Thursday, August 22, 2013

Forgiveness Looks Good on Everyone: A Look into Self Love and Self Awareness

Phew, that was a really long title. I've been sitting on this post for a few days, but every time I go to write, the words do not come out. I have no trouble writing about running, food, or what ridiculous antics I got into over the weekend, but this topic, one that I really enjoy talking about, wouldn't come out. Bear with me, this post might be all over the place, but that might be the only way to get my thoughts out.

Life doesn't always go according to the way you planned it. In fact, it rarely ever goes the way you planned it. I had always thought that I would be married by age 24. Now, at age 23, with zero prospects in my life, I think that idea is TOTALLY crazy. I can't even imagine being married now since I was freed. I'm having too much fun going on adventures, being single, staying up too late, and running my little legs off. But one thing I've learned to incorporate into my "plans" (I feel silly even using that word) is forgiveness.

On Saturday, I went out with some girlfriends and I ran into a guy I dated recently who ended things with me after I came back from Costa Rica. I saw him first (or so I think), so I went and said hello to him. I would be lying if I didn't tell you that part of the reason I said hello to him was that I was looking super sexy (Total Diva Moment -- it happens), but mainly I wanted him to know that I do not resent him. We made small talk and he apologized for hurting me and told me that he's moving in 2 weeks and that he wishes things would have been different. I told him not to worry about it, that I had already forgiven him, and wished him luck. When I left the situation, I received a novel text from him apologizing again for hurting me, but also questioning why I would speak to him like nothing had happened. He also told me that I shouldn't let guys treat me poorly because I'm better than that (he didn't treat me poorly, though, and I always stand up for myself, but I just went with it). My answer was as follows:

I removed his name/texts for privacy purposes

I didn't include the original apology or my first response where I said I forgave him and asked him to move on, but this is the response to him telling me that I'm "better than being treated like crap by guys." This interaction, though, prompted me to reflect on the principles of self-love and self-awareness. I think my second sentence of that response captures my view of myself. I love myself enough to realize I am worth the Princess treatment I seek, but I am also self-aware enough to realize that I am not ready for it right now. That doesn't make me a bad person. In fact, I think that makes me a better person to be around because I am willing to make mistakes and forgive not only others, but myself as well. I think that loving myself and knowing who I am helps me to bring my best to EVERY relationship in my life: daughter, sister, friend, graduate student, drinking buddy, date, etc., and also helps contribute to my status as a diva. 

Forgiving other people, like that ex or the girls who called you fat in high school, helps you live more positively. I have found that since I let go of things that are out of my control, my personality has shined brighter and I've lived an overall happier life. There is NO ONE in my life who has hurt me in the past that I hope does not succeed because I've learned that holding grudges keeps me in the past and hurts me more than it hurts them. So I let it go.

Forgiveness, however, does not just apply to other people. As I said above, it also applies to ourselves. We are humans. We make mistakes. Forgive yourself and move on. So, you skipped a workout or you ate too much ice cream (story of my life)? Forgive yourself. You gained 5 pounds? Forgive yourself. Life is a work in progress and it's too short to worry about fitting into size 2 jeans (or a bridesmaid dress that I can barely fit my boobs into right now) or worrying about getting straight A's. If we love ourselves enough to realize that we are not perfect, if we are self-aware enough to realize that we are still a work in progress, then I think that forgiveness will come naturally. And forgiveness, no matter what your shape or size, looks good on everyone.

Are you good at forgiving others? Are you good at forgiving yourself? Tell me some things you love about yourself!