Can You See Your Own Glory?

I found a quote from poet Maya Angelou today that resonated with me:

“I don’t know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes- it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, ‘well, if I’d known better I’d have done better,’ that’s all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured, ‘I’m sorry,’ and then you say to yourself, ‘I’m sorry.’ If we all hold on to the mistake, we can’t see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror; we can’t see what we’re capable of being. You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one’s own self. I think that young men and women are so caught by the way they see themselves. Now mind you. When a larger society sees them as unattractive, as threats, as too black or too white or too poor or too fat or too thin or too sexual or too asexual, that’s rough. But you can overcome that. The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. If we don’t have that we never grow, we never learn, and sure as hell we should never teach” try to lose weight.
(Strikethrough mine, obviously. All the bolding is mine, too.)

I forgave myself for years of obesity some time ago, but the inherent tendency to beat myself up over things lingers. This quote reminded me that moving forward requires stepping out of the past. It also reminded me that my value to the universe is not based on a scale number, a tape measure, a squishy belly, or anything else having to do with my physical make up. The same is true for YOU, and I hope with all my heart that you know that.

I’m off to the mirror to behold some glory. Join me?

16 thoughts on “Can You See Your Own Glory?

  1. We really are not defined by the scale, the size jeans we wear, or even the image in the mirror. It's what is inside that counts.

  2. It is so hard to make healthy living/normal weight important, without letting it define you (or anybody else). Still working on that, and the self-acceptance thing as well.

  3. That Maya, she is so right! No wonder people quote her so much!


  4. I adore MA
    Before she was 'Oprah's Maya' for precisely this kind of reason.

    Time to reread I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings for me…

  5. what a great quote and post!
    we can learn from our past, but we don't have to live there.

  6. Good stuff!! I too have a problem with revisiting the past. Tough to forget some of that stuff.

    Nothing that 5 grand at the shrinks office and 20mg of Paxil won't solve.

  7. I LOVE this quote! Thanks for sharing. I have struggled a bit with thinking others see my weight loss and think, "Well, why did she let herself get so big in the first place!". In reality, there may be some people thinking that. I have to be the one to stop thinking it about myself!

  8. This quote is not only powerful but true. I too had to forgive myself for all the things I missed out on and the way I felt about myself when I weighed 300 pounds.

  9. I love this post! I think that having empowering quotes like this one in mind can really help with motivation, so thank you so much for sharing your favourite ones with us!

  10. Cammy, you write such amazing posts! Thank you & I need to follow suit!!!

  11. Wow….that just hit me to the core…don't read my blog…it's the complete opposite of this post…but I just can't afford to be too congratulatory or I reward myself with food, or a day off or something that trips my downward spiral…you continue to inspire me!

  12. I LOVE the new blog! Congrats. :)

    Great post and there is lots of wisdom to that. Forgiving myself is something that I’m good at some days and fail at other days. It’s all about striving to be better and improving. I know I’m going down that road. :)

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