Self-forgiveness. The concept is one we all embrace: we're human and so we make mistakes that we must forgive ourselves for. Yet, in practice, many find the concept difficult to implement in their own minds.
How do you forgive yourself and move on when you fail to do what you've promised, not once, but over and over and over again? How do you forgive yourself when you fail to meet the goals you know you need to, in order to succeed? How do you forgive yourself for being what you are: human?
It's not an easy thing to do. Forgiving oneself for being imperfect is next to impossible. At least, it is for me. But I have to find a way to do it if I want to ever succeed in anything, because, the fact of the matter remains, I am imperfect. I do make mistakes. And I fail more often than I like to contemplate. If I never accept that, forgive myself, and move on, I'll never find success. I'll be stuck in a rut in the road. My wheels will keep turning, but I ain't getting anywhere, if you see what I mean.
I read one of the most inspiring posts about self-forgiveness today that I just have to share with all of you. It was written by Elizabeth Gilbert over at her very own website. In this posting, she shares with you how she views writing. She's a successful writer herself, with many published books, but she shares how she started out sending short stories to places like the New Yorker, and was rejected over and over again. But she views writing like a religious calling, and has dedicated her life to it. She never gave up and told herself it wasn't her job to write WELL, but to simply write.
I am saving that post to be re-read over and over again whenever I don't feel I'm good enough anymore. Whenever I've written a chapter I think isn't up to par or failed to meet a deadline or forgotten to post something on my blog (which I would never do *cough cough*).
Discipline is important to being a writer. But self-forgiveness isn't just important; it's a necessity if you mean to stay sane.
However, I don't want to be too lenient on myself. So, I'd like to make an addendum to Ms. Gilbert's post: It's important to forgive oneself for our mistakes, but we can never forget them. If we forget, we'll doom ourselves to repeated lessons in failure. We'll forgive every stupid mistake we make and never strive to do better.
Do you agree? Is this a skill you are great at, or do you struggle forgiving yourself for your failures? Are you, perhaps, too lenient on yourself and don't strive to learn from your mistakes?
I'd love to hear from all of you! If you'd like to hear more on the subject of self-forgiveness, head on over to Vikki Petterson's blog post on the subject. She tackles it so well, it makes a girl feel envious, I swear.
Hope all this helps you guys and that you have a wonderful day! Happy writing!
Writing quote of the week: "If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad." ~Lord Byron