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Instagram post by @lotusinaseaoffire charlotte nguyen

Today’s exploration: Forgiveness 💗 I'm often told by strangers what a cheerful person I am. This often stuns me because not so long ago, I was unhappy. Who I am today once felt out of reach: I couldn't imagine that I would be alive here today, enjoying healthy relationships, and teaching others to love themselves. Much of my early teen and young adult life was filled with anxiety, trauma, and grief. I remember thinking to myself at a young age, “Wow, this is not going to be an easy life.” I knew even then that I would have to bloom in very muddy waters.
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When I first came to meditation, I knew I wanted to live a full life, but I didn’t know how. I couldn’t grasp that happiness would ever belong to me. My teacher assured me that happiness could and would come, but I had to work for it. And if I truly wanted peace, I had to start within. I had to forgive those who harmed me, but more importantly I had to forgive myself. This process was frightening because forgiving meant acknowledging. And acknowledging what's been painful about my life created more space for heartache. I feared that admitting certain things about myself would take me to a hopeless place.
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But I forgave myself. I forgave myself for not wanting to be alive and present for my loved ones. I forgave myself for flocking to the wrong type of people romantically and platonically. I forgave myself for constantly settling and not living my fullest life. I forgave myself for giving up ballet after being sexually assaulted, and never honing my craft as a musician. I forgave myself for not finishing what I started. I forgave myself for not knowing better, not learning from my mistakes, and not accepting what I couldn’t change. This was the kind of forgiveness that only I could offer myself.
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Self-forgiveness has taught me to be more gentle with my life. It’s taught me to look at others with compassion, and understand that we all fall short sometimes. None of us are perfect beings in this world. Self-forgiveness has reminded me to smile, acknowledge where I have been, and keep my eyes and heart set on where I'm going.
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Sending hope, gratitude and fortitude for your journey too,
Charlotte 💗

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