Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

Forgiving the Past Lexie


The Mighty just posted a great piece on forgiveness–forgiving yourself for your past.  I sometimes–okay, often–find that it is much easier to forgive others than it is to forgive myself.  I look at my life with this big “What If?” question hanging over everything.  “What if I had never hurt myself?”  “What if I had accepted help when it was first offered?”  “What if I hadn’t been so stubborn?”  “What if I hadn’t been so stupid?”  And if I let myself ruminate on these questions, the names I call myself only get worse.

I wonder where I’d be in life if I had stayed on the straight and narrow path.  Who would I have become?  The problem with these types of questions is that there are no answers for them, only guesses.  We can’t go back and undo all of our errant ways.  Even if some of the bad choices still affect today’s situations and relationships.

I may have forgiven myself, and the time I spend trying to answer hypothetical questions has decreased.  What affects me more is when I run into someone who still expects me to act like that Past Lexie.  Their guard is up when they are near me.  Even after ten years of recovery, my inevitable relapse is only a few days away in their eyes.  And, of course, some don’t allow me in their lives at all.  I want to tell them how much I have changed, how much I have learned, how much I have grown.

What is still difficult is knowing that not everyone from my past will forgive me.  Just as I didn’t listen to everyone who offered me their help, I cannot force people in my life to forgive me or to believe I have changed.

I live in my body with my mind, and that is what I must keep choosing to focus on: how I choose to live in this present moment is the best practice for me and for those around me.  I have learned from my past, but I no longer live there.

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April 9, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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