Why Self Forgiveness is so Important

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I live and do my best to thrive with spastic CP. Spastic CP simply means there is too much muscle tone in my body. Putting it even simpler my muscles get tight. Sometimes, it is painful. It is frustrating. Tightened muscles make movement difficult. Yes, for as much as I try to be upbeat and positive occasionally, it’s hard to be. Why? Flareups. A friend of mine who is an athlete and has spastic CP too calls her difficult CP days flareups. I am barrowing her term. It is an apt description.

Yesterday I had a flareup. It was obvious from the time I got out of bed. Great I thought. Having not slept well the night before did not help. Getting enough sleep is vital to thriving with CP for me. Being uncomfortable and in pain yesterday, I was mad at myself. I’m good at being hard on me. I yelled at myself in my head. Life has been so busy lately taking care of myself hasn’t been the priority it has to be. I beat myself up well. Having to take a doctor prescribed muscle relaxer is not something I like to do. I prefer to manage my CP without medicine. Yesterday I had to take a muscle relaxer. Half yesterday and another half before bed to get relief.

My flareup got me thinking about forgiveness. A tenant of every major faith. As a follower of Christ, my faith centers around love and forgiveness. I decided to look up verses on forgiveness. This one stuck out to me. Colossians 3:13: “13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (www.biblegateway.com). My study made one thing clear to me: forgiving others is easier than forgiving myself. I know I am not the only one who struggles with this.

Forgiving myself is important. It’s important for you too. Self-forgiveness is a part of self-care. The world is brutal on all of us. We do not need to be any harder on ourselves than it already is. Yes, I could have taken better care of myself the last few weeks. My flareup would have happened regardless. All I can do is try to take better care of myself from now on and just let the fact I did not so well go.

Nobody who loves me loves me less because I was busy working and trying to be everything for everybody. Those who love me and know me best: know that is my default. It just is. God knows that better than anyone. If I’m still loved and forgiven by God and those who love me and know me best and I am: I can forgive me. So, if you’ve had a rough couple of days like me and you’re beating yourself up over what you didn’t do, don’t. Take a deep breath and let it out. When you do imagine your guilt fading away. Our best is more than enough, and we are doing better than we think. Forgive yourselves with me. I promise it is okay and we will all feel better.

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