I’m pretty sure that all of us have done something that we wish we could undo, should we ever get a chance to live that moment again. On the surface, no one can tell that you have demons buried inside; nobody can know about the things that you need to accept about yourself and forgive to move on in life.
I remember this like it was yesterday. We were at a seminar in high-school and the speaker made us meditate and go to a state where we were given an opportunity to mentally relive moments that we would rather forget, something that we would rather take back. Think of it like a hypnosis session. We were asked to forgive ourselves and move on, no matter how difficult that choice was. By the end of the session, 90% of the people in the seminar hall were in tears.
I know that having to relive your past and forgiving yourself for something that wasn’t even your fault, to begin with, can be hard. Often, we humans just need somebody to blame, and unfortunately, most of the time, the person we start blaming for everything that is crumbling apart is ourselves.
Let me explain why blaming yourself way too much is a toxic trait, not only to yourself but to everybody around you as well. When you’re constantly blaming yourself, you tend to be more withdrawn and secretive. We all know that secrets and carefully covered up lies can hurt the bonds that we so painstakingly build in our lives. Nobody deserves to be kept in the dark, and certainly not the people closest to us.
Everybody makes mistakes (I’m just quoting Hannah Montana here!). But it’s all in the past. Accepting your mistakes doesn’t mean that you’re okay with what you did. It doesn’t mean that you’ll do it again if you forgive yourself. It simply means that you understand that to err is human, and that’s what you are. That’s what we all are.
And to quote another great lesson from Disney, “The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.” Of course, we all need to give ourselves a certain amount of time to come to terms with whatever is eating us up inside. But once that is done, we cannot drag it out to an extent where it starts affecting our peace of mind. We need to let it go.
And sometimes, we project everybody else’s mistakes on ourselves. As a result, we end up blaming ourselves for something that wasn’t even our fault, and honestly? We don’t deserve that. Depending on how terribly a person messed up, you can forgive them. You don’t have to forget what they did, but from a personal point of view, I’ve realized that carrying grudges only makes a person bitter.
I’m not saying that I’m perfect. I have yet to forgive myself for a lot of things, and a lot of things that I’ll probably never be mature enough to forgive others for. But the more I let go, the lighter my burden becomes. I really hope you find it in you someday to forgive others and yourselves for things that couldn’t have been controlled anyway. I hope you also find the peace that comes with it.
Recognize the source of your guilt. Do some soul-searching and try to dig past the surface of the reason behind your guilt. Why did you blame yourself in the first place? What made you think that it was all your fault? Why couldn’t you forgive yourself before? Find the answers to these questions and leave it all behind. Leave it in the past. Exactly where it belongs.
So today, if you’re feeling crappy about something, try to forgive yourself for something that you haven’t been able to forgive yourself for in a long time. Who knows? Maybe it’s how you’ll move on.
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