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CPR: Self-Forgiveness


CPR: Self-Forgiveness

Jsmne Halle

“I forgive myself for shrinking to fit into boxes that do not belong to me.” Alex Elle 

I woke up a few days ago a bit disillusioned after a quick conversation that I had with a friend. She said that she could see my outlook changing, and that I was previously focused on things that were making me someone who I wasn’t destined to be. The next day, in seemingly perfect alignment, I came cross this poem by Alex Elle. While reading, everything felt like it came to a complete halt. There was such a chill, because I know in so many parts of my life, that I settled, and shrunk so small that my fire turned into a single ember. I stopped painting, writing, creating, and instead poured into things that left my spirit unfulfilled. 

Coming to such a realization about myself, and my journey as a woman, and as a creative has been met with not only an increased amount of self-auditing, but some bouts of anger as well. I felt (and sometimes I still feel) upset that I spent so much time molding myself into everything that I am not supposed to be. I took some convenient ways out rather than taking those leaps of faith to bet on myself. For me, this became not only about learning to forgive myself, but also a lesson in self-worth. It hasn’t been about what I deserve and am not receiving from others, but how I have shortchanged myself out of dreams and opportunities by remaining small enough for greatness to pass right through me. 

This feeling is also immensely odd in the fact that while it felt like my world was crumbling, it simultaneously felt like the sky has opened up. I’m slowly giving myself the permission to start over without shame. I’m only 24, so this’ll probably be the first of many personal reboots. I’m learning that it’s okay for experiences to run their course. I don’t have to stay in one place, one frame of mind forever. I’m allowed to hold space to blossom. 

What’s hardest about reconciling whom I was turning into with who I am meant to be, is forgiving myself for feeling like I’ve wasted time. As my own biggest critic, I find it hard to extend myself grace when needed. Positive self-talk gets reallllllll difficult in these moments, but I remind myself that I’ve gotten through the hardest part – recognizing that I wasn’t walking in my purpose. Those thoughts keep me grounded in knowing that I’m doing the work to forgive myself and explore more things that I love. 

What I know to be true though, is that I am self-aware enough now to know what I need, and make room for myself to receive it. Affirmation charting has been really helpful during this period, because it makes it easier to name what I want/need. I also just feel like there’s something special in putting pen to paper and writing it out. Self-forgiveness has been a process, full of twists and turns, but I’m excited to see where I’m going.