Today, a moving piece came in my email from one of my favorite sites, The Daily Good. It’s a marvelous organization run by volunteers whose mission is to bring something uplifting to read to counteract all of the negativity there is out there in the media. Today’s story was especially moving. Named the Black Madonna, it’s the story of a woman who forgave one of the white supremacists who had beaten her son and then hanged him in 1981. As one of the murderers sobbed in his hands in court after he admitted that he had killed her son and wished that he could take it back, the mother Beulah Mae Donald whispered “I forgive you”. (Be sure and click on the link that takes you to a poignant song that is based on this story).
As for myself, I’m not sure that if I had been in that mother’s shoes that I would have been able to forgive my son’s killer. I would like to think that I would, but I hope that I am never put to such a test. I have been able, however, to forgive others for things that have been done to me. Then, why is forgiving myself so hard?
Oh, I say I forgive myself for the little things like accidentally cutting in front of someone in line, or not exercising when I don’t feel well. Then, I can usually mean what I say that I forgive myself. However, bigger things like not taking the time to work on my own issues every day when I know that I should, or taking the time to reach out to friends, well, somehow, the days just slips away. I think part of it has to do with there’s a part of me that clings to my mantle of victim hood. “See how pitiful I am?” even though I KNOW that’s not a particularly useful belief. I know I have it, yet how easy it is to slip back into old patterns. I also know that I’m making a choice when I cling to these habits, but often like a child with an old favorite blanket that is tattered and worn, it’s hard to pry it out of my fingers.
I wish that there was a key on my keyboard that said “Sorry” as in the illustration above and that all I had to do was press it and the “issue du jour” would be forgiven. Haven’t found that model of computer yet, but if I do, it better have replacement keys, as I imagine that I’ll wear out the original one in the first few weeks of ownership.
How about you? Do you fine it easy to forgive yourself and if so, do you have some suggestions for the rest of us?
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