I used to be obsessed with my past. I beat myself up over my mistakes, and was haunted by memories of things that happened years ago.
I found that the older I got, the less I cared about my past. I still care about some of the things I did, but for the most part, it’s just a bunch of random stuff. The only thing that really matters is how you’re going to let your past affect your future. It’s how you’ll use what you’ve learned (or haven’t learned) to make choices that will make your life better today. The only way to do that is to forgive yourself for everything in your past, and learn from it so you can think more clearly and make better decisions in the future.
If you’ve been beating yourself up lately about something that happened in the past, try this little exercise: Look at all the things in your past that you’re so upset about, and just write down a few words next to each one. Were they good or bad? If they were bad, tell yourself “It’s okay.” Then write down a few words next to each good thing in your past. Did it help you become who you are today? If it did (and there’s a good chance it did
The thing that many people don’t understand is that you have to forgive yourself before you can truly forgive others.
Forgiving yourself is not about forgetting or denying the things you have done that are wrong. Instead, it’s about taking responsibility for your actions and letting go of the painful feelings you have been holding on to since the mistake was made.
Trying to forgive someone else while harboring resentment and anger towards yourself is like trying to put out a fire with kerosene — it will only make things worse. You’ll find that as you forgive yourself, you’ll be better able to see the other person’s point of view, and your heart will open up more fully towards them.
The first step is easy; forgiving yourself for your mistakes is simply a matter of deciding that you’re ready to do so. That may seem like a simple thing, but in reality it can be very difficult for some people. However, make this decision and you’ll notice that something shifts inside of you. You won’t feel quite as bad about things as you did before, which means you’re well on your way to forgiving yourself completely!
Many people have been abused, hurt, bullied, or abandoned. Many of us have been in relationships that were violent and abusive. Many people have had to make hard decisions they are still paying for.
And we can’t change the past. The good news is that the past cannot change us either. We cannot let the past define us. If we do, then we are letting someone else control our future.
What is behind forgiveness? I believe forgiveness is a choice you make to let go of what happened in the past and focus on your future. When you forgive yourself, you let go of all the pain and hurt that is associated with it. You focus on what’s happening now and what’s going to happen this week/month/year/decade.
Trying to forget doesn’t work. When you try to forget something, it becomes a demon that comes back to haunt you when you least expect it.”
In therapy, we often talk about “letting go of the past” as if it were a single action. The phrase is sometimes used to mean “stop thinking about the past,” or “don’t blame yourself for things you did in the past.” Sometimes it means forgiving someone else, or even forgiving yourself. It’s all just one thing, though, really.
The only way to make sense of our experiences is to stand back from them and try to see their perspective. What does this mean for me now? What can I learn from this? What can I do differently next time? Then you accept what you’ve done (or not done) and forgive yourself for it.
Because your actions are based on your beliefs and perceptions at the time, they are understandable—you see that now. And that means they are forgivable.
My name is Emily and I live in Reno, Nevada. I am 30 years old and I have been married for 8 years. My husband, Josh, has worked on the same project for his employer for the last 6 years. He has relocated three times in the past four years to accommodate his employer’s needs. This past June, he was transferred again and told that he would be traveling for at least six months this time. This meant that Josh would be going out of town for long periods of time, leaving me home by myself with our two young children.
In one fell swoop, I’d be left to take care of everything – including our young children – as if it were just me and my husband living alone. I was too scared to think about what this might mean in reality. How would we pay our bills? Who would keep an eye on the kids while they napped? How could I handle the laundry and all of the household chores all by myself?
I didn’t feel ready to spend so much time alone with my children just yet. There were other concerns as well. What if my husband had an accident on the road or got sick while away from home? What if he got into a car accident or got arrested? And what if some emergency