Friday, April 4, 2014

Week 14 Weigh-In: Forgiveness

210 lbs.

This week's class was very meaningful to me.  We discussed forgiveness, of ourselves and others.  Many of us, myself included, live with deep regrets or hurts that fuel the need to eat the bad feelings away.  We have current or past hurts or feelings of embarrassment that we continue to carry with us and keep resurfacing at various times in our lives.

I'd like to say that most of the regrets that I carry around with me are profound or were life-changing, but I think it wouldn't necessarily be accurate.  Some of the anxieties and regrets that resurface for me are small, petty things that every normal person feels or does.  They are common mistakes of humanity that I have assigned too much importance to, and that I don't let go of.  On some level I am conscious of them.  There have been times in my life that I have cleared a few away when I noticed people whom I respect, make the same mistakes.  For some reason, it is then that I was able to forgive myself for doing those same things.

Hearing our group's discussions on these experiences, I finally realized that I am taking myself and my actions much too seriously.  Yes, if I hurt others, I should make amends as soon as I realize it.  But if I am continually beating myself up for making a choice that I no longer agree with, then I am living with the impossible expectation that I can make the right decision at all times.   That is crazy!

Our group leader used Oprah's definition of forgiveness. "Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different."  She went on to say that if we could have made a different decision, we would have.  We made the best decision we could at that moment in time, given all of the variables of our lives.

It is fair to look back at the past and learn from the choices we make, and strategize how we might do it differently in the future.  But we have to let go of the judgement surrounding that choice.  If we are harboring hurt or anger towards another person, it is okay to re-examine that relationship and either forgive the person, or forgive ourselves for letting that person's actions continue to haunt our lives.  This conversation was difficult, and of course everyone's problems weren't solved in that instant.  In fact, I'm not sure I'm doing it justice in this blog.  But I found it to be very helpful to think about as I hope to lessen the number of triggers for emotional eating in the future.

One of my fellow group members said something that resonated with me.  "Making this commitment to fast, lose weight and get healthy is an act of forgiving myself for letting myself get this heavy and unhealthy."  This program is a long and contemplative one for most of us.  Caring for ourselves is an act of forgiveness and love.  I guess I needed to hear that.  


Unknown said...

This is a very powerful post. And, I'm sure you have done it justice, because it has really resonated with me too. I am learning so much from reading your blog. I think your interpretations are so wise and thoughtful. You are clearly getting a lot out of these sessions. And you're passing a lot on too.

I feel so much of the same things that you have written about here.

I hope you can continue to let go of those little chips and chinks in your past. I hope you can find greater peace. You deserve to see yourself the way others do.

happyinca said...

Thanks so much for your kind words and encouragement, Caitlin. It means a lot to me to know that I'm not alone in my feelings and experiences that have kept me from enjoying a healthier life, and that we are all in it together, deciding not to give up, no matter how long it takes, and what happens along the way.