“And forgiveness is also—or feels—dangerous: It exposes us not so much to repetition of the original harm as to feeling vulnerable and open.” ~ Piero Ferrucci
I diligently penned sentences on all the reasons why I should forgive myself as a response to a writing prompt in an awesome writer’s workshop.
I wrote freely about forgiveness, but then I stopped.
It wasn’t writer’s block, but a writer’s opening: a crack in the shell of perception.
And it poured out:
Forget about groveling at my own soul.
Sure, forgiveness meant being vulnerable toward ourselves; and I could do that.
It’s quite easy to forgive myself for occasionally cursing like a sailor while I’m driving with my kids in the car. Forgive myself for eating too many gluten-free chocolate cupcakes. Forgive myself for some things that I rather not write about here, but I have, impulsively.
Are these things truly bad? Why should I have to forgive myself for being vulnerable?
Why do we seek forgiveness for those darker spaces in our souls and in our hearts?
I wondered if the very things that I perceived as needing forgiveness were really products of a cultural construction defining the roles that I should play.
Did I really need to forgive myself for being tough (as the cultural assumption—during my childhood—wanted women to act sweet and soft, not strong in our voice and demeanor)?
Did I really need to forgive myself for wanting to be happy? For wanting to be heard and honored? For being embarrassed for asking too many questions? I will always be curious, and that wasn’t something that needed to be forgiven.
Did I really need to forgive myself for standing up for my loved ones or others facing injustices?
F*ck forgiveness when it came to these things.
It will always be more than okay for me to ask for more than what has been culturally defined as appropriate for me—as it is for you.
We don’t need to forgive ourselves for all those little wants.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong in asking for more than what we are receiving.
We are all the same because underneath our bristling skin or our soft fingertips—we all crave love, especially in those darker spaces of our soul—and that is never something that should be seen as needing forgiveness.
Author: Jes Wright
Editor: Renee Picard
Images: Alex Hamel/Pixoto