Life can be tough. It can be even tougher when we carry baggage from years gone by. In order to live a more fulfilling life, you need to forgive yourself.
Living with Mistakes
Being the son of a preacher, it’s not lost on me how often I’m preaching to the choir. In fact, a lot of what I write hits home more often than not. I find two of the most potent motivations for my writing is either things I’ve dealt with or things I’m dealing with.
I for one really struggle with the pain I’ve caused others. It’s often hard to shake. I can just be sitting with family enjoying a meal or watching a show and think about some pain I’ve caused or some thoughtless thing I’ve done and I feel overwhelmed and guilty. No matter how old the transgression or how forgettable it is to the person involved, I still feel a twinge of guilt that I just can’t seem to let go.
Living with mistakes from the past isn’t easy, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, you have to forgive yourself. After all, if you can’t forgive yourself for being human, how can you help others who struggle with the same thing?
I don’t have any easy answers or quick fixes if you struggle with this like I do. After all, if I did, I wouldn’t struggle with it. What I can tell you is three tools I use to deal with it.
- Turn it around. When you find that you’re down on yourself and giving yourself a hard time, find something to praise yourself for. If you can find something you did in the instance or after to fix the problem, focus on that. If not, just find a random thing to bring your attention to.
- Review Successes Daily. Each day, review the things you’ve accomplished. It can be as big as finishing a project or as small as writing 5 minutes a day. It can even be as simple as turning a negative memory around and forgiving yourself.
- Forgive Yourself. Not only do you need to forgive yourself for making mistakes both now and in the past, spend 5 minutes once a week or even once a day if you feel like it, forgiving yourself for past transgressions. Set a timer and just forgive yourself for everything that comes to mind.
Struggling with past mistakes is a common problem, but no one wins when we beat ourselves up over them. The best way to help people now and in the future, is to be your best you. If you want to be your best you, forgive yourself.