Learning to forgive those who have caused us irreparable harm can be one of the hardest things to do in life. But with God’s grace, it can be done, even after many years of suffering. It’s liberating to let go of the hurt and anger, even if those who have hurt us refuse to recognize the harm they’ve caused. But in forgiving them, we reclaim our power and refuse to be victims any longer. And as the Good Book says: Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those … you know the rest.
But learning to forgive yourself? Now that’s a different story. That’s a horse of a different color. That’s a hard pill to swallow.
But why shouldn’t we give ourselves the same gift we give to others when we forgive their trespasses against us? After all, what’s done is done. We can’t go back. If we could, we would all have done some things differently, but that is not an option. But we can grow spiritually from our mistakes, and become compassionate towards others who who fallen by the side of the road. Especially those who have made the same mistakes that we made. And we can even try to help others not to make those same mistakes. But if they do, as some inevitably will, we can be there for them to help them heal and grow, and learn to forgive themselves. We can reclaim our long lost innocence and become healing angels.
And best of all, we become less judgmental of our fellow human beings, knowing that we also needed God’s forgiveness. We recognize how easy it is to take a wrong turn in life and end up all alone, wounded and bleeding by the side of the road. But we’re really not all alone after all, since God is always with us. And in a special way, the masses of wounded souls who plod along with heavy crosses are also with us in spirit. We’re the ones Christ came to die for; we’re even the ones He hung out with. We’re the Magdelenes, ever grateful for that second chance.
And we will not be judged. Nor will we judge. We will only love and offer compassion. And empathy. And forgiveness.
We have forgiven ourselves.
We are free.