Words of Wisdom: Forgive Yourself

Forgiveness is something I have yet to master. For some reason, I am unable to forgive myself or those around me. Okay–not all the time. There are some exceptions…but for the most part, forgiveness is not in my vocabulary. I’m working on changing that, and if you’re anything like me, you should work on changing that, too.

This past Thursday, my four wisdom teeth were surgically removed. As a person with a major fear of procedures and surgeries, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous or anxious. I would also be lying if I said that I didn’t turn to comfort foods after the procedure. I still do, in fact. Ice cream calls my name every time I feel a pain in my mouth. Without thinking, my hand pulls open my freezer door and grabs a pint of Halo Top. That’s not a good habit, it’s not a healthy habit. I acknowledge that and I’m steering away from the freezer now. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t beat myself up over it.

After overindulging in ice cream, I was angry with myself. Angry that I allowed my emotions to overcome my entire body, angry that I allowed myself to mindlessly eat a ridiculous amount of ice cream within such a short amount of time. I told friends and family about what I did, and how uncomfortable I felt after eating the ice cream. My best friend reassured me that I was okay, that things would be okay. We all slip up, we’re only human.

I needed to hear that from her. We cannot take back our thoughts, words, or actions. We can’t erase the cruel words we said about ourselves or about others. But what we can do is acknowledge what happened, forgive ourselves, and move on.

Going into the teeth removal procedure, I knew I wanted to reward myself when I inevitably survived. Instead of rewarding myself with food — my go-to reward, I wanted to splurge on a few new shirts. And guess what? I did. I’ll be getting 6 new shirts within the next few days. That’s huge. That’s much better than overindulging with ice cream for four days in a row, and then getting depressed about it.

Yes, I ate more ice cream than I’d like to have ate. And yes, I’m going to eat more ice cream during my recovery… I’m eyeing the Vanilla Bean ice cream for tomorrow night already. But this story isn’t as frustrating or sad as it could have been, because I decided to accept what I did, forgive myself for slipping up, and move on. I didn’t allow my inner-critic to ruin the rest of the night or the weekend…or start off the week with a bad taste in my mouth about my abilities.

Next time you slip up and/or frustrate yourself, don’t beat yourself up. It’s okay. You’re going to be okay. Forgive yourself and allow yourself to have a fresh start. A positive start, rather than a negative one.

P.S. In case you were wondering, my wisdom teeth surgery went well! It was not as scary or as painful as I anticipated; the surgery was quick and painless. It was easy. The not-so-easy part is the recovery. My pain comes and goes, but it hasn’t been too terrible. I can tolerate it. I do, however, freak out nearly every moment of everyday about my gums. I don’t like the wounds being so exposed, I don’t like how easy it can be to get an infection or to get food stuck. I cannot wait until the gums heal more. Until then, you’ll find me constantly complaining and eating soft foods…….

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