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Forgiveness; the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven. A conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness. Lately I have been sitting and reflecting on why I take people’s mistakes to heart. I harbor on them and hold grudges for years. Why am I so hard on others? You do one thing to me, and I cut you off- oftentimes, with no explanation. I will block you and move on as if you never mattered. In actuality, I am hurt and think about you every single day and try to piece together why you would do such a thing? I form my own narrative, my own reasoning, stick to that script and carry on with that hurt and grudge. I also blame myself and think that something is wrong with me because of what hurt me. I measure my self-worth by how others treat me. Why do I have such an unhealthy form of handling conflict and the transgressions of others? Well after processing that one day, I realized it was learned behavior from my family. They will cut you like a knife, cook you, chew you up and spit you out. Very cutthroat people, sharp tongues, and loud -until it comes to conflict. Then it is silence. Just act like the person doesn’t exist. Very passive-aggressive. It also became clear to me why I am so hard on others and don’t allow second chances. It’s because I don’t allow myself to make mistakes. When I make mistakes, I beat myself up about them for years. It’s still hard for me to let go of things in my past. What I am learning though, is that my mistakes have made me who I am. Every mistake made me stronger, built my character, and set me up for the next phase of my life. I have to allow myself some grace and compassion. Then, and only then will I be able to lend that same grace and compassion to others. I am realizing that you can only give others what you give yourself. You can only love others as much as you love yourself. If I don’t learn to forgive myself, I can never forgive others. Refusing to forgive leaves you stuck, angry and resentful. You can’t grow in these states. So I am learning to forgive, myself first, so I can forgive others and grow. So let me apologize to myself for all the times I accepted things I shouldn’t have. I am sorry for not speaking up when I felt something wasn’t right, for ignoring my intuition when my gut didn’t feel right. I am sorry for all the times I did things I didn’t really want to, because I wanted to be liked and accepted. I forgive myself for gossiping and being messy, because it was easier to talk about someone else’s crap than deal with my own. I am sorry for ignoring the little girl inside of me, who needed a hug or needed to be loved on, who needed to be told she was loved and worthy. I am sorry for trying to fill those voids from my childhood by being in relationships with men who didn’t deserve me. I am sorry for comparing myself to other females, and not being grateful for what I have and where I am presently. I am sorry for ignoring my needs to please someone else. I am sorry for all the times I held back because I didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or make them uncomfortable. I apologize for acting like I don’t care about things that really bother me, for

fear of looking weak or vulnerable. I apologize for not recognizing my strengths and using them to honor myself and my worth. I am sorry for giving up on things that I feel I wasn’t good at, because I was scared of failure. I am sorry for blaming myself for things that had nothing to do with me. I am sorry for believing the negative thoughts and lies inside my head. I am sorry for not valuing myself enough to set standards and boundaries with people. I am sorry for people-pleasing and changing pieces of myself to fit someone else’s standards. I am sorry for thinking I have to look a certain way or have material things to make myself worthy or valuable to someone. I’m sorry for seeking validation from others instead of validating myself. I’m sorry for all the times I didn’t choose you. I’m sorry for being hesitant as I type this, because I’m worrying about being judged instead of seeing this as a way to heal and potentially bless someone who needs to forgive themselves as well. Brandi, I’m sorry girl. You are worthy. You are enough. You don’t have to broadcast the great attributes about yourself to be validated. Your self-worth is not determined by the actions of others. You are not perfect, no one is. You will make mistakes, and guess what? You’re still enough, imagine that! Other people’s opinion of you is none of your business. Never stop choosing you. It is okay to have boundaries. The only people who will be offended by your boundaries are those who benefit from you not having any. I’m sorry I didn’t choose you sooner. From this day forward, I will never stop choosing you. I am forgiving myself, so I can be free. I can now break the chains of anger, hurt and resentment as I elevate into the next phase of my life. Ascension.

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