How Learning To Forgive Myself Is Changing My Life

redhead leaning on fence

Taking time to reflect is essential.

Gazing at the city of Athens from a rooftop this evening served as self-care for me as I began to reflect on the chapter I’m currently in; an interesting time during my twenty-something chapter. I’m in a new city, developing new habits, embracing old habits and living in my truth. I’ve been more in tune with an emotion lately that I think I was raised to tune out, an emotion that I think has been placed in a negative beat up box. But how do we begin to unpack it?

This emotion is one that I have personally tuned out because I pride myself on being strong, witty, confident, bold, and god-fearing. It’s an emotion that I’ve struggled with more than ever because I’m in my season of growth. We are continuously growing, but I believe that there comes a time where “growth” speaks to us a bit louder than before. It’s an emotion that I find myself often “soft” for voicing out loud. But I’m beginning to understand that I am a soft woman with a deep appreciation of authentic feelings.

The feeling of loneliness.

Change is constant and the decisions we make in this life can affect those around us, but we have to decide if we’re okay with that. This notion of “independence” and navigating life in our own way, on our own time, is great; I take pride in being independent. But what happens when you feel like you can’t find the words, or place your index finger on the appropriate feeling that comes along with this indescribable chapter?

Who is the one person you should connect with and be vulnerable with? Yourself. Your season of growth can cause you to be lonely, you will second guess yourself and more often than not you may begin to have self-doubt, but you know what I’ve realized needs to come along with self-doubt? Self -forgiveness.

I came across a self-healing challenge today. I meditated on a few of the prompts for quite a bit and I prayed for discernment and wisdom as I flipped through the pages of my notebook, procrastinating to write. I traveled throughout my day, took myself out for a peaceful evening but the thoughts wouldn’t leave my mind.

Since January of this year, I’ve been in deep places that I still haven’t been able to process. I’ve been in places of loneliness, guilt, confusion, adaption, grief, and I’ve been faced with making bold decisions to make MY situations better. Yes, we may have been raised on the phrase “God is not the author of confusion.” While I am a firm believer in Christ and the phrase itself, I couldn’t even see that on my worst days.

To be fulfilled mentally, physically, spiritually and have a well-being that I’m content with has taken time. It’s still taking time, but what I’m learning as I navigate through reoccurring seasons of growth is patience, grace and self-forgiveness.

Summer 2017 I made a conscious decision to move from The Big Easy and transition to a smaller city to take a better job opportunity and to put myself first. I struggled with decision making, I struggled with this feeling of “independence,” and I struggle with this concept of “giving up.” Why? Because I do everything on my own, I rarely consult with anyone and I’m motivated to be the best I can be without being dependent. It took me awhile to understand that I was making a change to better myself and I wasn’t exactly throwing the towel in, but I was seeking change.

Growth can and will make you feel lonely at times. Embrace it.

I’ve lost two really important people in my life in the beginning of this year. I was questioning my purpose and I had begun to become closed off to people who I should have been able to talk to about my growth. I felt as though I put my previous job before anything I had going on in my life and it wasn’t healthy. So why do I feel as though I’ve been going through growing pains without an ounce of encouragement? Well, that’s because I’m hard on myself and I try to exceed my own expectations.

I still haven’t forgiven myself for missing valuable family time. I often feel as though I am at fault for dead-end relationships in my life ending. I contribute to my anxiety on a daily basis by overthinking. I struggle with compassion fatigue because I’m willing to give so much of myself that I don’t even have enough of me left.

Self-forgiveness is important.

There is a woman in my life who sees me better than I see myself, and I admire her for her straight forwardness and this concept of “leveling up” that I’ve embraced over the years. Her constant reminder of “give yourself the same grace you allot to others” has served as a positive reminder.

The truth is, sometimes we can be our biggest critic. We tell ourselves that we are not enough and we place ourselves on these intense timelines without allowing ourselves to process and live in the moment. I haven’t been able to take the time to fully reflect on my blessings and how far I’ve come because I’m so
focused on this current feeling of “loneliness.”

They say, it’s lonely at the top. As you are continuously climbing know that there will be some relationships that fall off, there will be some negative observations and your vision will not be clear to others as it is to you, but that’s okay.

Conversations may be lighter and people may change, but the one change that will occur and the change that will be worth it is how you see yourself. Growth.

This moment is the only moment you have for sure, growth is necessary to advance and to learn more about yourself as time passes.

Live in your lonely season, but also continue to seek wisdom, develop new ways of thinking, and live in your truth. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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