All of my mistakes this year were rooted in love.
Yesterday, as part of the Water Your Soul class with Liz Lamoreux that I am taking this month, I went on a date with myself. I went to a coffee shop downtown, drank a hot chocolate, and answered the question: What do I forgive myself for in this past year?
This is a sticky question for me, because (as I realized when I began writing) that I am carrying around a lot of guilt about this past year. 2012 was the year that almost everything in my life changed and I have yet to really adapt to these changes.
I was still (am still) learning how to be a work-outside-the-home mother and I am holding on to a lot of guilt about my perceived and real inadequacies. I forgave myself for my learning process as a parent and a partner to my husband.
I am holding a lot of guilt and blame about our move away from Minneapolis. Even though I know this was the right move for us, I struggle almost daily with the impacts on our lives and our friends’ lives. I forgave myself for the abruptness of the process, for the changes this move forced us to undergo as a family.
I spent a lot of time thinking about my failings, large and small. I judge myself harshly, in all of my roles, and I place a lot of blame at my own feet for basically being a human. So, I forgave myself for and gave thanks for my humanity.
In 2012, I chose the word nurture to guide my first full year as a mother and I learned how to put my daughter’s needs and my husband’s needs above my own. But I also stopped nurturing myself. I ignored my body’s need for nutritious food and exercise. I stopped writing and taking time for myself. I forgave myself for not knowing how to nurture us all at once. I forgave myself for the hatred and the meanness I bestowed on my body, this body that carries me, that housed and carried my daughter. This body that is a miracle; this body that is me.
I ended my date, my time to forgive myself by writing down my hopes for 2013. I wrote:
In this new year, I give space to change my behaviors, to love my body gently, to treat it with as much love as I treat my daughter. To accept its changes, its weaknesses and its strengths. I give space to see myself as I really am and for loving that beautifully imperfect image.
I forgive myself for the mistakes I have made last year and the ones I will undoubtedly make this year.
I give space to myself in this new year for learning, healing, mending, and becoming more whole.
This is my hope, my prayer for next year.