Forgiving Yourself

Last week I had an uncomfortable interaction with a good friend. It wasn’t uncomfortable for her (in fact, I would venture to guess she suspects nothing was wrong at all.)

The discomfort was all in my head and my heart.

I was driving along, listening to the radio and the caller was asking for help with how to stage an intervention for her friend. She was desperately worried her friend’s addiction would kill her and she wanted to intervene.

What was she addicted to?

Food.

That’s right. She was addicted to something we cannot live without. She was ingesting something that is perfectly legal and necessary.

As I was listening to her friend plead her case as to why she should interject herself into this woman’s life my phone rang.

I turned off the radio and saw that it was a good friend of mine.

She had been listening to this radio show about how the caller wanted to save her friend’s life and she thought I should call in, since I had been in the woman’s shoes and lost so much weight and saved my life.

Wait, what?

I told my friend that she was sweet and I appreciate her thinking of me, but I wasn’t comfortable with calling in about something so personal and sharing it with all these people.

She told me I would be inspirational and that my story could help!

I declined.

When we hung up a couple minutes later I was left feeling, for lack of a better word, like garbage.

As I continued on to my destination (ironically I was headed to the gym) I thought back on my reaction. Why was I so upset? Shouldn’t I be proud and grateful for all the life change that had happened? Shouldn’t a natural response be to share that with others?

Maybe, but that’s not what was racing through my head.

I was ashamed that I had ever gotten so out of control that I would’ve been “that person” people wanted to intervene and save. I was embarrassed to admit that life had gotten that bad and that I was totally powerless (back to step one I go…) Who loses the weight of a whole person and is so distraught they forget about everything good that happened on the journey to health?

I guess me- I am that person.

Maybe this is what will be used to always keep me humble. I may never ever be healed by God- He may never take this thorn from my flesh and it may always be a daily battle, but that doesn’t make my struggle any different than anyone elses. I have no reason to be ashamed.

Context changes person to person , our need to be healed is universal.

So, while the time has passed for me to call in and share my story with the woman who just wants her friend to live, I can still share this message:

We all need love- from others but mostly from ourselves. We all walk a painfully hard road. Don’t tell her where to walk, but if you truly love her, never let her walk alone. Eventually she will need to see how loveable she is and how she can do things even if she’s afraid, and she needs you by her side. You probably need her for your journey just the same. Don’t let go.

Let’s hold hands and walk together. Unashamed. Grateful.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Me

Dear Me,

Today and always I love you. I may not always show it by how I treat you or by the way I talk about you when I’m with others, but I’m trying to be better about that.

I didn’t get you anything today, no gift or card seemed fitting. All I have to offer is the promise to keep trying to make good choices that are self honoring.

I’m sorry for all of the years I was mean to you and mistreated you- I know out of everyone, I broke your heart the most.

Today, let’s try to move forward. Self- you are the best and no one ever gets to tell you otherwise or change that.

Don’t forget it.