Forgiveness is a rough journey that I’m travelling right now. Whether or not the guilt that I carry is valid or rational or not is a moot point. The fact is that I do carry it; and it’s heavy. I have had therapists help me dissect it and try to understand why I have no actual reasons to have this guilt but the end result is that I do… and I have to learn how to forgive myself… because it doesn’t matter whether I need to forgive myself or not; what matters is that I have to because I believe that I am guilty.
My belief is simple… when my children were entrusted to me to care for them, nurture them, teach them and guide them to adulthood… it became my responsibility to ensure that they reached adulthood, safely. No matter how much anyone picks it apart or reasons that I did everything that I could the very basic fact remains that I failed. That Willie is dead.
But this isn’t about guilt or trying to convince myself that I DO feel guilt… a new thought has settled. An acceptance that, very simply, I do feel guilt. Whether that is right or wrong is inconsequential – I just do. This, in a way, is very freeing. With that acceptance comes the understanding that I need to forgive myself. I am the person who has imposed this guilt on me, so I am the only one who can lift it.
As with so many other areas of my life, there’s no one else who can do the work or enact the changes that need to happen internally. It’s just Me.
The understanding and the acceptance are the truths that have settled with me recently; not with sadness but with the freedom to know that to move forward and leave it behind I know what to do. Forgiveness.