I sat in my college dorm room crumpled in a tiny ball holding my knees to my chest and shaking my head slowly back and forth. I cried and cried until no more tears could possibly come out. I was drunk. Again. I was an alcoholic that was trying to turn myself around. I was ruining both of my parent’s lives. I felt guilty for all of the pain that I had caused my loved ones.
I believe in self-forgiveness. I believe that self-forgiveness is important to give yourself because without it, it is impossible to move forward in life.
During my Senior year of high school I was completely out of control. I skipped school, stole everything, and drank everyday. I eventually moved out of my house because I didn’t want to follow rules. I moved into a crack house on the other side of town. After a few months of living there, my parents forced me to go to Boot Camp in the Cascade Mountains. Boot Camp was hell. I woke up at five every morning, sawed logs, and pulled them seven miles on a slide to another spot in the woods. I couldn’t talk to anyone without permission and was a very angry person. I eventually got out of boot camp and started my out patient rehabilitation and counseling. Then I cheated my way through AA and eventually I went to college.
As I sat in my college dorm room crying, I realized that I hated who I was as a person and felt that I had lost myself completely. I stopped partying and focused on my school work. Then I decided to put my past behind me and clear my conscience. From here, I began my journey towards self-forgiveness. I started by apologizing to all of the people who I had hurt during the past few years. I felt that this was the first step in the path to my own forgiveness. I found that forgiveness is for the perpetrator, not the victim. I was the perpetrator and this process was not about condoning or making excuses for acts that I had done. It was about liberating myself from the guilt that I was experiencing. Self- forgiveness is about finding inner peace with one’s self and freeing the soul.
After a year of working with a therapist, meditating, and praying, I found forgiveness within myself. It felt absolutely amazing. By using self-forgiveness as my own process for healing, I have given myself a second chance at life. My family and friends had already forgiven me for what I had done to them, but my own self-forgiveness was the key to my ability to move forward. I believe that self-forgiveness is an important part of life because it removes a burden from one’s shoulders. I benefited from forgiving myself because it allowed me to accept responsibility for my actions, grow as a person, and gain self-respect. I believe in self-forgiveness and the life changing experiences that one can receive from trying it. I feel that it is necessary in order to move forward in life.
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