I would have to say one of the hardest things I have ever had to do is to forgive myself. People say that forgiving someone who wronged you is tough, but I feel like forgiving yourself is definitely harder. I Googled the definition for “forgive” and this is what I got: verb to stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake. I can vividly remember countless times where I could not stop feeling angry or resentful towards myself for making a mistake.
Here is the thing: I have always felt as if I were living under a microscope. Since I am a Christian, people expect me to never mess up (because Christians aren’t supposed to make mistakes).
Something you should know is that I grew up being one of the youth leaders at my church; that meant I had an extra portion of expectations set for me. Since people had such high standards for me, I automatically made even higher ones for myself. I could never just be ordinary, I always had to be extra-ordinary. I secretly resented that people would make such big deals when I made any type of mistake. It was like someone else could make the same mistake I did, but just because it was me, people would freak out and say things like, “I thought you were a Christian” and “I never would have expected this from you”. I’m not saying I murdered anybody or anything… I just want people to understand that I make mistakes. I remember asking myself why people refused to acknowledge that I was human too… because if you’d cut me, I’d bleed just like them.
I also recall the way I used to judge people when I was a teenager, and I am definitely not proud of it. It was something I never admitted to myself, but I really was extremely judgmental. I was so blinded by my own religiosity, that I failed to see people as…well…people; I only saw “sinners”. It took quite a bit of praying to God and self-reflection for me to realize how hard and cold I had allowed for my heart to become. I think about it now, and I can’t help but laugh at myself. I honestly used to get offended by what people wore to church. LOL. During this process, I had also hurt quite a few people (not physically); some of which I still pray to God that they found it in their hearts to forgive me even after all these years. One of those people just so happened to be my own best friend at the time, who I actually still miss. Remember, I mess up too. Human, remember?
So, how did I get to where I am now? Well, asking for forgiveness was a good start. There is a rare type of beauty added to the people who humble themselves by admitting they were wrong. I’m not going to lie, admitting I was wrong was not one of my strongest attributes, and it probably still isn’t. Bottom line: I’m human. I bleed, too.