[Guest Post by Kristyn Ramsey – I always appreciate getting to know new people, stories, and faces–especially when they talk about one of my favorite subjects: forgiving myself. Please welcome Kristyn.]
Struggling to forgive myself doesn’t come easy for a mistake I made.
My mom used to tell me my whole life that I never met a stranger in the 24 years on planet earth. And if you meet me, that’s one of the truest statements about me. I can carry on a conversation with anyone, and that is usually to my benefit. Trips to other places were made easier because I made friends wherever I found myself.
I made the mistake of opening up my mouth when I shouldn’t have.
Typical, I continued to tell myself over and over again. I spoke when I was angry and made a rash judgment when I had no place to do that. I wanted so badly to be right with a situation in which I was honestly wrong that it cost me more than I ever dreamed of it costing me.
But not this time: I lost a relationship with someone that should have been one of my closest friends as I walked the journey into adulthood. But because I didn’t keep my mouth shut, I lost it. I lost a relationship that to this day I am not sure that I will ever get back because of that one mistake.
I did aim to fix the relationship.
I did everything I should have done.
The advice from friends was this:
“You’ve done everything you could have.”
“I don’t know what is going through her head.”
I had to realize that I could not change how she felt. She was right to be mad, but it is also her choice not to forgive me.
I tried to continue to tell her that I was sorry, and didn’t mean what I said when I made the mistake that I did. She continued to act like I didn’t exist.
Even with that, after many conversations about it, I hadn’t forgiven myself.
When she treated me like I didn’t exist, I wondered if I needed to continue to exist. The darkness that I felt in that season was overwhelming at times. I made a mistake, but I am a human, I finally learned.
I don’t want to use my humanness as an excuse to make mistakes. But not forgiving myself for an honest mistake was killing me more than it was killing anyone else. People didn’t know that I was constantly beating myself up over an honest mistake.
Big mistakes or little ones, the greatest freedom I found was in forgiving myself.
It came from the reality that I am going to make mistakes; I’m human and part of being human is making mistakes and living with the choices of those decisions. I can’t change how she feels, and what she in turn decides to do with that, but I can change myself.
And those mistakes can either define me, or do what I would rather find myself doing: forgiving myself and letting the things that matter define me instead.
I can let myself continue to live the life that I have the chance to live: to laugh often, love well, and enjoy each moment.
Choosing to walk in that freedom has changed how I feel, how I act, but mostly the freedom to move past that mistake and love my life.
My name is Kristyn, but I’m known to almost everyone I interact with as K-Ram. I love Jesus, spend my free time in my CrossFit gym, and love to learn more about other people. I am in EMT school full time, and spend my days just making sure I put on clean clothes and remember to show up to work when I am supposed to be there. You can find my blog at kristynramsey.blogspot.com.
[Photo: stoplamek, Creative Commons]