How utterly, truly, cliché. Really. Dates me because I remember that song, Elton John stuck in head forever. I think what might be harder though is to say I forgive you – and mean it. Saying you’re sorry can be hard, but it’s really about what you’ve done. Telling someone you forgive them, well that’s about them. It’s about you releasing them from your heart. In reality, it releases you more than them because carrying around the bitterness and pain doesn’t hurt the other person, it hurts you. This is not new news to anyone. Even so, it’s still hard. I recently forgave someone and it was hard. But I’m happy, I feel freer, lighter. I didn’t forget, but that pain isn’t inside me anymore.
So you would think that if I needed to forgive myself, it would come a little easier. In fact, it’s not easy, no, not easy at all, in fact, it’s like that Elton John song, or the Barney theme song when my kids were little, it will not go away. The mistakes I’ve made run over and over and over. I think I’ve forgiven myself – because I know God has – but then I bring them all up in my mind again. And I’m right back there, in shame, in guilt, in beating myself up.
I was thinking about this more today, really wanting to once and for all be free and forgive myself. I can’t move forward if I keep bringing all that baggage along. Not only does it occupy a lot of my mind but it’s heavy, and depressing, and makes me sad. But yet I keep playing through it all in my head again. Then today, I was in a different place. I think one of the reasons I may hold on to it – similar to staying in a bad relationship – is that I know it. It’s familiar. It’s not comfortable – but it’s a comfortable feeling per se because I know it. I know what to expect. The emotions that run through my head are known – nothing new. So as much as it’s painful, it’s an old bathrobe. I know the holes (ok…metaphorically only…I would never own a bathrobe with holes…seriously) and I know how much it wraps me up, but man o man, I need to throw it away.
Arriving at this thought, I remembered that if I roll along comfortable all the time, I’m not experiencing anything new. I’m not growing. I’m not reaching. Yeah, I may also have disappointment in the unknown, but the joy I can feel is worth so much more. And I know that God doesn’t call me to be comfortable. He wants me to experience the life He’s created for me. So maybe I’m ready. I feel ready. I really feel ready to forgive myself once and for all. I mean, God has, and I didn’t hide anything from Him. He’s knows all the ugly. I’ve learned but it’s time to go forward and say what really are the hardest words, I forgive me.