It is a unique form of forgiving, and one of the most challenging ones there is: Self-forgiveness. Why is it so hard? That’s what I am going to speak to, because I was riddled with so much shame and guilt for years that I allowed low vibrations to substitute for my real feelings about what I’d done. In the early 1970s I answered an inner call, which culminated in leaving my 3 young children, my husband of 14 years and my life.
Loosened from my family, and severed from the life I had known for over thirty years, I felt liberated and lost at the same time. The freedom was exhilarating, but I was rendered completely rudderless.
How to begin a new life? Having no developmental chart for starting life over, I skipped the crawling and toddler stages and wobbled upright, a wee bit off-center, but standing.
As a neophyte on an uncharted journey, I used the crutch of denial to hold me up. Denial helped to blur the pain as I blundered through the early stages of my “new” life.
With time, the veil of denial slowly slipped away, and I began to learn why self-forgiveness was so hard.
At a conscious level I used the Trickster to build a parallel universe for myself, living under the spell of, “all is well.” Sub-consciously there was the relentless drip, drip, drip of guilt and shame flowing into my heart. I was undeserving; what I had done was unforgiveable.
Eventually, using Science of Mind principles, I began to see how the Invisible (God) supports the visible. I started replacing the old messages of not being good enough with new thoughts. A better understanding of cause and effect enabled me to sweep away the remaining crumbs of guilt. I had not intended to harm anyone, but my leaving did cause pain and suffering – a natural consequence – to my family and to myself.
In the end, I realized my true feelings were not of guilt and shame, but rather remorse and sorrow. I had to grieve for what I had lost, both in myself and for those lost years from my children.
My inner call, the one that had led me away, led me also to discover a deeper sense of my true identity, the seat of all forgiveness. From there, I found my way to self-forgiveness. Freed from that decades-long burden, I returned “home” to finish what I had started, determined to meet myself, and others, according to the wisdom of the ancient Persian poet, Rumi: Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.