Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Self Forgiveness

It’s hard to forgive. Sometimes because we don’t want to forgive. Perhaps because we prefer to hate. Perhaps because there’s just too much to forgive. Sometimes we want to forgive but we just don’t know how to forgive. There are plenty of reasons for not forgiving others. Forgiving ourselves is even harder.

We all make mistakes, big and small. When these mistakes happen to others, we apologise to them provided that we feel accountable and/or responsible. Apologising to ourselves isn’t that common. Over the years, we build guilt and shame for the mistakes that didn’t hurt anybody but ourselves. In the absence of a confessional and absolution, only self-forgiveness remains.

I tend to think, feel and believe that the ability to forgive others is a prerequisite for self-forgiveness. I doubt that sociopaths and psychopaths are an exception as they appear to have no conscience, no regret, no remorse and thus no need for self-forgiveness. Self-forgiveness without forgiving others, might work for narcissists.

The absence of self-forgiveness will block self-acceptance and self-love. Self-love has an internal focus and is the opposite of narcissism which has an external focus. Narcissists probably even lack self-love. A lack of self-forgiveness, self-acceptance and self-love has 2 behavioural extremes: a high self-esteem (e.g., arrogance, narcissism) and a low self-esteem (e.g., submissiveness).

Both extremes will look for external love to compensate for a lack of internal or self-love. This external love may be found at work and/or in a relationship. It’s unlikely that this compensation will last long. No volume of external love can compensate for a lack of self-love.

Hence, disappointments will continue to happen as expectations are always too high. These disappointments will reinforce low self-esteem. It’s an ongoing negative loop that feeds and grows our Dark Side until we feel “empty” inside. Its negative loop can only be broken by Forgiveness – to others. The Dark Side probably rejects self-forgiveness. It must shrink first by lack of oxygen (eg, anger, fear, hate).

Forgiveness requires our vulnerability and our remorse over motive, not consequence (quote). This invokes “my” BIG/small concept. I think, feel and believe that a vulnerable – or small – attitude actually amplifies a personality. Maintaining a BIG personality (without showing vulnerability) makes people actually look small as they lose believability and credibility. Deflating your personality requires losing pretences without losing confidence in yourself.

It took me decades to forgive myself, accept myself, and to love myself for WHO I am, not for WHAT I am or once was. I am convinced that forgiving others was a necessary first step. It’s primarily a mindset as it relates to the absence of hatred and the shrinking of your Dark Side.

Forgive Yourself (2014) by Inna Modja – artist, FBlyrics, video, Wiki

When the blame opens up the window

You can’t keep holding now, it’s got your soul

When you’re facing your darkest shadow

You choose your side in battle

Blow by blow

You can’t fight the feeling

The pain is too deceiving

You just keep believing

That nothing’s really wrong


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