Dear Self, I'm Sorry

Thursday, January 16, 2014
Why is it we are so hard on ourselves? Is this a woman thing or a human thing? I don’t really know the science behind guilt, but so many of us walk around beating ourselves up you’d think someone would come up with a cure. 

Those who know me know I journal. Sometimes I journal out of fear I might forget an important milestone. I am an advocate for finding a cure to end Alzheimers and my journaling is often driven by a fear of living with the disease (I think about the notebook and figure even if I don’t remember my life someday, I can read about it…). Well today as I sat at my desk to journal I decided to write an apology letter to myself. There was something very therapeutic about apologizing to myself. It also reminded me to go easier on myself. I am quick to forgive a friend and I should be just as quick to forgive myself.

Next time you find yourself getting down about what you should have done, try apologizing and allowing you to be exactly who you are.

If you aren’t sure exactly what I’m driving at here – take a look at my letter and you’ll understand exactly what I mean.

Dear Self,
First of all, you are beautiful. Those extra few pounds are nothing compared to the lovely baby you just brought into the world. Sorry for hassling you about fitting into your old clothes; maybe you should just go shopping and buy something new that flatters your post-baby figure. No one noticed the kitchen floors weren’t scrubbed; sorry for making you feel guilty about using the Swiffer instead of scrubbing on your hands and knees. Sitting down and enjoying that cup of coffee was a good idea today. You deserved the rest after being up all night.

You looked absolutely peaceful rocking the baby and instead of reminding you about the laundry I should have just let you enjoy that moment. The last thing I wanted to apologize about was the breastfeeding guilt. I didn’t know how hard it was going to be. It’s really not a big deal if you decide to stop before getting to the one year mark. Goals were meant to be adjusted and you shouldn’t beat yourself up. Hopefully if I stop making you feel guilty all the time you’ll have more time and energy to get back to writing. I’m sorry I’ve been standing in the way of you enjoying things lately. Can you ever forgive me?

Love Always,
That Little Voice of Self Doubt

This is just what I wrote and it fits exactly where I am in this moment. If you had to write an apology letter to yourself today, what would you say? How would you be easier on yourself? PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW - WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Crystal is a church musician, business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Reedsville, Wisconsin with her husband, three young children (Carmen 6, Andre 5, Breccan 16 weeks), three dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, and over 200 Holsteins. You can find Crystal blogging, mommy-ing, and reviewing books and all sorts of other stuff at:


Cassandra Louise said...

I love this so much! I feel I may cry. The good kind of crying. x

Sioux Roslawski said...

Crystal--Chicken Soup is looking for stories about forgiveness. Perhaps you have a tale to tell?

Yes, forgiving ourselves is often the hardest. Why is that?

Margo Dill said...

Dear Self:
Focus on your child. She is your everything and she needs you. Take time for yourself also and for your husband, but your child is only little for so long. Pretty soon, you'll be missing her every day in school and have plenty of time to work.

Crystal Otto said...

So true!!! I love your letter.

Crystal Otto said...

Thanks Cassandra; glad they're happy tears!

Crystal Otto said...

You're so right! A friend emailed me about how Christ forgave us and I often need to remind myself that if I'm worthy of his forgiveness I should be worthy of self forgiveness as well.

poppilinnstudios said...

That's beautiful and so true. We are always hardest on ourselves.

Susan Russo Anderson said...

This is an absolutely gorgeous post, thanks so much for the honesty and beauty of your letter. I'm going to remember it, believe me. Today especially I needed to read it and I feel blessed for having found this site.

I had a shrink once tell me that guilt was a useless emotion. She advised me to sit in a quiet place and let guilt pass like gas, but I like the letter deal better.

Think what you've given us.

Unknown said...

I spent over 20 years in the ministry in the role of a pastor's wife, a cloak that never quite fit me. In all those years, I struggled to find peace in who I was in contrast to the expectations (real or perceived) of how I felt others would like me to be. I often failed. Self-forgiveness starts, I think, with being gentle and kind to ourselves. It's a journey of healing, sometimes.

Crystal Otto said...

A Journey it is...and today I am thankful that others are gentle. I had a rocky start to the day and was as usual telling myself I had failed. All it took was a gentle hug and a kind gesture to turn it all around!

Liysa said...

You're absolutely right - you are beautiful. You're right, you need rest. You're right - giving yourself a break from the mind chatter is important. Thank you for this post and a glimpse into your journal.

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