On Forgiving Yourself: Leaving Past Mistakes in the Past

I've been thinking a lot about forgiveness lately. Especially this past Sunday morning when I was having a nice conversation with my mom who at a lull in the dialogue sighed in frustration and said “ugh that tattoo. It's all people see. I know it. I want it removed!”

Knowing better than to engage, I walked out and drove to church early that morning, tears of frustration rolling down my cheeks and smearing the fresh makeup. I know it sounds like such a little thing, but it touched a nerve as some of you may know. I have been locked in a difficult struggle with myself for a long time over the shame and regret that I felt over the tattoo that caused my mom so much pain. Recently though I made a breakthrough when I got the chance to talk to a man who was a church leader in my area when I went in to see him for an interview.

While there, I told him how I felt about the tattoo and he comfortingly told me that I was beating myself up for mistakes that we're long since forgiven.

He told me that it was like a scar, many of which I also have, and promised me that just because something happened in the past and there is now evidence of it on my body, doesn't mean that I should continue punishing myself for it. It's there, and it's okay.

“It's like when you break your favorite vase and then glue it back together again,” he told me. “Its cracked and everyone can see that but it isn't any less valuable in your eyes. That is how God sees you. He has forgiven you, you just have to forgive yourself.”

And so, I felt it necessary that I share that comfort with all of you if ever you need it.

Although just because all was forgiven in that sense, didn't mean I didn't have to continue to work on being okay with and forgiving myself. Unfortunately, I don't think my mom will ever be the same, and after all this time if she hasn't forgiven me yet I have no idea if she ever will. But knowing that I can be okay with the past, tattoos, scars, and all helps me to find peace.

I want you to know, that whatever you look like, whoever you are, wherever you come from you are never too far gone or too broken to repair. And I especially want you to know, that whatever scars that that repair may leave are beautiful and do not make you any less lovable. I promise you that the cracks in a favorite vase don't make it any less valuable or any less loved.

Until next time,

Marie Allred.

No comments:

Post a Comment