Do you feel alone in your mistakes? Do you ever think you are the only one who has made a poor parenting decision, eaten or drank too much, or spent money foolishly, racking up massive debt? In her book: I Thought It Was Just Me(but it isn’t), Brené Brown says, “I don’t tell anyone the things I have gone through”. This is how Emy and I stumbled upon the idea for our book, Lessons Through Forgiveness. Emy wrote a heart felt chapter for another book. In this chapter she share a story from her life. It was full of regret for choices she had made in the past. It was so raw that it touched me in a way that few stories ever have. We all have these moments in our life that few, if any, know about. We are all not perfect.
Just think about all the things you are or ever have beat yourself up for. What mistakes have you made in the past that you feel are unforgivable or that you would never want to see the light of day? Do you judge yourself a failure for these things? What is so taboo to talk about; so we all most suffer alone in silence?
Parenting – Nothing can hurt you like your children. I have found that parenting has been the most painful experience. There is joy too, but everyone shares the joy. Few of us can really talk about the way we feel we have failed our children.
Sex – Sex is so often used for the wrong reasons. So many of us think sex will bring us love or boost our self esteem. I am sure there are many people out there who feel they slept with the “wrong” person. It might have been a poor choice in a partner or maybe they cheated on a relationship. Did you know that 25% of Americans have an incurable sexually transmitted disease (hivplusmag.com)? Yet no one talks about this.
Substance abuse – 23.5 million Americans are addicted to drugs and alcohol according to drugabuse.gov. Unless you are attending a recovery program you are unlikely to hear anyone share these stories.
Eating disorders – I am an emotional eater. Others forego eating when they are stressed. Depending on the website you look at it is estimated anywhere from 8 – 30 million Americans have an eating disorder. I can think of many painful stories related to my dysfunctional relationship with food that I have NEVER shared with anyone. When I have felt safe enough to share some stories with others, I learned that my stories were not all that unique.
Mental health – Even today, when we know so much more, there can still be such a stigma around mental health. 1 in 5 adults in this country has a mental health illness. The rate is about the same amongst teens. So many people are afraid to share when they are experiencing mental health issues. There are even those who are afraid to seek treatment for fear of what others will think.
Financial issues – Money troubles, crippling debt, gambling addictions, bankruptcies, Stockmarket missteps, foreclosures, even the good old “retail therapy” are ways that financial woes can creep into our lives. Many are busy beating themselves up for a history of poor or impulsive decisions related to money.
So many ways we judge ourselves and others. I am not saying you should run out and share all your stories. What I am saying is you should forgive yourself for your missteps. Know that you are not alone. Love yourself even if you feel like you have made mistakes, even if you think those mistakes are unforgivable.
Thank you for reading my blog today! I wish you a life filled with self acceptance.
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