– Quote from Mel Robbin’s Instagram.
During the first part of my life, I’d read this quote and think, “Oh yeah, of course, I didn’t do anything that bad!” For the second part of my life, I’d read this quote and think, “Oh, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to forgive myself?” For the third part of my life, which is only recently, I think, “Yeah, I forgive her.”
When I became a mom, I was so overwhelmed by the role that I kinda lost it. It wasn’t pretty. I didn’t take care of myself by any means. I drank too much wine (I hate to admit this, especially since my mom was an alcoholic. It’s a big shame trigger for me.). I didn’t excercise. My joints and body ached. I was tired all the time. I was angry and bitter and suffered from a major case of “woe is me.” I wasn’t very nice to my husband. Then I read in Brene Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection that “we can’t love others more than we love ourselves.” Ouch. Wait, I can’t love my kids more than I love myself? Uh-oh, I was in trouble. I realized that it was ESSENTIAL for me to start taking care of myself (more about self-care here) and also (more recently) to FORGIVE that person.
But forgiving that person didn’t come easy. I literally typed the words “grace” and “forgiveness” into Google because I just didn’t understand the concept. I sat in my chair and journaled like a mad women for the better part of a year. That wasn’t pretty either -ha! But, bit by bit, I started to understand God’s unconditional love for me. He wasn’t ashamed of me or my behavior! In fact, He was ready to use it! But here’s the thing I realized, if I didn’t accept His grace and forgive myself, I would still be stuck in that vicious cycle of beating myself up, shaming myself, and being depressed. I HAD to forgive myself. He needed me to forgive myself. If I wanted to live a joy filled life free from the vicious cycle, I’d have to forgive myself. Now I can finally say, “I have some issues with my past self, but she was young and I forgive her.” I really was trying the best I could in that moment, even if it wasn’t that great.
This is why when I sang this hymn at church on Sunday, I had big fat tears rolling down my face.
“If you tarry ’til you’re better, you will never come at all.”