We hear a lot about forgiveness. How an important aspect of healing is forgiveness. How a survivor needs to forgive their abuser before being able to move in their healing and therapy process.
We also hear how forgiveness doesn’t mean a person forgets. Forgiveness isn’t about accepting the behavior of the abuser. Nor is it about excusing their actions. It’s about letting go and not letting the abuser continue to have control in the survivors life. It’s about taking back your life.
What we don’t hear a lot about is self-forgiveness.
When healing from past traumas, forgiveness towards your abuser is a vital part. But equally important is learning to forgive yourself. Sounds crazy I know. I believe that you can’t forgive anyone else, or move forward, if you cannot forgive yourself first. No you did not do anything wrong. Let me say that again…You Did Not Do Anything Wrong!
Self-Forgiveness is about forgiving yourself for all those negative thoughts you had about yourself. It’s about freeing yourself. It’s about releasing blame from yourself. As a survivor, we often blame ourselves for various things. One of those things being ‘we allowed our self to be in a position to be abused’, or ‘we did xyz so we deserved it’. If you can’t forgive yourself, then how is healing possible? How can you move forward? How can you forgive anyone else. By the way, forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting (but that is a topic for later on…)
Step one: Forgive yourself. This is a topic Callie will be learning about in book 2, The Secrets We Keep: Imperfections, which will be coming out in a few months.