Forgiving Our Entire Self
A little girl stood waiting early one morning at the neighborhood’s school bus stop. The stop was just across the way from her own house. She was in the fifth grade now, but still very shy when she was with her classmates. She was going to a new school this year, too far away from home to ride her bicycle. One morning, the little boys at the bus stop were teasing the little girls with some earthworms they discovered had come crawling up from the ground after the morning’s heavy rain. Girls were running and screaming from misbehaving little boys who were waiving and tossing the thick, ugly, gray worms. The little girl was so very afraid of having one of these earthworms thrown at her that she wanted to run back home. She knew though that she’d never live that down, that the next time they decided to tease and harass the girls, she’d bear the brunt of it. So instead, she stood perfectly still, school books held tightly to her chest and head towards the ground. She hoped they would assume that she wasn’t afraid and in turn, not tease her. It worked.
On another occasion while at the bus stop, the little girl watched across the way as some of those same children were passing by her house on their way to the bus stop. She could see her little dog barking at them continuously as they walked past her back yard. What they did next horrified the little girl. A couple of her classmates picked up some small rocks and began throwing them at the small dog. The little girl wanted to run right over there and yell at them and make them stop. That was her little dog after all. But she didn’t move. She wondered if she’d even be able to make them stop, there were about 5 of them and 1 of her. Why wouldn’t the dog just stop barking? What was she going to do? What would the repercussions be if she took any action? – - Less than a minute later, her classmates had passed her house and were again making their way to the bus stop. The dog was okay, never having been hit. It seemed having to throw the rocks through a chain link fence messed up the children’s aim.
That little girl was me. I think I was in my early 30’s before I forgave myself for that one. If we look back, all the way back, it’s amazing at how much negative stuff we carry around with us. At that point in my life, I’d accumulated 3 decades worth of stuff, and being the sensitive child that I was, hadn’t let any of it go. The incident was a very long time ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. – - When we think of forgiveness, we often think of other people that we feel have done us wrong in some way. I’ve learned, however, that it has everything to do with ourselves. I had to learn to forgive myself first for anything I felt I’d done wrong… in my entire life.
First I had to acknowledge my perceived wrongs, accept them, make peace with them as having been learning experiences… and then let them go. I say ‘perceived’ because it’s not a matter of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ choices, they are all simply experiences in which we have the opportunity to learn. So where do we start? How do we forgive ourselves? Acknowledging our ‘wrongs’ may be the easy part; making peace with them may be a little harder for any number of reasons. In this particular case, my dog had of course long since passed on, so I said a little prayer to her/for her, thanking her for all the wonderful times we shared. And I apologized. Now I don’t know that my dog actually heard my prayer, but the act itself took the weight off my shoulders and made it possible for me to forgive myself.
The incident wasn’t just between me and my dog, however, but between my inner child and my dog, so I was going to have to have a conversation with her as well (which I did through a meditation). That might sound unusual to some people, but all the energy of our inner child remains with us always. All their joy, their sadness, their dreams, their anguish… lives in us.
Once I learned to forgive myself, forgiveness of others became possible. But then I began looking at others differently too. Just like my ‘mistakes’ were made as part of a learning process, so could it be with others. Just as I was able to make peace with my ‘mistakes’, so could it be for others. Just as I was able to forgive myself, so could it be with others. There was a recognition that everyone is on their own path and that we are each responsible only for ourselves. The actions of others are not only not our responsibility but they are not for us to judge. We are each on our own journey, a path that leads to the God of our heart. And we are on this journey for the spiritual growth of our soul… our immortal soul. – - A journey made easier if we walk hand in hand with our inner child.
- – (C)Dani Lynn
My Chi Garden, Discovering Your Own Personal Energy Garden is a journey of self-discovery.
Coming soon: Chapter Four “An Energy of Love” (Balance In All Things)
** See also: Discovering Your Own Personal Energy Garden – Live Book:
Chapter Two: A New Beginning, Posted 4-14-2012
Chapter One: My Own Personal Energy Garden, Posted 4-02-2012
Preface: Discovering Your Own Personal Energy Garden, Posted 4-1-2012