Amber has been on a very different journey of self-forgiveness. She writes, “I have spent many years searching for healing/progress/development/improvement yet always ended up feeling STUCK”. She explains how “the guilt, shame and accompanying sorrow” from having rejected her two sons in their adolescence had such a firm grip on her that “I imagined their victimhood was sealed and therefore mine too: I must always be guilty because their past would always be a part of their present and future, as it is mine.”
She describes very well the trap that non-forgiveness can bind you to, where no resolution is possible, where you are simply fixed to one spot, stuck with your regrets and sorrow day after day. She describes years of avoiding people and their ‘normal’ lives, ducking any innocent questions about ‘family’.
But then something shifted for Amber. Perhaps because unyielding regret is exhausting after a while, she mustered the commitment to change. Fundamentally it was a decision to forgive herself and use the emotion of remorse creatively. She concludes: “The fact of remorse gives us ‘permission’ to release ourselves, for how can we ‘payback’ in the world if we are crippled by low self-esteem, low self-respect and a belief that we are unworthy of participating in a happy, useful existence.”