In this time of just pure uncertainty, anger, and all unknown, it hurts. It sucks. Through all the anger and the sadness and being truly upset through this unimaginable process that is so out of our hands, we have to take a step back and realize none of this is our fault. We have to forgive ourselves in this time. We can’t be angry at ourselves, at the world, or angry at “what could’ve been.” Wasting that much time and energy leaves us with this negative feeling that isn’t a healthy way to cope.
Instead, we can assess this situation and read the articles and research and do all we can to be the best citizen we can be to protect others, but in the end, it doesn’t matter. In the end, it matters how we’ve handled the situation. If you’re anything like me, you haven’t handled the situation at hand very well but guess what, that’s okay.
It’s okay to feel all the feelings and really raw, tough emotions that you may be experiencing for the first time. It’s okay to not love where you’re at and feel those feelings too. We have to acknowledge that and move forward and how we can be better from here. It’s a challenge every day to stay positive and happy when all the things we have looked forward to having been canceled, postponed, or just won’t ever come around again. But don’t be angry at yourself. Forgive yourself for the state you're in, recognize it, and move forward from there in whatever capacity that looks like.
Not all of us have to experience something traumatic to feel sad and angry, and no one should tell you how to act or be because you are working on yourself and grieving and coping as you should. Forgive them for trying to fix you and your attitude when it’s okay that it won’t be fixed today. Most importantly, forgive yourself before your head hits the pillow tonight and try again tomorrow.
We should try to forgive the fact that 2020 was not anything close to the expectations we had for it to be so great and exciting, full of hope and adventure, and instead kept us locked away. We should try to forgive that the goals we had set for ourselves were crushed and no longer applicable or manageable. I know for me a lot of the goals I had set for myself this year are no longer applicable because life, as we know it, has come to a complete halt.
I have to forgive myself and all of my extra poundage I have gained from stress alone and also find ways to release that stress so when life becomes “normal” again, I can get back to the goal I set for myself. I have to forgive the people around me too. They are not used to having me home for so long after being away at college for three years now. I also have to forgive myself for the occasional sass that comes out of my mouth and be grateful I even have a place to stay in the midst of this craziness. I also have to forgive myself when I am not extremely happy to have to spend copious amounts with my family, see it, feel it, and move on. In forgiving myself for those feelings I also recognize that this quarantine has thankfully made up for so much time we’ve lost over the years.
We may also remember that while I am forgiving my situation, feelings, and behaviors, it does not mean that I am apologizing for it. I do not apologize for feeling angry at the fact I can’t see my friends every day. I do not apologize for the hurt this pandemic has laid upon my heart at the things canceled, missed, postponed and special moments put on hold. I do not apologize for having to readjust my way of living every day to fit back into the home after being away.
Forgiveness is not an apology. Do not feel like you have to feel sorry for every negative emotion that has coursed through your veins during this process and every other hardship that comes after this is over. Do not feel or be sorry that you haven’t been able to carpe diem every single day. Do not feel or be sorry for how you manage your stress. It may feel really hard to want to cherish each moment of this pandemic experience like everyone is constantly telling you to do - but it’s okay if you don’t cherish every day.
Forgive yourself for having days you’d rather forget and don’t let the people and self-proclaimed motivational speakers on Facebook and Instagram tell you that you have to love those days too if you truly don’t want to. Forgive yourself as God has forgiven you for each and every little thing you’ve ever done. He loves so unconditionally, and we should do the same with ourselves. For every flaw you feel you have, forgive yourself.
For those who may not know me, my name is Erin Presley. Born and raised in Shawnee, Oklahoma I am Sooner born, Sooner bred, and will be starting my senior year at OU in the fall. I am an enneagram 9, and if you know anything about the enneagram and know me, it makes total sense. I love people, my dogs, tea, and serving others. I hope you find peace and relate to some of the words I've written for this week. Thank you for reading!