I walked into 2018 in hopes that I would not repeat the same mistakes I made in 2017. I was determined to use this year to start off on a clean slate. However, I was quickly reminded that I was not as strong as I thought I was. I was overcome with the reality of my struggles and became overwhelmed with the feelings of guilt and regret due to the foolish mistakes I made. As much as I knew I was not a perfect person, I still had difficulty accepting and moving forward from my actions.
During my guilt trip, I came across other women who were having the same dilemma. They were haunted by their choices and did not believe that life could be enjoyed. Their feelings of hopelessness and defeat ached my heart deeply. I did not want them consumed so much with their mistake that they would miss out on a bright future. It was through my talks with my friends about the importance of moving forward, that I was reminded about the essential reasons for forgiving oneself as it related to my own situation. That is what led me to this blog post.
If you are a Christian, you know that once you sin and ask for forgiveness, you are forgiven. Now I am so thankful for the power of HIS blood but sometimes the impact and feelings associated with those mistakes do not go away. Therefore, it is imperative to discuss that as Jesus forgives you, you must also forgive you too! So I wanted to give you 3 reasons why you MUST make the journey to forgive yourself.
1.) You are human. It is in your DNA to make a mistake.
Romans 3:23 states that , "We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". This verse reminds us that EVERYONE has made a mistake, missed the mark, fallen short or however you may want to categorize it. It is paramount to know that we were all created with the expectation that were going to fall short throughout our life.
Often, our professions, purpose, and position in life can pressure us to believe that there cannot be any room for mistakes to be made. Unfortunately, that false belief creates a dangerous mindset for people, that they believe that their mistakes will make them less of a person. Ummm if you did not know this already, I am here to remind you that you are a human being! Your mistakes makes you more human than you think.
In fact, our mistakes is a reminder of why we need Jesus and the true power of his grace. Grace was introduced to us because God knew we would need it! Think about it like this, if we were perfect, we would not need Jesus!
2.) You can become so consumed by your mistake that you prohibit yourself from enjoying life.
As you may already know, forgiving yourself is not an overnight act. It is a process that can take some people days, weeks, months or even years. During that process, a great amount emotions such as guilt, pain, depression, disgust and more is experienced. While the aftermath of mistakes cannot always be prevented, you are still in control of your joy.
We often associate un-forgiveness towards another person as bondage. However, not forgiving yourself is like walking into a cell without the key. You are trapped and give up your freedom. You will find it difficult to genuinely smile from the things that once brought you great joy because you have allowed yourself to become consumed by pain. The saying, "you become what you think" is true in this case. If you want to enjoy life, you have to clean out anything that goes against that in your head and that includes past mistakes.
3.) It allows you to GROW.
No matter how big or small your mistake is, you have an opportunity to learn and grow from your choice once you forgive yourself. Every decision we make (good or bad) shapes us as men and women. In fact, no matter how bad we think our choice is, there is always an opportunity to grow in such as way that you begin to change in a positive manner. Let's face it, growth is not an easy journey and it becomes much harder to endure when you are holding onto dead weight such as un-forgiveness.
I truly hope that you feel empowered to take the initial step towards forgiving yourself. It will not be an easy journey and there will be people along the road to remind you of the old you but pay them no mind. People only bring up your past when they are intimidated by your future. So continue to allow 2018 to be your year and remember that mistakes made does no exempt you from expriencing great things!