Letting Go of Your Whip

Often, we are harder on ourselves than others are.  If we cannot forgive ourselves, how can we forgive other people?  Everyone’s lesson is to forgive ourselves for our mistakes, even those things we feel ashamed about, and learn to accept ourselves for who we are, knowing that we can always gently work on making improvements.

~ Patrick Wanis


I did something dumb recently, which caused My Guy to be upset with me. It wasn’t done intentionally. And as far as other sins in the world, it was really minor.

But, still…crying girl

I said, “I’m sorry,” way too many times. As if I could repeat those words for a magic number of times and the past miraculously would change.

Nope. Didn’t work.

Time would pass and then I’d say it again. “I’m sorry.”

Sheesh, woman! Enough already.

One of the things I often do for my clients is to point out when they’re beating on themselves. As a service, I offer to hold their “beat myself up” sticks for a time. And here I was doing the same thing to myself. Just one more whack and that should do it…

Believe me, the irony was not lost on me.

Well, as you know, beating up on myself wasn’t doing a thing to change the past. Nor did it make me feel any better. And, The Guy was starting to get annoyed with my broken record of “sorrys.”

So, what’s the lesson here? (I’m saying this for my own benefit, but feel free to apply this to you.)

First, I’m human. I make mistakes. I did a dumb thing. OK, I own that. There is nothing within my power that can change the past. This leaves me with a choice: I can wallow and continue my personal whipping, bleeding my regret-filled self on those around me.

Or I can focus on this new day, on the here and now. If I continue to replay that dumb thing I’m not fully present in my life. I’m missing out on what is happening in this moment, and the next one, and the following one.

So buh-bye to that mistake. I’m forgiving myself for being human. I’ve picked through the debris for the lessons. And gratefully, I’m ready to greet the new day, multiple “sorrys” put to rest.


Your Call to Action:

What mistake have you been carrying around too long? Why does it bother you so much? What lessons can you find in this mistake and your reaction to it? What would be a positive result of forgiving yourself for this mistake?


Letting Go of Your Whip — 2 Comments

  1. Great post! I do it way less often now, but I do fall into the trap of beating myself up occasionally and playing the “what if?” over and over. The whip is such on target imagery for this situation. Learn and move on!!!!

    • This is such a common thing for women—me included! When my whip sneaks out of the closet i’s a sign that I need to have a firm conversation with myself. Why do I keep berating myself? What benefit am I getting from that? This usually snaps me out it.