Forgiving Yourself.

IMG_5092Forgiving Yourself.

Today, as I sat in church listening to the message many thoughts ran through my mind. It wasn’t your typical sermon for Mother’s Day (which was kind of a relief in some ways). It touched on how God allows both joys and sorrows in our lives. And in particular, how it seems we learn the most from sorrows (or difficult situations). It’s true. Whenever we go through joyous events, we’re not really thinking, “what am I learning from this?” We are just reveling in whatever amazing thing is happening. But, when we experience the tough stuff, we go through the full gamut of emotions and thoughts. We ask “Why?” And it also causes us to be more reflective.

In reflecting on these things, my thoughts turned to some tough situations I have gotten myself into over the years. As much as we all want to believe we pretty much have life “together”, there are times when we lack judgment or experience or good sense. There are times when we’ve thrown caution to the wind and acted on a whim and it’s come back to bite us in the rear end.

As someone with perfectionistic tendencies, I’ve often beat myself up over these kinds of mistakes. Also, I’d falsely think, “There’s no way God is happy with me. No way he really loves me after this (whatever the mistake was).” It took a long time for me to realize that God loves me regardless. He may not be happy with all of my choices, but, his love never ends. His grace never ends. And he forgives when I ask sincerely. I’m sooo thankful for that!

Then there’s the topic of forgiving other people. That’s reeeeally rough to do sometimes. Especially when you know they don’t deserve it. But, I’ve learned that forgiveness is more for MY heart, than for their benefit. I forgive so that I can live free from bitterness and anger.

The last thing, yet possibly one of the biggest hindrances to our overall well being is self-forgiveness or lack thereof. ‘Can I or will I forgive myself?’ Can I forgive myself for messing up? Being human and flawed? Lacking judgment in that instance? For saying that thing? Or doing that thing? I think forgiving ourselves can be one of the most challenging things to do, especially if we hold ourselves to a high standard, and if other key people in our lives do, too.

But, forgiving yourself is part of loving yourself. It’s part of healing. [This is not the same as excusing repeat bad behavior. If you know you have a pattern of doing something wrong or harmful to yourself or others, then you should seek out professional help.] But, if in the normal course of life, you make mistakes here and there, or you really mess from time to time, then it’s imperative that you forgive yourself. Love yourself enough to do yourself that favor. On this journey of life, we’re all learning and growing and hopefully trying to be better people all the time. We do have to remember that we are flawed but as long as were trying to learn and grow and be the best we can be, then we’re on the right track.

©Kay Dee Speaks “Forgiving Yourself.”

photo credit: google pics and here

Walk Away From The Flames: Stop Burning Yourself

Touchflame but

Why is it that we as people tend to want what’s bad for us? Is it human nature? Is it sin nature? What is it? Whether it be relationships that we KNOW are absolutely destructive and unhealthy… Or environments that are toxic or overly tempting… Or whether it’s gorging ourselves on food that we know is bad for us and we’ll pay for it later…. Or wanting what is forbidden, what is not ours? What is it?

Remember in high school or college, there was that guy or that girl who was pretty good looking, smart, funny, charming… but wasn’t the “bad” boy or the “hot to trot” girl? What about them? Why do we tend to ignore those who could be potentially good, solid, stable people and instead lust for danger, adventure, the ‘high’? But, going for the forbidden is exciting, right?! It’s thrilling! It’s titillating! Now, to clarify, I’m not referring to going for your dreams or taking good risks to reach your goals. That is different. Here, I’m talking about unhealthy choices, about compromising in the wrong direction, about ‘selling your soul’, so to speak. I’m talking about potentially putting ourselves in harm’s way just for the thrill or just to get that ‘thing’ or that ‘person’ or that ‘high’ that we know deep down inside is no good for us.

Are we just thrill seeking? Or are we self-punishing? Is it that somewhere deep in our inmost being we feel we don’t deserve what is good and healthy and stable, etc.? Did something happen to us in our lives a loooong time ago or continuously throughout our lives that warped our perception of what is good vs. bad, healthy vs. unhealthy? Did someone once tell us that we were “less than” or “no good” and that we deserved bad things and we believed it? Were the messages subliminal? Were you somehow made to believe by life, by people, by circumstance that there is nothing you can do to deserve true happiness, so you might as well just ‘flip the bird’ at the world and live with reckless abandon, regardless of the consequences?

