“Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning.” Dr Desmond Tutu.
Walking through the mountains with the freshness of a new Autumn kissing the air, I paused to reflect on the leaves scattered over the dewy early morning forest floor. What could they teach me about life, and why did they manifest within me such a connection with forgiveness?
You see, I’ve always compared myself to everybody, and I mean everybody, and always came up short in my opinion. There were always people who were more of everything…self-assured, confident…knew how to be themselves… if only I could be a little more like them.
I’d be telling an untruth if I said I never became jealous…but not of material possessions; it wasn’t about that, unless you’d call someone embarking on a world trip a material possession, then no. It was more about the traits of a person really.
I would speak badly to myself when I failed to live up to my, and others’, expectations, or found myself in the middle of those pesky little ‘brain freeze’ moments …the EFTPOS machine is constantly yelling at me to remove my card from the machine while I’m ‘off with the fairies’ for which I was oft accused.
‘But it’s always such a happy place there…’ I would reflect.
Did any of this chastisement make me happy with myself at all?
Or aid in rectifying my shortcomings?
Not for one minute.
All it did was consolidate more of what I didn’t want through spending energy on my lack. Frequently, our perceived ‘lack’ has been pointed out to us by others too, on a fairly consistent basis.
Being a bit of an anxious and sensitive person, I wrapped them up and carried them with me wherever I travelled…they became who I was.
Where were my gifts?
How could I find them?
More feelings of inadequacy grew to become the elephant in the room….I knew it was there but didn’t quite know how to approach it.
Once I eventually discovered two tiny seeds labelled ‘forgiveness’ and ‘acceptance’ with my name on them, I planted them, watered them and nurtured them to life until they were able to reveal their elusive mysteries. As I began to inhabit these new thoughts through daily reminders such as affirmations, intentions and words from wise sages, they began to disperse their seeds, creating more growth. In time, they left no space for the weeds in the garden of my mind to continue to cultivate those negative beliefs about myself.
I now understand that discussing world affairs isn’t going to be something I will comfortably engage in, that team sports and competitiveness in the arena are not interesting to me, that parties and large gatherings frequently have me running for cover unless I can hide in a quiet corner with someone else who feels the same way, where we share our personal stories.
Acceptance of ‘what is’ creates space for new growth and is a necessary contribution towards self-love.
When we choose to focus on our positive qualities, we watch them grow, awakening to how beautiful life can become when we no longer admonish ourselves.
The freedom it affords us is empowering.
After deciding to focus on my strengths and realising I could re-write my inadequacies as positives, I discarded those detrimental beliefs and gave them permission to ‘fall from the tree’, like the leaves of Autumn that have served their purpose, slowly drifting to the ground, returning their nutrients to the soil…making space for the new growth.
What if our evolution meant simply loving those parts of us we were trying to conceal?
What if our evolution meant we could see possibility instead of lack?
What if we forgave ourselves for those feelings of inadequacy and just said thank you…
So now the time had arrived…
Thank you anxiety, you showed me how to control my fear,
Thank you inadequacy, you showed me I AM enough,
Thank you over-sensitivity, you showed me how to feel for others,
Thank you worry, you showed me greater peace,
Thank you emotions, you showed me to release my fear of vulnerability,
Thank you solitude, you showed me how to listen to my deepest spirit callings,
Thank you pain, you slowed me down long enough for my heart to catch up,
Thank you, ‘too quiet’, you showed me how to listen,
Thank you jealousy, you showed me what’s important to me,
Thank you ‘day-dreamer’, you showed me the possibilities,
Thank you fear, you showed me how to push through my doubts,
Thank you inferiority, you showed me we are all equal, and all worthy of LOVE,
Thank you self-criticism, you showed me the way ahead can only be LOVE for myself.
May we find forgiveness in our lack of unconditional love towards ourselves.
I’d be honoured to offer you a small affirmation if this post resonated with you…
‘I AM loveable as I AM…I AM enough.’