When Crystal shared her vision for “The Art of Forgiveness” Project, I knew that I simply must participate. I have long been a believer that practicing forgiveness is an essential skill for living a free and happy life. Then she asked me to publicly share a forgiveness statement. Huh. Who was on the forgiveness procrastination list, I wonder?
Mom: Forgave her for the shortcomings I perceived in her years ago.
Stepdad: Same, same.
And so it continued all the way down the list of anyone I had at anytime resented, been hurt by, or otherwise left a bad taste in my mouth.
Because I KNEW and I knew that I knew that practicing un-forgiveness was akin to eating poison and expecting the other person to die. I also knew that from a spiritual perspective, everyone comes perfectly into our lives to teach us whatever lessons our souls need to learn for growth and evolution.
And then it hit me: I had never truly forgiven myself.
I think part of the reason forgiving other people always came (relatively) easy for me was because I needed to be perfect. Be the “bigger” person. Do the right thing. Moral. Upright. In good standing. When I really looked at it, I almost collapsed under the weight I’d been heaping on myself for pretty much my entire life: Let others off the hook, but keep my firmly on.
So my declaration today is this:
“Camille, I forgive you for trying so hard to be perfect. For overworking, under-receiving, for setting totally unrealistic standards for yourself that you would NEVER hold other people to. I forgive you. And more than that, I love you and accept you exactly as you are, regardless of whether you ever get anything “perfect” every again. I now give you permission to be free and happy and leave perfection to God, puppies, flowers, bacon, sunsets and the ocean.”