Finding Forgiveness Within

forgivenessWhenever I hear the word “forgiveness” now, the first thing that comes to mind is that awesome Ryan Reynolds 😉 movie, Just Friends.

In it, Ana Faris’s character tries to seduce Ryan’s character with “Forgiveness” — a terrible song with terrible lyrics that is TERRIBLE earworm!

Anyway, these past few days I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the notion of forgiveness, which makes sense, because it’s the Jewish High Holidays — and right now is the time to be asking forgiveness to those I may have hurt in the past year.

For the most part, I feel like I’ve been a good person this year. If nothing else, therapy helped me understand myself a lot better.

I really feel, on the whole, good about how I have behaved this year towards those I love. I’ve tried to be a more thoughtful, attentive friend, which meant putting on my listening ears more than using my big mouth (thinking before speaking).

I’ve tried to be a more understanding and compassionate wife, as my husband has been swamped with business school and work.

I’ve tried to be a more patient and empathetic daughter, as my parents have been dealt many challenges in this economy.

But I haven’t always been kind to myself.

So this Yom Kippur, in addition to asking forgiveness of my friends and family, I would also like to pardon myself. To forgive myself for the terrible things I was doing to my body not too long ago. Things like chewing and spitting, and over-exercising, and eating foods that don’t make me feel good about myself.

When I think of the pain friends and loved ones (or former loved ones) have caused me over the years, I’ve always been able to look past it. How? I write, I mull, I might even stew for a bit … but I usually come  back, resilient and willing to work through whatever the situation may be. I don’t like conflict. I don’t like drama.

(Which means I don’t like “conflama,” to borrow a word from my dear friend Elena.)

So why is it so hard for us to forgive ourselves? I can’t help but wonder, why does it take a holiday like Yom Kippur for me see that ultimately, forgiveness needs to come from within? That I need to make amends with me, too, and that it’s not a selfish thing to think about?

I don’t have the answers, but my gut tells me that some people are simply more inclined to “beat themselves up” than others. Here on my blog this spring, I shared an anecdote where I literally sent myself to my room at the age of four.

Really, who does that?! My parents were shocked and begged me to come back, but no … I felt I’d been “bad” and needed to repent. So I stayed in my room.

Which brings me back to this weekend — this symbolic holiday — and the notion of forgiveness.

Over the next few days, yes, I’ll be asking forgiveness for those I may have hurt. But this time, I won’t neglect myself.

Ultimately, if we don’t love, honor, respect and forgive ourselves, how can we expect others to do the same?

How about you? Do you forgive others easily? Do you struggle with forgiving yourself for your transgressions? If you’re in recovery now, have you made amends internally?

*To my Jewish readers who will be fasting, may you have an easy fast! I’ll be fasting as well, and will be back Tuesday, or maybe sooner … we’ll see!

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9 thoughts on “Finding Forgiveness Within

  1. i just recently blogged about forgiveness as well, and all i could think of later was…”forgiveness is more than sayin’ sorry” lololol! i adore that movie 🙂

  2. I’m having a hard time forgiving myself for the stress and hurt I’ve done to my body. I have a much longer road and till I can reach that point. Same goes for forgiving one particular person. It’s so hard to let go and forget. What’s that saying..you can forgive but you can’t forget?

  3. Yasmin, how can you learn to forgive yourself? I think that is the big question. After years of abuse for so many it’s not easy. I think in that sense I was fortunate — I wasn’t in this dark place for more than a few years, and the damage was big on my psyche but minimal physically. That saying is very true — sometimes it is hard to forget. And when it comes to ED/DE … I think in a sense there’s a need to remember or else one could lapse again. PRetending it didn’t exist isn’t healthy, but dwelling on it isn’t either. I still think self-forgiveness leads to enlightenment … a newfound awareness…every action having a repurcussion and not wanting to feel those ripple effects any longer.

  4. thank you so much for this post.

    I’d LOVE to start forgiving my body – I have a history of binge-eating and ways so so heavily on me.

    I want to make peace with myself and with food – it’s liket this problem that hasn’t ever gone away. It doesn’t happen every day, or every week or even every month, but I still binge eat and I’d like to stop.

    I want to see exercise and food as all positives and not negatives. I want to see sweets and treats and days off as good things, not bad things. Hopefully with some more reflection I can get there.

  5. I needed to read this today. 🙂

    I am a very forgiving person, though I would be lying if I said I always forgive AND forget. That’s hard for me when someone’s done something extremely hurtful….

    But you always hear things like, “Treat yourself like you would a best friend.” And I think I forget that a lot. I beat myself up for my actions (binging, or binging/purging), and a lot of times I don’t give myself credit for the GOOD that I do. Maybe that’s the difference in those who fully recover….they are able to completely forgive themselves and move on?

  6. Holly, you could be right — maybe that is part of it, being at that place where you can completely forgive yourself? I dunno, but I feel there. I hope you do, too, soon! And I hope you can recognize all the good you do every day!

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