Life is filled with Aha! moments when you’re open to seeing and receiving them.
I recently revealed my persona about the Sly Fox—who I’ve been being and where I’ve been hiding. And for me, once I have a new awareness of something it becomes more and more present in my life. Awareness is good. It allows you to catch yourself when you’re retreating back to your old ways. And it’s also easy to let it slip when you’re stuck down a rabbit hole (aka your head space).
I recently applied for a scholarship to financially support a vision I have for photoshoots around the world. I’m excited about this vision and where it will lead! Yet when I started filling out the application, I found myself filled with anxiety and doubt. I was holding back from writing out my vision and could feel my fear creeping in...
Fear of rejection— putting a vision I believe in out into the world and being rejected or discovering that it’s not as grand to others as I think it is.
Fear of self-sabotage— I’ve failed in the past. Do I really think I’ll succeed this time?
Fear of being seen— having my vision exposed to the world and open for feedback and/or criticism.
Thoughts can be really ugly sometimes and strip away your joy and excitement if you give power to them.
I was talking to a friend about where I was struggling, and she asked me the “Why” for my project. Without hesitation I responded to her with 3 whys for my project. And suddenly it came back as a no-brainer to me.
I had to get back to my Why and remember why I was doing this.
I made a cup of tea and sat of the couch. As I drank my tea I found the wisdom from my tea bag— “Compassion is the fountain of forgiveness.” Suddenly I realized that I’ve never really forgiven myself for my failures or rejections from the past.
A while back I created a poll on Facebook asking people if it was harder to forgive yourself or others. And 90% came back and said it was harder to forgive themselves than it is to forgive a person who’s wronged them. And for me the same is true. I’ve forgiven many people in my life. Even from a young age, I would forgive my dad over and over when he was sober for things he did when he was drinking. And I’ve been able to forgive relationships that have ended with a broken heart.
I took a sip of tea and it dawned on me—have I really forgiven myself for the times I’ve failed or self-sabotaged something I really wanted? Why is it easier to forgive others than it is to forgive myself?
And when I say “easier to forgive others”, I’m not suggesting that forgiveness is easy by any means.
Sometimes we forgive for the wrong reasons—acceptance, reassurance, second chances. I call them “wrong” because there’s often an ulterior motive involved. You forgive so the other person will still like and accept you, or so they won’t be upset with you anymore. And that’s not really forgiveness.
When you truly forgive, you are extending grace and mercy to that person.
You are letting going of feelings of resentment, vengeance, and so on. And you may not forget the offense, but you’re not holding on to it or giving it power anymore.
And when it comes to forgiving yourself, you are extending the same kind of grace to yourself. You are making a choice to end suffering by accepting what is and isn’t, and setting yourself free. And when it arises again, simply remind yourself of this. You did the best you could with the energy you had at the time.
The beauty with all of this is that each day and each moment is new.
I may have self-sabotaged my dreams or relationships in the past, given up before trying, or tried and didn’t get what I wanted. And those choices and past experiences don’t have to define me anymore. Because I’m not in the exact same situation and never will be again.
So whatever it is that’s holding you back, extend yourself the gift of forgiveness and know that this is a new moment and experience. Even if you are trying out for the same contest or applying for the same job (again) or re-entering a former relationship, know that who you are now, is not the same as who you were before. Acknowledge your growth and set yourself free from the past.