting go of grudges.
Forgiving others is a great thing. But forgiving ourselves is life-saving.