Hours go by and weeks pass. Time travels far too quickly. It’s almost as if it were just yesterday that I gave birth to my first child and made a commitment to be a positive yet realistic example of a human being for this little life. Yet, that was not yesterday. That was almost 16 years ago. The time we have on this Earth passes far too fast. With just a blink of an eye your parents grow older, your children leave the nest and time slips through your hands. We gain new friendships, as well as experiences and in turn, we become wiser as time passes. No matter how much time passes or how much wiser we get, I believe the hardest part of life is forgiving yourself.
Learn How to Forgive Yourself
You Matter Most
I’ve read so many articles in my lifetime on the topic of forgiving. The topics usually cover the idea of forgiving but not forgetting or how to forgive someone without speaking to them. The idea of forgiveness is to let go of past pain and move forward to be a wiser, stronger individual. Forgiving someone else for their wrongdoing to you is obviously important, but what happens when you struggle with forgiving yourself? Today I wanted to speak a little about learning to forgive yourself. It’s okay to make mistakes, it’s okay to not listen to that gut instinct screaming at you, it’s okay that you didn’t do what you should have done. Remember hindsight is always 20/20. You stayed in that situation for a reason, perhaps it was merely because of the emotions involved, such as hope, lust or empathy. There are many reasons we, as human beings, can’t see the real issues that slap us in the face in that current moment. Today, I want you to read this and pause, reflect upon my words. Try your best to forgive yourself, because, at the end of the day, you matter the most to yourself.
Pause and Breathe
The first step to learning how to forgive yourself is to pause and breathe. I know I’m guilty of being harder on myself than anyone else could be. I give myself a guilt trip and make myself feel bad at times. The area that I most beat myself up over is not listening to my instincts. I know all too well, from many past experiences, that not listening to your gut is a bad idea. I’ve learned this and I’ve lived it far too many times. Yet, here I am again, in a situation that ended the way it did because I had hope, empathy and ignored the signs. As I pause and breathe in this current moment, I reflect upon events that occurred from day one. I reflect upon words said and actions that were shown. I pause and I breathe, allowing myself to accept that I didn’t listen to my gut and that’s okay. It happens to the best of us. Take a moment and accept that you’re not a bad person for having the human emotion of hope, empathy, and compassion towards another human being that didn’t quite deserve that energy from you. Accept that it is what it is and you may now forgive yourself. Give yourself permission to live life fully.
Accept the Past
While I may only be 36 years of age, I have experienced a lot of traumatic experiences that I really don’t share with the world. It’s quite frankly, not worth my time nor energy to dig into the past on social media. Accept that we all have baggage, we all have had at least one experience that may haunt us from time to time or keep us from living in the moment. While I personally love attending therapy with a licensed counselor, sometimes you can accept the past without deep levels of therapy. You just have to find it within you to forgive yourself. The key to learning how to accept the past and live in the moment is to stop beating yourself up. Stop torturing yourself by reliving those traumatic experiences within your mind. That person who hurt you isn’t worried about you, they’re only concerned with their own self. Why can’t you be that selfish too? There’s nothing wrong with learning to forgive yourself by accepting the past. We cannot turn back the pages of time and change the situation. I firmly believe that, if given the chance, we would make the same mistakes all over again. We make mistakes because of where we’re at mentally and emotionally in our life at that moment in time to learn from them, to grow and to establish a whole new sense of acceptance and wisdom.
This Gave you Experience
Lastly, the easiest way to forgive yourself is to stop giving yourself a hard time. You made a mistake, you were hurt, someone else made a mistake; it really doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, something traumatic happened and it hurt or you hurt someone else and time moved on from that moment. Remember, time doesn’t stand still for anyone and we all must learn to embrace today so that we’re stronger tomorrow. Our current moment, right here and right now, is all that we’re guaranteed in life. Whatever happened to you or a loved one already happened. Remember the positive is that it gave you the experience necessary to enjoy living in the moment today. You are still here, living and breathing. You are still here, ready to take on a new experience. You are still here, and you need to have permission to forgive yourself. This is not what you want in life, you don’t want to live in regret or dwell on traumatic situations every day, do you? Let the past be and embrace the fact that whatever happened has given you a whole new experience to help others going through something similar. You may now lend an ear or a shoulder to lean on while actually understanding what that person is feeling and going through. This experience of being hurt perhaps was a positive one. A positive one in that you gained the experience necessary to fulfill your purpose of uplifting others.
You Have Permission to Forgive Yourself
I really do hope that these words inspire just one person today to embrace forgiveness. I don’t mean the forgiveness towards someone else, but the ability to forgive yourself. Life is far too short. Stop beating yourself up over things that have already been done. Not a single person can go back in time and change the story. The situation or event that occurred is part of the larger picture in life. The situation or event that hurt you deeply is simply another step towards being a better human being. If you have learned to forgive others, then you can easily learn to forgive yourself because in all honesty, that other person could care less about whether you forgive yourself or not, they want your attention and they hope they can have a little seed planted in your head to make you pause and not move forward. Do not let anyone else have control of your mind. One of my friends said it best, in regards to the person who may have hurt you, “they’re not paying rent so don’t let them have a place in your mind” or something like that.
You have permission to forgive yourself today. Read this. Reflect upon my written word. Smile knowing that you have put forth an effort to be stronger, wiser and better today.