Sometimes we get so hard on ourselves for making mistakes that we forget to actually learn from them. We give other people in our lives second chances. But we bury ourselves in the dirt with no hope of redemption.

The truth is without forgiving yourself for what you’ve done, you’ll never truly forgive others. It’s the internal battle that must be overcome first. Because joy will never be joy with a gun pointed at our hearts in one hand and flowers for someone else in the other.

Freedom to Flourish

I’ve gotten used to placing others before myself. But in the process, I lost the power to flourish in my own space.

There’s something special about knowing who you are in such a chaotic world that gives you internal peace. And often that means being alone with your thoughts and ideas before jumping into groups with self-centered people.

You see, there’s a difference between respecting your uniqueness and believing the world revolves around you. The first one establishes a person as an important piece of a very large puzzle. Their value never diminishes for the sake of another.

On the other hand, the second one emphasizes the lie that you are the only piece that matters. It casts a shadow on others in a way that never builds a community but always tears it down.

The lesson here is this: if you want to be a person of character and integrity, take those qualities seriously in your life.

Often we look for these characteristics in others while ignoring them personally. The first step is to look inward.

No, that’s not selfish. It isn’t narcissistic to give yourself a chance to enjoy loving yourself before loving others. In fact, it’s only by knowing more about yourself that you awaken to reshape how you treat others.

The Canvas Isn’t Always Pretty

The door to our hearts can sometimes be ugly, that’s true. But how else can we identify what needs buffering and what doesn’t? Chances are we spend time buffering places that are already clean and ignoring the filthiest rooms within.

There’s a genuine satisfaction that spills over when people realize how well you treat yourself. They can sense the power emanating from a person who understands that they were fearfully and wonderfully made.

Now, more than ever, you need to give yourself a second chance. To live with purpose because you know who you are. To give yourself permission to love because you’ve experienced it first-hand.

Don’t wait on someone else to open the door to your heart.

The only handle is the one on your side.

Kevin Horton is a 24-year-old photographer, student, modest bookworm, and wanna-be web developer with a new-found love for writing. He writes helpful words about creativity, productivity, and the enjoyably simple life.





Image courtesy of Vlada Karpovich.