Forgiving the Forgetful

. . . in myself. Really, it isn’t just the forgetful: it’s learning to forgive the imperfections within myself. That, my friends, is something that I thought I had grasped only because I was able to give myself grace in one area of life. When something else happens to remind me of my inherent human-ness, I feel like I’m starting all over again.

This is exam week, hence my lack of regularity in posting. I’ve been stressed the past few days about the exam I had this morning–not because I was unprepared, or because it was going to be particularly challenging. It is my easiest class, and therein lies my problem: I’ve been unwilling to accept anything less than an A in that class because it is easy and unchallenging. There were several homework assignments I forgot to do, which makes my current standing in the class less than my ideal. Had I done them, I would have gotten 100%–but I just completely forgot. It had been a hard few weeks with a death in the family, traveling to the funeral, missing class, working through my emotions, and I simply blanked.

It took me days to stop kicking myself over them, with renewed pressure this week to excel on the final so I don’t get–oh the horror–an A minus. I keep trying to remind myself that this isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of life. That it is a learning experience, a reminder that when I mess up, life will continue.

It is this same, take it or leave it, perfection driven mindset that got me into a state of un-health in the first place.  I refused to yield on myself, convinced that I could make myself do anything if I simply set my mind to it. If I applied myself, I would get what I wanted. I’d never experienced anything contrary to this logic in the past–if I wanted a good grade, I could get it. If I needed to get into a certain program, I’d apply and get in. If I wanted to change a system, I’d simply find the right person to talk to and convince them to my way of thinking. If I thought modeling was something I wanted to do, I’d be damned if I didn’t whittle myself into their restricted standards of measure to succeed by someone else’s definition. Problem is, I didn’t always evaluate if my end goal was actually something good, as it clearly wasn’t in the latter.

Sure, I’ve learned occasionally that there is room for failure in my life–when I didn’t get accepted to the Washington DC Senatorial Page Program, or when I didn’t receive a scholarship I wanted at a certain school. But all of these I could justify as ‘not part of God’s plan,’ or some other factor. When it is my own personal involvement that trips myself up . . . that is what I struggle to accept.

I’m trying to learn to love and accept what my counselor calls the shadows of ourselves. What would happen, she asked, if you were a forgetful person? But I’m not. That isn’t a part of who I am. But, you forgot. Does that make you forgetful? She was purposefully letting me be flustered so that I could see the hypocrisy of accepting forgetfulness and imperfections in other people, but never myself.

Grace. Forgiveness. Self love.

How do you forgive yourself? 

Do you ever struggle with perfectionism? 

10 thoughts on “Forgiving the Forgetful

  1. I think everyone struggles with accepting themselves for who they are at some point in their lives! It’s what we do with it that defines us. My friend sent me something from a book she was reading that I thought I’d share:
    “And you know what’s really difficult? Any time you decide to shift gears, and invite transformation into your life, old habits and fears, resistance and excuses will all rear their ugly heads. Know these things aren’t humongous monsters you can’t overcome. They are only you trying to talk yourself out of change, which none of us like very much…until, that is, shift happens in the way you wanted it to, we feel and look better and increased abundance pours into our lives. Then we get a surge of loving our lives, and it’s awesome”

  2. Yes and yes! Of course, all the time! It gets worse as you get older too so forgiveness is something you have to become a pro at! Its a tough one but a good one!

  3. Yes, obsession with perfection can get worse as you get older. Imagine the pressures that come from a job, planning a wedding, relationships, even raising children! There is no one in this whole wide world that doesn’t make mistakes. Forgetfulness, mistakes, imperfections are a normal part of life. To err is human. It’s part of learning and self-improvement.

    Everytime I make a mistake, I write a list of at least 5 things I’ve accomplished in the last week. This shifts my way of thinking from being too hard on myself towards positivity and self-praise.

    Getting good grades is great but enjoying your youth and being a good person is more important!

  4. I hear you Michaela. I find it very hard to forgive myself and come to accept anything less that what I expected. It simply drives me up the wall. And I wake up nights together, thinking ‘where did I go wrong?’. But I’ve learnt that things are meant to be. If I make a mistake, I was bound to make it so that I learn from it. If I have a particularly bad experience, I am supposed to experience it so that I know what to do when I’m faced with those kind of situations later in life. If I fail, that is to remind me to stay humble and grounded and to learn to put in more/better efforts next time around.
    Everything in the world happens for a reason. Either we don’t know the reason yet, or we are not supposed to know it. It is ok if you put in your efforts and still get a A-. But it is not ok to not put in any effort at all and expect a A. If you know the difference between those two, you’ll be at peace.

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