Time to be a little kinder to yourself

Forgiveness Is A Commitment, Not A Feeling

Time to be a little kinder to yourself

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When the spotlight is on forgiveness, people tend to think that it is an act given to or received by someone else. In most cases this is true. We give grace those who we have deemed to have wronged us and we accept amnesty from the malevolence we have caused others. I have come to realize that there is not much worse than having to forgive someone who does not want to be forgiven. Like they are not apologetic for their actions and see no wrong in their behavior despite the negative impact on you. I do believe that there are two sides to every story, however, right and wrong coexist simultaneously. Forgiving is actually incredibly self-centered and egotistically-motivated. We accept apologies as a buffer to give ourselves time and space to move on from the issue, yes, forgiving the other person benefits them, but the forgiver gains more out of the deal.

One thing that is skipped over when discussing the exchange of mercy is the relation of forgiveness within ourselves. I think that we are so experienced with giving others grace and accepting amnesty that we all forget about ourselves. We recognize that other people have character flaws and disfavored niches, but we can see right past the blemishes, through the tarnishes, over the imperfections, and right to the redeeming qualities. However, when we self-reflect, we cannot always see the saving graces of ourselves. We only see the glitches and the shortcomings which overwhelm us with frustration and angst. These feelings of self-disapprovement build up over time and causes us to carry a whole lot of baggage. The ironic part is that we think that there is something external that will fix the bad days and the insufficient qualities, however, we hold the tools to restore ourselves.

The whole saying with love that "you cannot love others if you have not loved yourself" is parallel to forgiveness. You cannot forgive others if you have not forgiven yourself. So go out and forgive. Do not forgive and forget, but forgive and learn. Forgive yourself for coming up short some days and forgive the world for not always being so kind to you. Because once you commit to the power of forgiveness, you become unstoppable.

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An Open Letter To My Unexpected Best Friend

You came out of nowhere and changed my life for the better.
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“It's so amazing when someone comes to your life and you expect nothing out of it, but suddenly, there right in front of you is everything you ever need."

-Unknown

Dear Unexpected Best Friend,

You were the person I never thought I would speak to and now you are my very best friend. You came out of nowhere and changed my life for the better. I can't thank you enough for everything you have done to shape me into the person I am today. You've taught me what it means to be selfless, caring, patient, and, more importantly, adventurous.

You don't realize how much better my life has become and all because you came out of nowhere. I didn't see you coming. I just saw you on occasion, and now I can't see my life without you in it. It's funny how life works itself out like that. Our unexpected friendship filled a hole in my life that I didn't know existed.

I don't even remember what life was like before you came along; it most likely had a lot less laughter and spontaneity than it does today. I can call you about anything and you would drop whatever you're doing to help me in any situation. You know when I need encouragement. You know when I am at my best and when I am at my worst. You always know exactly what to say.

SEE ALSO: 8 Tiny Lies Every Young Woman Has Told Their Best Friend

I couldn't have found a better friend than you if I tried. We balance each other out in the best way possible. You are most definitely the yin to my yang, and I don't care how cliché that sounds. Because of you, I've learned to stop caring what people think and to do my own thing regardless of any backlash I might receive. You are my very favorite part of what makes me who I am to this day.

It's as if I wished up a best friend, and poof — you appeared right in front of me. I am so beyond blessed to have you and I wouldn't trade the world for all our memories. Thanks for coming out of nowhere.

Love you forever and a day.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Medders

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Four Quarters Will Always Be Better Than Ten Dimes, And I'm Not Talking About Spare Change

Quality over quantity any damn day.

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"You would rather have four quarters than 10 dimes, 20 nickels, or 100 pennies," is a phrase that at first glance would seem to just be about money. But it actually contains a deeper meaning that could definitely serve as good advice when it comes to the friendships you have in your life.

As an ambivert, I have always found myself happier when I surrounded myself with a large group of friends. It gives you a sense of belonging, something that is a proven innate human desire. Having large groups can be fun, but they also equally have the chance of being toxic for you. There's no point in surrounding yourself with individuals if, at the end of the day, they don't make you happy. Often times you'll hang out with people just because you crave company, but not THEIR company. There is a very important distinction.

Don't let your loneliness or your desire for more friends allow you to be consumed into toxic friendships. Because I have been there and done that. Many times. It's not a fun experience. It took me time to learn, but I have learned the valuable lesson of less being more. When you eliminate extraneous beings from your life, you have more time to focus on your more important relationships and the most crucial one of all, the one you have with yourself.

I am very blessed to say that people that I am close to in my life genuinely care for me and my happiness because this was not always the case. It takes a lot of trial and error, and also greatly impacts your mental health, but finding the right friend group for you is definitely life-changing.

Choose your friends wisely, you don't want a wallet full of useless change.

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