This weekend I took out my journal and wrote a kind of letter to myself. I started with these words: I forgive myself…
I wrote down the things I am ready to forgive myself for (and a few things I am not). Maybe you, too, want to focus on forgiveness, and write about what you’re ready to let go.
For instance, I’m ready to forgive myself for spending afternoons lying on the couch mindlessly watching TV, making my way through a box of Cheez-It crackers out of boredom.
Margarita Tartakovsky is an associate editor at PsychCentral.com, an award-winning mental health website, and the voice behind Weightless, a blog that helps women deal with body image issues and disordered eating. She also writes a monthly feature for Beliefnet.com, covering topics such as patience and procrastination.
Editor: Nadeem Noor
I’m ready to forgive myself during those years in college and grad school when I tuned out life.
I forgive myself for letting the scale rule my life, for letting the fear of weight gain mar most of my days.
I forgive myself for spending years clinging to the idea that weight loss was a magical elixir, a genie who’d grant me all my wishes.
I forgive myself for hating my body, for wishing away every part, for thinking I had to be someone else in order to be worthy, for hanging out with people who didn’t see my worth and through their actions suggested it never existed in the first place.
I forgive myself for saying yes to things I wanted to say no to and for saying no when I wanted to say yes.
I forgive myself for making mistakes, for breaking diets, for turning to food when I was lonely and lost.
I forgive myself for the indecision, for giving others the power of my voice.
I forgive myself for being scared, for pushing too far, for punishing myself for not working out, “eating right,” or being adventurous or fearless.
I forgive myself for being so critical, for saying I needed to buck up and push down painful feelings. For not being compassionate or kind toward myself on the days I desperately needed it.
I forgive myself for pretending to like music, hobbies and foods I didn’t like at all. For letting this become another method of not accepting myself.
I forgive myself for believing that my likes, dislikes, and me at my core somehow weren’t good enough.
I forgive myself for believing that I didn’t deserve genuine respect and love for the me at my core. That I only deserved these things when I lost weight, and the genie would arrive and deem me worthy.
I forgive myself for not recognizing my own needs, for not standing up for them.
I forgive myself for creating rigid rules that were impossible to live up to anyway, but still caused pain.
Honestly, there are things I can’t forgive myself for yet, like moments when I took my grandma and my father for granted. When I said mean things, when I was embarrassed of their accents, when I was too spoiled to savor their presence, when I didn’t realize how lucky and blessed I was to have these magnificent people in my life. Because little did I know that there would come a time when they’d no longer be here, and the only place I’d hear their voices would be in my dreams.
No. I can’t forgive myself for that just yet. But maybe one day.
For now I do forgive myself for all the other things, and that will have to be enough. And that’s OK.