Learning to Forgive

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

Over the last couple of days I’ve pulled cards repeating similar themes: resolve the past to move forward, let go of the past, let it lie, step forward into who you are meant to be.  I have held tightly to the past, to everything I’ve done and to things I wish I had done.  To the decisions I regret making, the chances I regret letting go.  There are so many things I wish I could have done differently and there are so many things I wish I could do over.  I’m sad because I know nothing I do with change what has been done but I also don’t know how to let it go. 

So many authors I read talk about forgiveness.  How important it is to make peace with what is done in order to successfully move on.  How the past is merely a part of what has happened, not the defining moment.  There are some things I’m not sure I have earned the right to forgive.  Part of me knows that is ridiculous because there are ways to make peace with nearly anything.  I have no issue forgiving people in my life but I still struggle with forgiving myself.

In the spirit of this Valentine’s day weekend, I found it appropriate to continue to take loving action for myself.  That includes forgiveness.  Perhaps this has always been a challenge for me because a lot of what I feel isn’t necessarily shame or anger toward myself, it is regret.  How do you forgive regret?  Regret is difficult because it’s ambiguous.  You don’t have to feel regret because you did something terrible—sometimes it’s the longing for things to be different.

I know that I can’t make things different, I’m not insane.  But finding a way to make peace with the fact that some things just are is challenging, especially for perfectionists.  So, for me, the first thing I’m trying to come to terms with is just that: life isn’t perfect.  It’s messy and dynamic and flows of its own will.  Part of accepting that things aren’t perfect is accepting that I have my own unique abilities and developing those abilities is more useful than trying to force myself to fit into something else. 

When you align with who you really are, the opportunities that are meant for you will always find you.  That is how you make peace with regret.  If you believe that there are no coincidences and that your opportunities always find you no matter how long it may take, then it is safe to say that there are no missed opportunities and there is no reason to regret anything.  I love that idea, but I struggle with it.

However, the universe seems to be pressing the issue of letting go of the past and getting on with it already.  I surrender.  It is time to give over, no matter how uncomfortable it may feel.  I will be sharing some stories over the next few days in hopes of some healing.  In hopes of resolving and making peace with some things from my past.  In hopes of learning to embrace what I have been talking about for the last year—loving myself enough to accept who I am.     

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