But what about forgiving myself? I suppose it would mean letting go of all the things I feel I shouldn't have done in the past and will feel I shouldn't have done going forward into the future.
If I turn my mind back to being 4 in the school playground, I can remember joining in to purposefully, and for no other reason than it was fun to be mean, try to make another girl cry. It was horrible of us. And yet...
I deserved to be stood over and made to cry. But Jesus was punished for me for that and endless other things I have done and will do. If He isn't going to hold those things against me, I am a fool to hold them against myself.
Choosing to forgive ourselves for the big things gives us freedom to move forwards. But I think there is a subtle lack of self-forgiveness most of us live in all the time.
I fail in continuous and small ways every day. And I'm not talking about the sinning. I'm talking about the being human. Where our best falls short of how we would like to be. We wish a meal had turned out better or we'd made a better job of a project at work or we'd been better company or, or, or... And all the time we live in the shadow of knowing that there is probably someone somewhere who is able to do what we fail to.
Can we let go of our regrets? Let ourselves off for our shortcomings? Not see the things we do making us stupid? Not look at old photos and despair at the way we looked? Can we forgive ourselves, even love ourselves for the way we are, for doing what we do, for never being enough?
Lisa Leonard writes about getting into her car in the morning only to find the battery is flat because she left the lights on. She's cross with herself. But then she chooses to be kind. And while she waits for it to be fixed, she watches the sunrise. She says she probably wouldn't have seen it if she hadn't been held up by making the mistake.
I wonder if she would have noticed the sun, or appreciated it, if her forcus had remained on criticising herself. (Read the post here).
God brings beauty out of ashes. We carry His very glory in jars of clay. The more we leave ourselves alone, let ourselves be, stop bullying the person who should be our greatest ally, the more we are surely going to see the potential and the beauty.
Everywhere we go, in every mess we make, we are examples of God's achievement in creating and then remaking us.
He tells us we are OK. We're loved. We're perfect, unique, beyond compare. He is captivated by us - these people He sees as blameless. Perhaps we need to ask for eyes to see what He does. This scrapheap challenge He has turned into something so beautiful and worthy.
This is part of a #selflove series here and at mirrormakeover.org.