Letting go of the past is one of the most loving things you can do for yourself. When we hold on to past mistakes or hurts, we keep ourselves stuck in a never ending vortex of rigid thoughts. We re-live the event over and over and over again. We think about what we should have said, what they should have done, how unfair it was, etc…
I have yet to meet one single person who felt better about himself because he dwelled on a past issue. Instead, people who ruminate over past issues tend to be very angry. Angry at themselves, angry at the other person, angry at the world in general. People who have learned to let go of the past, lead much more contented and happy lives. Which person would you rather be?
When we play the same tape over and over in our minds, we rob ourselves of energy and of all the good that this moment has to offer. Even if someone purposefully hurt you in some way, continuing to live in that pain is abusive to yourself. The person that wronged you is not suffering, you are. If someone owes you an apology, you will feel better if you imagine the apology has already been extended and forgive them. Some people are not secure enough in who they are to apologize when they have behaved badly. You can choose to let their insecurities keep you stuck in a never ending spiral or you can choose to climb out of the whirlpool and move on with your life. When you forgive them, it does not condone their actions, nor does it mean that you are now good friends. It simply means that you love yourself enough to set yourself free. This was a difficult lesson for me to learn and I still struggle with it from time to time. However, I see a huge difference in the way I feel when I refuse to dwell on hurtful issues from the past.
If you did something that you regret, continually beating yourself up over the mistake is also self abuse. If you owe someone an apology, offer it to them. Whether they accept it or not, find the lesson in your error. When we make mistakes and learn from them, we empower ourselves.
There is a brilliant future waiting for you, but it won’t come to you until you release the old thoughts and make room for the new.