I posted this on a Facebook group for female entrepreneurs the other day and 24 hours later there were 1.4K clicks – thumbs ups, hearts, etc. 48 hours later? 4.4K.
4.4 thousand women somehow connected with this simple yet powerful picture of words.
1. Forgive your younger self.
2. Believe in your current self.
3. Create your future self.
The comments included: YES! and Thank you for sharing! and 100%! and my personal favorite – Thank you! I needed this so much today!
All because of a few words, put together to create 3 simple sentences.
It solidified to me that we all live in the cycle of growth. Learning to forgive ourselves means that we have grown to the point that our past is our past – not forgotten nor less painful, but a steppingstone towards more. Believing in our current self is our desire to know who we are and to be happy with that person. And, creating our future self is to strive, to reach, to grow into someone we desire yet have not defined.
When something resonates so deeply with so many in such a short amount of time, it indicates that many hunger for conformation that who they are is okay. That what we are feeling, agonizing over is not abnormal. And for many, it is to seek out and find community, so we do not feel alone in our struggle for personal acceptance.
It does pose the question however, what does forgiveness to our younger self look like to us? To me this is the toughest of all. Riddled with guilt and shame for not exceeding personal expectations. Failing to measure up to self-imposed beliefs that others deemed me incapable of achieving much beyond the minimum. The dialog kept me continuously trapped, unable to forgive my perceived failings.
The next question is, does it take forgiveness of our past perceived imperfections or misguided judgements to believe in, appreciate, and value our current selves? What does belief in our current self even look like? How capable are we to recognize our gifts, talents, and skill set as we manage expectations? The internal dialogue can keep us trapped on the hamster wheel for years – unrelenting and unforgiving.
What happens if we cannot find belief in our current selves? Does failing to find that belief disallow us to create our future self because we are forever stuck in our dissatisfaction of our present self?
When we forgive, we allow ourselves to see clearly who we are now. When we clearly see ourselves, our gifts, our talents, we learn to believe and trust in ourselves. And when we believe and trust ourselves, we visualize who we will create to be in the future.
Many years ago, I watched the movie The Prince of Tides – a powerful American film about a tortured soul trapped in his misery of a dissatisfied life. There were many wonderful and powerful lines in the movie, however, one has always stuck with me and kept me focused as I navigated my own life:
“I lived with the terrible knowledge that one day I would be an old man still waiting for my real life to start. Already, I pitied that old man.” ― Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides
Do not find yourself pitying the old man – forgive, believe, create.