A reader asked me to post my thoughts on how to forgive yourself and move on with your life. I’m not sure I can tell anyone how, but I certainly can share my thoughts on why not doing so is itself such a tragic mistake. It’s voluntarily attaching a ball and chain to yourself.
Think about a person who in your mind has changed the world or who has done something great with their life. Now imagine that person had done something terrible, or something that they regretted deeply; something for which they were consumed with guilt. Now imagine that instead of doing whatever they had done for which you so greatly admire them, they had instead remained paralyzed by guilt or regret. Imagine what a tragedy that would have been!
You may not think you are going to change the world, although you might. But let’s take it down to a level that applies to everyone. There is at least one person who will be significantly impacted for the worse if you continue to wallow in the past – you. For most people there will be a partner, a family, friends, or colleagues who will also be affected.
Every minute, hour, or day you waste worrying about the past, replaying it, remaining paralyzed by it, is just that – a waste. It’s a minute, an hour, or a day you take away from yourself and your loved ones.
No matter what you have done, you only hurt yourself and others further by failing to forgive yourself and move on. You are not the same person you were then. The very fact that you have such deep regret over something, means you have grown in some way. That was the old you. The new you has let it go and has moved on to be the best you can be in the present and in the future. You will never achieve that as long as you are hanging on to a past that by definition no longer exists.
Here is an article that offers some tips: Letting Go Of Your Past. Jeff offered some of his own thoughts on how today in this article on moving past the past. His article also contained this excellent quote.
“One of the few things that can’t be recycled is wasted time.” – Sean Covey
What do YOU think? Leave a comment and join the conversation.
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