Or are you by all appearances happy, but, deep inside there is secretly a void? Yes, outwardly you’re well liked, you are successful in your career, you have a great family, but, secretly you’re hooked on prescription drugs or pain killers? Or nobody would suspect that hidden all around your house are bottles and vials of alcohol because you feel you cannot cope without it because it kills the numbs the unresolved pain you feel inside. Perhaps, although you’re married or committed to a great person, you’ve allowed yourself to be in ‘sabotage mode’ because somewhere along the line you were told “nothing good ever lasts”… so you go ahead and flirt with that coworker and flirting progresses to something more serious. You know it’s wrong, but, you keep telling yourself you don’t deserve happiness anyway. Maybe you’ve always gone after the “players” because they were good looking and exciting, yet you ignore ALL of the obvious signs that he/she is using and cheating on you with multiple people, because you want to be loved… But you went for the “player” because deep inside you didn’t feel like you deserved any better. After all, what ‘good’ happens in life? Or perhaps life has become so bad, that you seek your refuge in food. Food comforts. Food tastes good. Food doesn’t judge you. Food is always there. Food doesn’t disappoint you. But, as a result you pack on the pounds and before you realize it you’ve come to a place physically where you are no longer healthy… and you’re not quite sure how to get back.

Why do we do these things to ourselves? What prohibits us from desiring what is healthy and good? Or what drives us to self-sabotage mode or gets us off track?
Why do we keep ourselves in this cycle? If we keep getting burned, why do we keep going back to touch the flames?

I suspect there are varying reasons as there are varying solutions. But, my heartfelt plea to you if I’ve said something that has spoken to you is this:
YOU ARE LOVED. YOU ARE LOVEABLE. YOU DESERVE TO BE HEALTHY AND HAPPY. Stop punishing yourself. Get the help you need to get yourself on the right path. If you need professional help, get it! If the first professional person doesn’t ‘click’ with you, ask around and get GOOD recommendations to find another. But get the help. If this is just a matter of ‘waking up’ to realize where you are, I hope and pray that this small blog post could serve as that wake up call. Stop returning to what is harmful and start moving toward what is healthy. The trouble is that many times, these thought-patterns and behavior-patterns are so deeply ingrained in us that it will likely take some skilled professional counseling to help us rewire our thinking to get to a healthy state. And for addictions of any kind, most definitely professional help is needed and that is absolutely NOTHING to be ashamed of. Taking care of yourself is nothing to be ashamed of. Go for it! Get the help. And I hope that through your journey you come to the place that you will do what is healthy and good for you for your future.

God bless.

© 2014 KD Corner “Walk Away From the Flames: Stop Burning Yourself”

image from Google images

Forgiving Me

self forgive

Once upon a time there was a girl who wanted to live a good life and tried to.  Some bad things happened in her life… hurtful things. These things left a scar on the inside that she couldn’t see.  This scar never really healed.  Sometimes she was acutely aware of it, and other times either pretended it wasn’t there.  Otherwise,  she was so used to it that she was oblivious to its presence.  But somehow it always oozed out and got the better of her in one way or another.  It caused her to act in ways she ordinarily wouldn’t.  She even blamed others for this scar.  After all, they were the ones who inflicted the wounds. However much time had passed.  And yes, some scars heal slowly, but, somehow this one was taking very, very long.  It was then she decided to stand up for herself and be brave and DO something about it.  She decided to get help.  It would take a community and counsel to help her on her healing journey.  She still has a long way to go, but, she is nowhere near where she used to be.  She is growing. A big part of the puzzle to healing was/is forgiving herself.  She couldn’t play into the negative self talk. And for us Christians, we know we have an adversary in the devil who seeks to steal from us, kill us (in many forms) and destroy us.  BUT we have a God who is much bigger! He’s almighty, all-powerful, all-knowing and he LOVES and FORGIVES US!  Therefore, if the God of the universe forgives us, surely she is allowed to forgive herself.  And when negative ideas invade her space, she combats them with the truth and with counsel and with community.   Forgive yourself.  Jesus already forgave you.  He loves you.  Live free.

Amen.

If you can relate to any of this, I want you to know that you don’t have to live in constant anxiety and regret.  There is peace available for you in Christ.  He sacrificed his life so that you could have peace in Him. As the Son of God, he died a sinless death and offered himself up for the sins of all of the people in the world, not just during his time on earth, but, throughout all time. So, there is nothing you could’ve done that he wouldn’t forgive you for. Even if it’s the most vile thing. His forgiveness  means just that…you are forgiven. Your slate is wiped clean in his eyes and you are free to begin to live a new life in Christ if you believe in him and accept him as God in your life. Does this mean that everything will be rosy? No, BUT, it does mean the now God is with you to help you through this life every step of the way.  He provides his word to us through the Bible and he has some really solid churches that teach the truth and are loving communities where you can grow.  It is sometimes hard to find the right church, but, keep praying and he will show you where to go.  All of that to say, you can have the peace of Christ in your heart. You do not have to live in inner turmoil. You can have forgiveness and in turn forgive yourself.  He understands our frailties and has provided help for us.  May the love of Christ overwhelm you and give you peace.

© KD Corner 2013 “Forgiving Me”

photo credit: Here