I ran a red light once, and t-boned another car. It was a Friday afternoon, and I had just left work. I was thinking about the weekend. I wasn’t paying attention. A car to my left moved, so I went right through the light without realizing it was still red.
One of the passengers in that car was hurt – not critically, but she was hurt. That was over 13 years ago. It was a stupid mistake. I’m a human being. We make mistakes all the time.
I realized the other day that I still haven’t forgiven myself for it.
In truth, it makes no difference whether or not the people in the car have forgiven me. It’s not their forgiveness that will set me free. It’s mine.
The same is true of any “wrong” any of us have ever committed or any “bad” decision we’ve ever made. The forgiveness of others, although lovely to receive, is not what sets us free.
We must learn to forgive and release ourselves.
This goes back to what I said earlier about forgiveness – it’s really about letting go and moving forward. Guilt and shame no longer serve you. None of us can go back and change the past.
Why in the hell do we always want to drag it along with us every damn day?
Let your guilt go. Let your shame go. Have mock funerals for the decisions/choices you made that didn’t work out the way you intended. Soothe yourself by focusing on your intentions. You did the best you could with what you knew at the time.
Look in the mirror and repeat after me:
I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you.
Now do it again. And again. And again. Do it over and over and over until you feel some relief.
Let yourself off the hook for anything you’re still carrying that no longer serves you: people, decisions, words you said or didn’t say, things you did or didn’t do, anything you need to let go of. Learn to be kind to yourself.
Learn to ignore the negative voices in your head. Talk to yourself like you would talk to your best forever friend.
Because you are, you know. You are your Best Forever Friend.
Start freakin’ acting like it!