One of the steps on this journey for me is to forgive myself for past mistakes and poor decisions. And also to forgive others for past mistakes that may have affected me.
I have done a lot of the latter. I have long forgiven my parents for their shortcomings when I was growing up. I recognize that they did the best they could with what they were given. Especially my mother. I love my mother. I make some jokes at her expense. I get upset with her from time to time for her way of reacting to things, but by and all....I love her. I love her strength, she had endured so much. I love her generous nature, she will give whatever she can to help out anyone. I love her for the way she raised me. She was not perfect, by far. But she did work hard, and she gave me everything I ever needed.....not always what I wanted......but always what I needed. She had a very difficult childhood. Far more difficult than I ever had for sure. But she has risen above and raised five children that are good, decent human beings.
My father, rest his soul, had a difficult life as well. He was plagued by depression and alcoholism. He was not the kind of alcoholic that you often hear about. He provided for his family always, he never hit anyone, he was loving and kind. But a lot of the time when he was drinking, he was emotionally unavailable. But I still loved him dearly. He was easy to love, really, even for all of his faults. I have forgiven him.
My first ex-husband and I together made a lot of mistakes and poor decisions. I do not hold him solely to blame for our marriage not working out. We each had our role in it. If I only tell my side, you will think him a bad person, and really, he was not. We were just really bad together. Having gotten together as teenagers, and neither of us being able to mature and grow from that point to make a mature marriage. I had my own demons of depression to deal with, and he didn't understand those either. But I have forgiven him for it all. I have learned from it and have changed my life in some very positive ways because of it. He and I are now able to be friends. We provide a united front for the children, we parent these children effectively, and that is so important. He is supportive of me and my new/old relationship, and I support him in his endeavours. We are very lucky as not many divorced couples can aspire to that.
My last relationship ended rather badly. We were not married, but we share a son. The relationship was a mistake. We both knew it, neither of us strong enough to admit it or do anything about it. Forgiveness will take time. Not sure if he will ever forgive me. Or I him.
I have forgiven myself though, for things in my past. Things I am not overly proud of, but realize were necessary in order to be where I am today. I have forgiven myself for not being perfect. I have forgiven myself for poor decisions that have impacted others, and I have made my apologies the best that I can. I do not seek forgiveness from those I have hurt, since just because I am sorry, does not mean that they have the obligation to forgive me. I have to be happy with just self forgiveness.
Of course, there are things that I am not sorry for. Standing up for myself, not allowing myself to be hurt anymore. I am not sorry for severing relationships that were damaging to me. I am not sorry for putting myself first for the very first time in my life. I am not sorry for taking care of ME.
TODAY: what I like about me.........I am happy.