Tomorrow is a new day! Be kind to yourself.

We’ve all been through things we thought would break us, the betrayal of friends, the death of a marriage, abandonment. Whether by our own experiences or those close to us, we have all been touched in some way by addiction, mental, physical and/or sexual abuse. All of these things, I experienced in my own life. Each experience left me bitter and angry. My self-worth waned. No matter how hard we try, we can’t control the decisions and actions of others. We only have control over our own. Have you ever heard the saying “hurt people hurt people”? That was me. Not really understanding my value and my worth, I carried all of those experiences into decisions I had full control over. Decisions that ultimately hurt people I cared deeply for, in a way I never imagined I would be capable of. As life moved on, as it does, and as I grew and matured in my faith, my heart began to heal and I was able to forgive, extend grace……. to everyone but myself.

Grace is an amazing thing. It’s true that when you truly forgive other people for the wrongs they have done, it frees up a dark space in your heart. Forgiveness doesn’t mean we forget. It simply means we no longer allow that experience to choke the roots of our heart. There’s one problem with how we view grace. We’re taught to give it freely to those around us, regardless of the extent of the damage. Somehow, we’ve missed the lesson in extending grace to ourselves. We tend to remind ourselves almost daily of our shortcomings and failures, keeping our heads down, consumed by our grief & shame, and comparing ourselves to those we (wrongly) assume have it all together. Although forgiveness and grace for others is so important, it’s just as important to extend that same forgiveness and grace to ourselves.

I challenge you. Right now! Stand in front of your mirror, head up, confident. Name it. Own it. Forgive it. Write it down, crumple it up, burn it if that helps, but let it go…..daily, if you have to. You are brave. You are strong. You are beautiful. You are worthy. Tomorrow is a new day! Be kind to yourself.