I think of regrets like this…
Let’s pretend on the day we’re born we’re issued a Hefty trash bag … into it we put every regret, hurt, disappointment, embarrassment and guilt. Before we know it … the bag is full and heavy and a misery to carry. Yet every minute of every day… we’re walking around with this bag of crap that is breaking us. It would be so easy to put it down and walk away… but we don’t… we hold on tightly to something that is holding us back… a bunch of crap. If we put it down we may have to open the bag and exam what’s in it… that might be difficult…. so we keep the crap neatly bundled in the bag and never enjoy being totally free. Wow … what a sad ending.
My example is silly but does make a point.,,, nothing in our past has to control us.
Do you have regrets? Do you wish you could go back in time and change things that happened? Do you need to learn how to forgive yourself?
If there’s a moment in your mind … something that you remember that you wish you could erase… you’re not alone. None of us are perfect and although we have the power to recognize our flaws, it’s not often that we can actually let them go. Instead, we tend to hold on to the burdens we create for ourselves through our actions, struggling to carry them as we go through life. As regret settles in, the past becomes attached to our existence in the present and without the power to go back and change our behavior for the better we can be left feeling truly powerless.
Often, it seems as though the hardest person to forgive is you. Think about it… how many people do you forgive on a daily basis? You’re probably ready to forgive your children when they misbehave or your spouse when you have a quarrel. I have a pug named Kooli that pees on everything I own… and I forgive him!
Most of us can even forgive strangers, like the driver who cuts in front of you on your way to work, or the person who takes the machine you have signed out at the gym. These people get the best of us, even when we can’t wipe our own slates clean.
If you’re stuck in the past reliving your mistakes, you aren’t really living. We must overcome our mistakes by learning from them. But that learning can’t happen when you’ve got a quarrel, a breakup, an episode, or a mistake on replay in your mind. Even if you’re able to look back on the incident with 20/20 vision, you can’t actually move forward until you learn how to forgive yourself.
Everyone messes up. Me, you, the neighbors, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, King David, the Buddha, everybody.
We can’t change the past and it doesn’t really matter because we don’t live there anymore. What we can do is trace the things from the past that are causing us stress … face them as best we can and erase them.
It’s like the contents of that Hefty trash bag… once you know what’s in it you can do something with it or set it at the curb where it belongs….
This is my journey… this is my life.