Love Letter #10: Forgiveness & Authenticity

I may have a vulnerability hangover after this love letter. Fear is chattering in the background…if you go deep now, what will you have left to write later? I’m diving in anyway. 

This is a little bit of confession and a lot of forgiveness. 

I’ve been thinking about forgiving myself. 

For all the ways I’ve wanted to be like others. To write like Mary Oliver or Elizabeth Gilbert, or sing like my friend Lisa Medley, and be able to give captivating live talks like Martha Beck and be wildly successful like Oprah. And, there’s a whole lot of ‘not enoughness’ going underneath it all. 

It took me years to understand that the things I admire about these women – their ability to express themselves authentically and without apology – is a quality that already exists in me. It’s true. That what we see in others exists in ourselves – otherwise we couldn’t recognize it. 

That meant allowing myself to find my own voice and express myself authentically as ME…not like someone else. There can never be another Mary Oliver…and there can never be another ME or YOU!

So, today I create space for forgiveness. To forgive all the ways I tried to be something or someone else, wasn’t clever enough, or creative enough, or bold enough, and felt I didn’t measure up because I believed I wasn’t enough, or right, or mattered. 

I forgive myself for all the times I let myself down because I couldn’t see the brilliance of who I am, as I am, in each moment. For wanting to escape into another world instead of being fully present to the one I am creating. 

It is said that comparison is the thief of joy. It is, if you live there. 

But I also think it is an avenue for listening to what your heart and soul yearn for. For me, that is writing and speaking authentically in a way that resonates with others, uplifts others, encourages and inspires others. As I lean into that desire, I can allow myself to write more from the heart and trust that it lands as it needs to with whomever needs to hear it. This feels like love for myself and others. 

Writing a year of love letters (and you get a bonus love letter…it’s a leap year!), is me writing from the heart, writing what I hear in my own voice, and in my own way as authentically as I can in each moment. Listening, each day, to what wants to emerge on the page…and releasing any resistance to that. 

Forgiveness is freedom to express more boldly, more imperfectly, more compassionately, and more graciously. It’s truly all that I can be and do. And that is enough.

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