Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Not doing better.
So many facets of essentially this same mis-guided drive for perfection. It pervades so much of what I do and feel. I want to do better. I want to be a better person. Surely there's nothing wrong in that? It seems almost perverse to me that in order to progress I must learn to accept and love my imperfections first, and then go on to forgive myself for them. Where is the logic in that? It seems contradictory to me. It is imperfection that I am trying to overcome.
Yet I do see that this logic of mine has it's own inherent flaws. Since it is impossible to be perfect should I then never love myself? Where does that leave me? In a life-long state of being unfulfilled and unloved ... and all because I find it so difficult to reconcile myself to the fact that it is perfectly OK to be imperfect.
Why then do I entertain this idea that I must strive for perfection in all that I am and do? Is it arrogance? Stupidity? I think perhaps it is another consequence of the same rigidity of thought that I talked about in exercise two. It's hard to break out of certain kinds of thought patterns, particularly when they are the product of life-long beliefs. I can see that.
I do not expect perfection in others. Far from it. I am forgiving of others in a way I find almost impossible to be towards myself and I'm not sure how to unravel the reasons for that. My best guess is that it stems from my childhood belief that if I had been a good girl then the bad stuff wouldn't have happened.
In the chaotic environment of violence and abuse of those early years it was hard to see any sense. Hard to see why ... any kind of cause and effect. I couldn't figure out the rules on how to act so as to stay safe from all that. Children often only view events with themselves in the center ... it is the nature of a child to think this way. So as a girl I thought I must be the cause. My badness made the bad things happen. Perhaps then I need to forgive that little girl who didn't know any better.
It feels so odd doing this exercise. It seems in many ways as if I have to forgive myself just for being me. Perhaps that's the whole point. It just makes me feel sad that's all ... like I'm having to give up on something I've wished so hard for and worked so hard for in my life ... and for what?
At the same time it is a relief. However much time I've wasted trying trying trying, I can learn a different path. I guess what it comes down to is that I need to forgive myself for not seeking answers to these deeper questions sooner. Nobody is perfect.
sketchbook drawing as prep art for an oil painting
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