Trust and Forgiveness in Self-Friendship

Since I began this experience of exploring my old poetry, I’ve realized the shorter poems resonate more. There’s something about the simplicity of words that is powerful. Today’s poem amounts to all of five lines and I think it’s one of my best. It has to do with friendship of yourself.

I’m not sure how many people think about liking themselves, but it was a struggle I had in my youth. Much of my distress was caused by how I felt about myself. The following poem was written in January of 2005. The second semester of my high school year had started and my world was expanding. Instead of being in a class of 20 or so Catholic children, I was a part of a class with more than 140 people with different backgrounds and idea.s It gave me the chance to explore my true self, and gave birth to the following poem.


Friendship is something you give,

To yourself.

You accept or decline.

It’s all a matter of state of mind.

If you choose to trust and forgive.

How often do we talk about friendship with ourselves? I really wonder if most people waltz through life without stopping to consider their own truth. We have a choice to make. Do we like ourselves or not. The obvious choice would be to approve of our self, but I know a lot of people who don’t. What makes someone like who they are and what makes someone hate themselves? I’d argue, as this poem says, that it’s all in your state of mind.

This photo, “Steve Maraboli Forgiveness is a reflection of loving yourself enough to move on” is copyright (c) 2014 BK and made available under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license
This photo, “Steve Maraboli Forgiveness is a reflection of loving yourself enough to move on” is copyright (c) 2014 BK and made available under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license

The last line of this poem is the most important. We can’t achieve friendship with our self without trust and forgiveness. I once heard that the first step in achieving any goal – be it weight loss, overcoming depression, etc. – was to trust yourself. This isn’t something that happens overnight. Too often, we say “I’ll go to the gym after work,” but when we drive home, we decide to do something else. If your friend always said they’d be there and routinely backed down from that commitment, you wouldn’t trust their word much. We learn to trust ourselves by following through with our decisions, proving to ourselves that we do the things we commit to.

Forgiveness is equally important. If you are like me, you lived through many years giving no thought to whether your trust yourself or not. When you first start out, concentrating on the things you tell yourself and making a point to follow through, there will still be times when you fail. We aren’t perfect and there will be days where you don’t achieve something you told yourself. We have to learn to forgive ourselves. Acknowledge the things you’ve done wrong, the commitments you failed to follow through on, and move on.

Be your own best friend. Get to know yourself. Love yourself. Most importantly, trust and forgive yourself. In this way, you will know you are a person worthy of love, trust and forgiveness. This can only make life better. I personally feel that people who love themselves had better friendships with others and are more likely to find a true life partner. If you can’t see what’s great about yourself, how can you expect other’s to? Likewise, if you love yourself, acknowledging yourself as a great person, other people will see that. Your attitude will be contagious, and friends and lovers will come.

Have you ever stopped to consider friendship with yourself? Have you ever struggled to like and trust yourself? If so, how did you overcome that struggle? Or do the struggle continue? Aside from following through with what you tell yourself, what other ways could a person use to learn to trust themselves?


19 thoughts on “Trust and Forgiveness in Self-Friendship”

  1. This was a difficult thing for me: trusting myself. As having schizophrenia, I realized that the old saying of “the only thing we have control over is ourselves…” isn’t exactly 100% true. For when I lost my sanity and was in my psychotic state, I felt like I had no control; I completely lost it. It felt as if I were a mere puppet being pulled with strings from what I believed was “God.”

    I am truly blessed in that I did regain my sanity…some people never do.So for the 99% of people who don’t have schizophrenia, sure, they can learn to control their behaviors and reactions and learn to trust themselves…but me, I have to believe in a Higher Power greater than myself who has healed me during this recovery phase. I simply believe almost the same way I was in my psychosis: that God is in control and I have to learn to let go, and let God…for many times our life will be touched by events beyond our control…so I’ve learned that in order to trust myself, I must first trust my Higher Power who is full of love, patience and understanding.

    1. That makes complete sense to me. I think a lot of the things that we consider to be in our control are like that. Consider the average person. Sure, they can control what they eat and how often they work out to achieve a level of fitness. However, they are still at the mercy of biology. If you trace the ‘whys’ back far enough, I think we’d all come to realize that chance/fate/God is just as responsible for our health as we are with our own actions. It’s a synergy. We must care for ourselves, trust ourselves and have faith in ourselves. In the same way, we must also trust chance/fate/God to guide us.

      …I hope that made sense.

      1. TK, you sound completely sane to me! 🙂 I’ve been getting a lot of criticism from my family about my physical health. They told me, “My mind is in better shape than it’s ever been.” However, they are “concerned” about my physical health and are “afraid I might die before they do.”

        What they don’t realize is that most of my physical ailments: diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and so on, are a result of being on psych meds all these years. Then there is the fact that hey, I’m not afraid to die. Yes, I want to be around to see my grandkids, if my daughter has any, but I believe in an afterlife and that when God says your time is up, then your time is up!

  2. Personally, my road to self acceptance is filled with choices that I must make minute by minute, hour by hour. I agree with you wholeheartedly…befriending our most sacred selves is a critical part of the process. The older I get, the more patience I exercise and the more compassion I feel for others all combine in a super magical way to make me feel better about my Self.

    I enjoyed your reading your thoughts. Keep sharing. 💜

  3. I do like spending time with myself, just exploring your inner self. You feel like that you can do whatever you like, sing out loud when driving, gasp at an exciting action scene. I always find that, if you can do your best in anything you do, then you can feel good afterwards, not worth risking something that at the end might make you feel bad.

    1. True words. I wonder if the sort of self-reflection you speak of is easier for introverts…. Just a thought after writing this. It’s an introverted thing to want to be alone. Extroverts may struggle to find comfort in a quite place by themself

  4. In general I do like myself. I’m always trying to find ways to improve myself, but I do get annoyed at myself when I don’t see those things through.

    1. It’s easier said than done. I feel like most people are ahead of the game if they are at least trying to know and like themselves. So many don’t even try.

  5. Whenever I see the words: “trust yourself” I immediately tend to think about Ralph Waldo Emerson and his “Trust thyself: Every heart vibrates to that iron string”. I really enjoyed reading your post today as it reminded me of the above mentioned author. I recommend you to read his work in some spare time. 🙂
    And as for trusting myself. I think a few times I learnt it the hard way. I mean, that the best solution was just to figure out what I feel is right.

  6. Nice! I agree that so many people neglect trust, particularly in themselves. I wonder if those same people feel uncomfortable around themselves when the lights go out and their only companion is the dark mirror. I can be frightening to face ourselves down, especially when we can’t put our trust in that person. Thanks so much for sharing. I will work hard cultivating my trust.

    1. That may be why people make a point to stay active and engage in activities or substances that continue to distract them. If nothing else, the TV provides a decent distraction.

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