We’ve all heard it said, that forgiveness is more for you than it is for the other person. But what happens when there’s not another person in the equation? How do you go about letting go and forgiving something that has literally only to do with you?
This post is not to encourage one to push down and forget about your past, moving on as if nothing ever happened. Trust me, from experience, that will never work. It will come back up in many different ways throughout your life until you take the time to deal with it.
So what do you do? I wish I could tell you the answer. I can’t. But what I can do is offer you some steps that I am currently taking that I can say are working.
- Listen. Listen to those around you who are noticing the patterns that you think you’re doing well hiding. It will be hard, trust me. But if you are in a position to have loved ones tell you the hard things, don’t take that for granted. Listen and learn from their words. 100% of the time they can see what we are trying to avoid.
- Rip off the bandaid. Start the journey to better yourself. Don’t be defensive or have the victim mindset that you do no wrong. The poor me mentality is much harder to deal with than the work of forgiving yourself. I promise.
- Reflect. Take the time to sit with yourself and reflect on your words, your actions, your mind set, all of it. A thing that has helped me the most during this part is journaling. Even if the words don’t make sense, write your feelings. Write the things you can’t say to anyone. It allows you to have an outlet to release the things you’ve kept in for so long.
- Pray. Most important step of all. Pray for God to show you what you need to forgive. If you’re anything like me, you may have even forgotten some things you’ve done. It’s okay to pray for God to show you. It’s actually encouraged. I mean how can you be fully known by everyone around you if you aren’t fully known from within am I right?!
An important thing to remember is that this is a process. This kind of stuff takes time. Don’t expect to have one night of reflection for you to see a difference. Repeat these steps over and over and over until you can’t even recognize who you were. That’s the point and it is a beautiful thing. As you do these steps you will learn what you need to change in order to stop the cycle, all while accepting and forgiving yourself at the same time.
We can forgive ourselves because He has already forgiven us. Remember that (:
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”
1 John 1:8-9 (ESV)
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