Forgiving yourself

When I was in my teens, my best friend got very sick. She was in the hospital for months and it got to the point where she wasn’t her real self anymore. It was heartbreaking to see her suffer, so I gave her everything a 15 year old can give in the hope of someone else becoming better. I remember feeling like I didn’t even have the right to laugh – if she was suffering, so would I. I was young and didn’t know better. When she got better things went back to normal – or at least on the outside. Inside of me a scar was left. 

When we started university my feelings towards her suddenly started shifting between love and hatred, sometimes within a few minutes. I’d never experienced anything like that before, and it made me feel like a horrible person. What kind of a friend was I? We still cared a lot about each other, but we simply couldn’t stay close. Through talking, writing letters and crying – we forgave each other.  Still, I wasn’t able to fully move on. Yesterday, she visited me in Paris and just before I went to see her I realized that we had fully forgiven each other – but I hadn’t forgiven myself for what had happened. So I did. I forgave my younger self for giving my energy away, for letting myself get so pulled down and for ignoring the suffering of this for so long. I even said it out-loud several times to make sure I’d fully heard and accepted my own apology. When I saw my friend that night I knew that something had changed in me. I didn’t have any more negative feelings towards her anymore. I was finally free. 

A wise person once told me that forgiveness isn’t only about forgiving others, it’s equally about forgiving yourself. Only then can you fully let it go. It’s very true. 

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