I know how difficult it is for anyone to let go of past mistakes that occurred in their lives. No one is exempted from this unhealthy habit as we have things we have been holding unto for so many years.
Dwelling on the mistakes of the past can make us feel angry and resentful to ourselves and others. Forgiveness will help reduce that burden we have on ourselves.
Hanging on the things of the past can negatively and significantly have a detrimental impact in our lives. I may not be able to change the way you think, but what I know is that forgiveness is a process. It takes time and may not happen overnight. This process is different from each and everyone of us. However, the end result is that there is always hope no matter how long it may take.
When you forgive yourself and others, you set yourself free and become happy. Forgiveness from the heart makes you happier and more productive – this makes you to accomplish your goals easily. The act of forgiving others is more about us than the person we are forgiving – it is about being true and kind to ourselves. “Refusing to forgive is like drinking poison in the hope that it will kill your enemy” [Learn to Forgive Yourself and Others].
Forgiveness has never been that easy. It pains the heart more than the act itself. According to Marianne Williamson, “Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.” To have that peace (with those who have hurt us) and peace of mind, we need to forgive ourselves and others.
When we think we can’t wipe off the past, we become trapped in anger, resentment and indignation. We remain frustrated, helpless and feel stuck. This affects us greatly as it can hurt us physically as well as emotionally. The moment we turn around and see that the past is done, you realise you have just paved your way to more acceptance. This will lead to emotional healing and happiness – what we all are looking for.
The only way you can have peace of mind is by forgiving yourself as well as others. It should not be you forgiving yourself and just a handful of people. My mum will always say it is better to “Forgive and forget” – not sure about forget, because taking precaution that such should never happen again, means you may never forget. We should forgive all, but not forget – protect yourself from future hurt from same people is wisdom.
The people who have hurt you may not have done so intentionally. They may have been self-absorbed in themselves but their real intention was not to hurt you. You may be keeping that grudge without the person knowing – tell them how you feel, forgive and let go. However, if their actions was done intentionally to hurt you, just be compassionate, kind and empathise with the person. They maybe going through a lot as well. Just let go and see how happy and peaceful your life becomes.
There are times in life that you may have to accept whatever mistakes was made in the past. If you can’t amend it, learn to live with it. Visualize yourself breaking free from your past. For this to happen, you have to turn the page and accept those happenings as part of your journey or story. The positive side of it is believing that it helped made who you are today. With such thoughts, it allows you to forgive yourself and move on.
Finally, to build your self-esteem, you need to look at loving and showing compassionate to yourself. If you can do this to yourself, then you truly believe you are worthier than your past errors and mistakes. You have learnt a vital lesson which is to love and be kind to yourself which is supposed to be a priority. Forgiving yourself and others is an acknowledgement that letting go of angry or resentful feelings will improve your life greatly.