Turning Guilt into Gratitude

As I sit here in front of my computer attempting to narrow down what I want to write, my mind is spinning. These delicious Muddy Buddies next to me are disappearing quickly and my thoughts are an unorganized mess. I have a dog at my side, a cat at my feet, and another cat being chased down the stairs by a pregnant teen because he stole her hair tie.

Everyday is an adventure and I have learned to expect the unexpected.

Though the adrenaline rush of my ever-changing life usually excites me, I have found myself very distracted lately. Through a culmination of heartache and challenge over the past few months in many facets of my life, I feel as though I have lost my sense of direction. Everyday I am harboring an immense amount of guilt and distress that I just can’t seem to shake.

It’s not unusual for me to be hard on myself or to second-guess my decisions, but lately it has escalated to a point where I am just not myself. I am quick to forgive my foster children when they make mistakes and remind them that even good people make bad choices; but I can’t seem to offer myself that same mercy.

When I try to understand why that might be, there’s only one explanation I can come up with: I don’t feel like I deserve forgiveness.

The children that I encounter through foster care have been through more trauma, grief, and pain than I can fathom. I am so impressed by their resilience and strength, that I often use that to excuse them from mistakes. In fact, I do the same thing with adults in my life. The more difficult their past, the more apt I am to forgive; despite how that might adversely affect me.

But when it comes to me and my past, I don’t feel like I have a crutch for poor choices. I can’t justify any of my mistakes because I’ve never been through anything that bad.

However, during a clarifying weekend to myself where I spent time reflecting, evaluating, and understanding, I realized that I don’t need a crutch. I can validate the difficulties I have been through, but I don’t need to use those troubles as excuses for my actions.

I am human. I am going to make mistakes. When that happens, as it inevitably will, I have to forgive myself; that is the only way for me to overcome these faults and mature from them.

When I redirect my focus towards how I can improve in the future versus continually beating myself up over my past, I can move forward and fulfill my purpose. And right now, my purpose is to care for a beautiful little boy and a wonderful teenage girl who desperately need my support and attention. I’m not going to be selfish and let my self-doubt hold me back from being the rock that they need. I am strong enough to overcome this because of the inspiration they give me.

I’m asking for forgiveness, from others and myself, for the mistakes that haunt me and I am turning my guilt into more gratitude for the blessings in my life.

purpose

Love always,

Allie

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Turning Guilt into Gratitude

  1. I adore you and you are doing something very special for these kids. You are a life changer and still very young yourself. Trust your instincts and the journey one day at a time.

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  2. I can imagine these very same words were spoken by Jesus. “I am not worthy of forgiveness”. “What I have been through is nothing compared to what others are dealing with”. One thing you must remember is God sent His Son to be sacrificed for us, and that includes you. We are all worthy of forgiveness because Christ died for all of us. I know there are times we are so grateful for all we have and thank God for that, but then there are times that we feel sorry that we don’t have something or we might want more, and that’s ok. God knows that we are not perfect and we will all have thoughts and feelings like this. Thus, the reason He sent us His Son who paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we can be forgiven, so when we make mistakes, we can ask for forgiveness by simply saying I’m sorry. We are to be examples of Christ and love one another and be friends and help our neighbors. You are a wonderful example of how Christ shows His love through you. You open your home and your heart to those in need every day. Please continue to be that example and remind yourself and us every day how marvelous it is to have the opportunity to be like Him. God has a purpose for you and we may not know His whole plan but He does and in His time, we will be enlightened.

    Love and prayers,
    Marietta

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