Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun. 2 Corinthians 5:17
At every turn and every corner there are voices. Each carries its own tone, its own pitch, and its own expectations. What each has in common at the intersecting point within the mind is “it’s your fault, you didn’t do it right, you aren’t good enough.”
A few nights ago, I had this dream that ended with a voice saying “it’s your fault.” The details of the dream aren’t as important as those 3 words that resonated in my head.
Throughout the day, my mind wandered back to that dream and those words – its your fault. As I reflected on that statement, I also began to contemplate why it’s so hard for me to forgive myself.
Throughout my life, it seems I couldn’t meet the expectations of others. In many cases I didn’t feel good enough. I failed over and over again. Each time, in my head I heard
It was all my fault!
As these voices circled in my head, I realized that perhaps one reason I struggle with forgiving myself is that I believe the lie that fear tells me…. I will never be good enough and it’s all my fault.
Any time I feel I don’t achieve the expectations whether they are my own or someone else’s, I feel I’ve failed, don’t measure up and I only have my self to blame. This is the record player in my head in all aspects of my life, even my relationship with God.
Not sure if any of this sounds familiar to you?
You feel you can’t ever do anything right. You aren’t good enough. You begin to own the blame of all things that fail in your relationships. You beat yourself up over the things you do or don’t do that result in unwanted circumstances.
As I personally wrestled with this as a result of this dream, I connected all these relationships and these voices to why I push myself to breaking point to please the expectations of others. If I could have done better, been better I could have achieved what was expected. The result of those feelings equates to the inability to forgive myself. I think my mind tells itself I can’t forgive myself for things in my life or relationships that have gone bad because there is a defect in me – I just wasn’t good enough.
Of course there is another part of me that is more rational. Perhaps this is the little angel side of my mind. This rational side tells me none of this is true. Unfortunately, all of these things have been buried under a bunch of junk and it wasn’t until they began to surface that this other side of my mind said you are good enough, it isn’t your fault. This is the side I want to spend more time with but in order to do so I have to let the other stuff surface so that I can take my little scooper and scoop it off the surface, dumping it in the incinerator. Today, it surfaces and I process it. Tomorrow, through awareness I become better equipped to not let these lies tarnish the gem God is creating.
How do I do that? My answer – SURRENDER
God speaks to every individual through what happens to them moment by moment. There remains one single duty. It is to keep one’s gaze fixed on the master one has chosen and to be constantly listening so as to understand and hear and immediately obey his will. The only condition necessary for this state of self surrender is the present moment in which the soul, light as a feather, fluid as water, innocent as a child, responds to every movement of grace like a floating balloon. Such souls are like molten metal filling whatever vessel God chooses to pour them into.” Jean-Pierre De Caussade, “The Sacrament of the Present Moment”
I just started reading this little book and I loved that quote from this French Jesuit. It is in every moment that God speaks to us and in every moment that He is calling us to surrender to Him. In surrendering, freeing ourselves, these lies become just that – LIES. He equips each of us with grace in the moment. By surrendering to that grace, every step, every action is exact in accordance to His plans for us. It is in that present moment of surrender to self where God meets us and covers us with a perfect love that washes away all those things that prevent us from forgiving ourselves. The phrase “it’s my fault” diminishes. Blame fades because the grace and love of His will as we surrender to it is enough.
Do you think surrendering to God’s will could be a companion to forgiving yourself?