YOU. Yes, you. Have you asked yourself for forgiveness yet?
Every year, millions of Jews all over the world celebrate one of the most important holidays – Yom Kippur. Yom in Hebrew means “day” and Kippur is usually translated as “to atone”. The Day of Atonement plays a significant role in Jewish tradition. It gives religious Jews an opportunity to amend their behavior and seek forgiveness for wrongs done against God and against other human beings so they can start New Jewish Year with a pure heart.
Although I’m not a Jew, I find this tradition really beautiful and every year I take it as a reminder to forgive and hope to be forgiven. I don’t believe that we need one specific day to apologize for what we’ve done wrong, but as I said, a little reminder is never a bad thing.
I think that being able to really forgive is one of the hardest things that human beings need to accomplish. We all get hurt and we all hurt other people and although I believe that we are good by nature and we never hurt others on purpose (or almost never) being able to say to someone who caused us a lot of sufferings “I forgive you”, is really hard.
Forgiveness is beautiful and it feels good when someone gives that gift to you. But it’s one thing for someone you wronged to forgive you. It was another to forgive yourself.
― Kristen Ashley,
As always, there are two sides to every coin – not only forgiving someone is hard, but asking for forgiveness can be even harder. We are very proud creatures with big egos that don’t like to admit that we are not perfect, and yes, we make mistakes. We like to feed ourselves with a false feeling of being superior to others, being the one who is right in every conflict, the one who doesn’t need to apologize. Getting to realize that we actually need to ask someone for forgiveness for whatever we said or done can be a long process and won’t always finish with success.
I have learned, that the person I have to ask for forgiveness from the most is: myself. You must love yourself. You have to forgive yourself, everyday, whenever you remember a shortcoming, a flaw, you have to tell yourself “That’s just fine”. You have to forgive yourself so much, until you don’t even see those things anymore. Because that’s what love is like. – C. JoyBell C.
But how many times we actually seek forgiveness from ourselves? How many times did we make the double effort of asking ourselves for forgiveness and also actually forgiving ourselves for not being perfect? We are good by nature, we are unique, we are an integral part of the universe, but we are not perfect. And everyone claiming otherwise is lying to himself (and to others of course).
Shake hands with yourself. Forgive yourself and you can learn to love yourself and others in the manner that brings you the greatest fulfillment of all. With love, all things are truly possible. – Charmainism
I believe, that we do need to forgive ourselves for not being perfect. We need to make a double effort and not only admit that we screwed up many times, but also let go of the feeling of guilt or suffering and forgive and accept our imperfect existence. Truly and for real. Exactly the same as we forgive our parents, family members, ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends, friends and strangers for hurting us, we HAVE TO forgive ourselves for getting hurt as well.
Maybe we have to forgive ourselves for making bad choices, saying and doing things we didn’t mean, for being lazy, have short-temper or not enough strength to go for things we really want. Maybe we are too sensitive or too harsh on ourselves; maybe we keep anger or feeling of guilt or resentment for too long or maybe we don’t feel worthy…
Whatever it is, we do need to seek forgiveness from ourselves exactly the same way as we ask others to forgive us for the things we’ve done.