The Art of Forgiving Ourselves

Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Thursday, 19 January 2017

I couldn't sleep that night. Night felt so cold and my mind seemed out of control. I was staring at the ceiling, wondering what was happening, what was wrong. It's been days and I couldn't figure out what that was and my sleeping pattern was messed up because of that.

And tears started to fall.

My logic told me that crying would not solve the problem, and my logic, being what she was, told me I was fine, maybe it was because I was stressed out. Submissions were coming and we knew that not long after that, I would face the final exams. Trying to be strong, I stopped crying.

But it didn't help.

... And I cried even more.

Flashbacks came and I remembered all things in the past. Scene after scene flashed and the bad thing was they were not the memories that I wanted to remember. Those are the past that I wanted to erase forever, like in computer move it to recycle bin and empty it forever. Unfortunately, our life, body and mind don't work like that because we're not robots.

Those past memories came one after one and didn't stop. They were like saying hi because I forgot them long, telling myself I was okay and it didn't matter anymore, but the fact was I still do.

We often have a picture in our mind how we wanted to be, and I have stuck them into my brain so that whatever I do, I act like how I wanted to be.

I told myself that I was strong, and no one could bring me down.

I told myself that I was smart, I knew which goes to the head and which goes to the heart.

I told myself that I was perfect, I did everything perfectly, systematically, without any flaw.

But it was all only in my head. Well, I did and it was well done. Every time I kept telling myself to stay on the track and never go back. Past was just a past, and I know that I wouldn't go back and be like what I was.

But that night, I felt like I went back to who I was. I couldn't stop crying, I was literally crying because I was angry at myself and if I am angry, tears started to fall because there's a battle inside of me: to stop.

And I know I needed somebody to talk. But to get somebody to talk to, to get somebody to know that you're not okay wasn't my thing. I felt defeated if said I wasn't okay. I felt like a total loser of can't controlling what is happening towards myself.

See how that actually made me a loser? I refused to be helped, I thought myself was enough.

Long story short, finally I got someone to talk to and the first thing he asked me was,

"Are you sure you've forgiven yourself in the past, or just forgetting it?"

I was speechless. I knew all these time I was happy and I was fine because I stopped thinking about what's happening in the past.

"Have you forgiven them?"

I didn't know what to reply. My mind started to remember all the failures I've done in the past, especially the disappointment from myself to myself. I even still couldn't forgive my mistakes. And I still remember how I regretted myself for not giving out my best.

"....Maybe? I don't know. I tried to deal with all of it, tried to stop thinking about those but somehow those still hurt me inside." I told him.

"That's why. You've been so hard on yourself. It's forgotten but not forgiven.. blame yourself in the past, you act and demand perfection so a little mistake could break your heart into pieces." He told me.

Tears started to come again because I knew it was all true.

"Look. Here in this world, is a non-stop learning process. No one could be free from mistakes, even the Holy Prophet did. Since it's a learning process, what matter is how you fix it.

Firstly, try to forgive yourself. You did mistakes, so what? People do, that makes us human. No one would get anything perfect at the first try. 

Secondly, after you forgive yourself, don't be hard on yourself. A little mistake wouldn't harm. It's okay. It's good for motivation to do your best, but if you blame yourself for not getting it, that's trouble.

Thirdly, there's always another chance. Mistakes that you do in the past doesn't define you in the future, except, you try better. Learn from your mistakes so that when next chance comes, you won't do the same but you'll do better."

I was totally speechless. All these time I thought I've dealt with it but in fact, I wasn't. I just forgetting it. That's why sometimes it came because I was never in the first place accepting it. Accepting my flaws, my weaknesses, my mistakes in the past.

And now that I know, we all need to totally accept who we are. To accept the strength we have, to accept the weakness that we have and to be proud of ourselves. Proud of what I am now, and proud of what I was and I'll be proud of what I'll be. Yes, I'm proud of the imperfect me. I'm proud that I know not all the things I can handle, that's why I need other people. I'm proud of what I've been and what I've become. And I've forgiven myself for all that.

I had come across this article too, and I think it's a really good time for us to forgive all things we have done in 2016 (and years before) and start a new fresh 2017.

Have you forgiven yourself? :)

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