For most of us, the inability to accept ourselves is more debilitating than an inability to forgive ourselves. Whenever we sensethrough conscious thought or through beyond-the-conscious-mind awarenessthat the parts of our Self system are inconsistent, we feel anxious. With that anxiety comes a threat to the Self, and we try to defend against it.
Struggles with self-acceptance usually occur because our concept of our real self does not match up well with our ideal self. This might be because we are ashamed of things we did in the past. We can’t understand or accept how we could have done something like that. Or we have done wrong within the range of typical human behavior, yet hold unrealistic ideals that are satisfied with nothing less than our own perfection. The conceptual inconsistencies often spring from the contrast between the true self, which God recognizes to be flawed, and our concept of the real self, which resists the idea of our flawed being. Or the anxiety might arise from maintaining an image of our ideal self defined by standards that are impossibly high or unreasonably low.
Excerpted from Moving Forward by Everett Worthington
Daily Reflection: Is there a part of your past in which you’re struggling to forgive yourself? Does the way you view God affect your inability to forgive yourself?