When other people do something wrong or hurt my feelings I am really good about forgiving them and moving on. But when I say something wrong or do something that didn’t work out I have a really hard time forgiving myself even if the other person says it’s okay. I just keep playing it over in my mind. I don’t do anything really bad, but even little things bother me. What can I do about it?
Can’t Let it Go
Dear Cling Wrap,
Did you know when I was just a calf (reindeer aren’t fawns, we are actually calves) I put dents all over my mom’s wall trying to get my antlers to grow faster. Some other kids said that worked. (Deerban Legend). One time I was hungry and decided to make myself a snack and put a whole basket of corn in the microwave. Our house smelled like burnt popcorn for a week! But you know what? My mom forgave me. In fact, if you think about your first few years of life – pretty much every day involves your parents forgiving you for something. They feed us forgiveness like baby food. Why? We are given forgiveness so we can give it to others. The first person we need to give it to is ourselves.
Every day when you look in the mirror (you DO look in the mirror don’t you? How do you brush your ears?) or when you see yourself in the mirror of someone else’s love, you need to remember that before you can give something away – it needs to be yours, even forgiveness. So if you really don’t want to hold grudges, you have to let the ones about you go first.
Self forgiveness doesn’t mean what you did was okay, or right, or good. It means you are freeing yourself so you can learn from it. You tell yourself, “I made a mistake, and I’m going to learn from it.” Then, take that new knowledge and move on. If a memory brings it back, you just say, “Learned that lesson.” Then, instead of feeling bad, you can feel proud – because you learned something and made a change in your life. How deersome is that?
Your Learning Friend,