“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” -Mark TwainWhen my first-born child, Paul Krishna, was 6 weeks old he fell, under my care, and fractured his skull.
Yes. That happened.
He is perfectly fine now and we are truly blessed. No one would ever guess that his newborn body was strapped down so he could get an MRI, that he had a golf-ball sized bump on his tiny head, that he spent hours under observation, that his parents hardly told a soul in fear of judgment, that his mother was riddled with guilt...
It was a rough entry into motherhood yet, three years later, I look back on that experience with a different perspective. But have I truly let it go?
Earlier today, my 19-month old daughter saw Paul and I practicing handstand and, while trying to imitate us, fell and injured her finger. It immediately swelled and turned purple and all the feelings from that day three years ago came rushing back.
And here I am with a microcosm of a much larger issue.
It isn't about these incidents. It is about a lifetime of self-criticism.
And it is time for a change.
I need to forgive myself.
I have treated myself far worse than anyone else has ever treated me.
I have criticized myself endless times looking in the mirror.
I have found flaws in the way I look, act, speak, mother, and ultimately am.
It has taken a long time to overcome this detrimental internal battle but I aim now to no longer seek unrealistic perfectionism and berate myself for anything. In fact, nowadays, things are often quite the opposite. I try to give myself compliments each time I see my reflection. I regularly remind myself that I am doing the best that I can and that is just fine. I am learning how to deeply love myself.
But can I forgive myself? Can I forgive myself for all the years of self-inflicted hurt?
Part of healing is letting go. Releasing of all the judgment. Forgiveness is an organic relinquishing of all that no longer serves our highest purpose. When I spoke to myself with ugly words, I was only doing the best that I could given the circumstances of my life up until that point. It is time to forgive, to let go, to move on.
Forgiveness is freeing. Whether you are holding on to something someone else said/did to you or something you have said/done to yourself, the act of it is in the past. So why waste the present moment sifting through something that is no longer tangible? Let it go and feel free. Forgiveness allows us to be in the moment, to be here and now, to face today with a new perspective.
Who can you forgive right now?