If you do – here it is. I give you permission to forgive yourself. That is what I wanted to say to a friend I was talking with the other day. 

She was sharing with me how upset she was with herself for how she reacted to dealing with infertility and for having a miscarriage last year. She described what a dark place she was in and how much shame and guilt she felt because she retreated, picked fights with her spouse, cried a lot, and got angry a lot.

It was difficult to hear her talk so poorly of herself. She had so much regret and talked about how embarrassed she was. For a brief moment, it took me back to the days when I also experienced infertility and a miscarriage. 

I wanted to immediately interrupt her and tell her she would be okay, that I went through it and I made it to the other side – that everything she was feeling was normal. She is not crazy, she is not a bad person, she is not broken – she is human. 

I wanted to say this is a season in your life, a tough one, but one she will move through. That what she experienced sucked, it isn’t fair and doesn’t make sense. It isn’t because she deserved it. Sometimes shit happens and it is an opportunity for us to grow, to learn, to become more aware.

However, instead of immediately interrupting her, I waited, listened, acknowledged her feelings, and allowed her the space to share without being judged.

This woman knew my story, she knew that I went through similar experiences. She expressed that she felt comfortable sharing with me because in many ways I could relate. She asked me how I dealt with the grief, the anger, the loss, and the intense emotions. 

I shared with her how I can recall feeling similar to the way she does. I experienced immense shame, guilt, anger, grief, depression, and loneliness. I used to call it my infertility hell hole – that I was stuck in for a long time. 

I shared how it didn’t seem possible then, but the difficult feelings did subside. It took work to heal from the trauma and it included forgiving myself for the way I treated myself and others, at times. 

I knew there wasn’t anything I could say that would magically make her feel better. Even though, I really wished there was. But I did give her a hug and I let her know that I am there to support her in any way that I can.

Are you in a season of life that is tough right now? 

Are you beating yourself up about it?  

Do you need permission to forgive yourself?

Sometimes forgiveness can feel difficult. Sometimes we are not ready to forgive. No matter where you are, it is all good.

Previously I shared a Forgiveness Prayer that you can repeat to help begin the process of forgiveness – when you are ready. You can check it out here.

“True forgiveness is when you can say, “Thank you for that experience.” Oprah Winfrey