Poetry

Punishment

Forgive yourself and end your punishment.

How many times have we heard this time and time again? Guilt is often one of those things that cling like a second skin. It’s always there, nagging and tugging in the background, whispering. If it were so easy to apologize to ourselves and be free, there’d be a lot less suffering in this world. It’s not easy. It’s probably one of the most difficult things we survivors can do. Just don’t give up hope that one day it will happen.

© Sarah Doughty

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15 thoughts on “Punishment”

  1. Guilt, like fear and love, is one powerful, burdening feeling. It’s heavy. It lasts. It can make you do stupid things you’ll regret later, making everything else worse.

    Forgiving yourself sounds so easy, but how do you practically do it?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve found it much easier to forgive others than to forgive myself. Have heard that’s typical of perfectionists. We expect more of ourselves and so have less compassion for ourselves. The day we accept that we’re just human like everyone else is the day we finally start freeing ourselves. We deserve to be free. We deserve to love ourselves unconditionally as we do others.
    Thank you, Sarah, for the beauty of your words. 🥀💕

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There is a standard belief that “you cannot forgive yourself” and then there’s the advice to do just that. In the movie, “Along came the Spider” Morgan Freeman as the main character says, “forgiving yourself is the one thing you can’t do.” However, there is “cannnot,” and there is “can.” Imagine walking in a forest, along a mountain side and your trail is suddenly blocked by a fallen boulder. You can spend the rest of your life trying to break up that boulder in order to regain your trail, or you can simply hack a way around it, back to the trail again, or you can find another trail. I chose to find another trail. That meant forgiving “those others” and quit being a survivor. Being a survivor always brought me back down, cheapened me, blocked me, kept telling me I wasn’t good enough. I got tired of that when I observed that nobody else was “good enough” either, that everybody has an Achilles’ heel by which they are brought down. Maybe we cannot honestly forgive “ourselves” but we most certainly can forgive others. When we open the floodgates to forgiveness, lo and behold we find that “I” am included in that forgiveness. Unlike forgiving others, the personal memories are still here, but they no longer have any bite. They’re a DVD on the shelf: I don’t have to play it. I can remember how that boulder blocked my path, and how upset it made me, but I don’t have to go back there and start hacking away at it again – I’m way past that point now.

    Liked by 1 person

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