Hello my sweet friends,
I want to share some insights and thoughts that I’ve been having lately when it comes to the topic of forgiveness. These past few months have really shined a bright light on the practice of forgiveness for me in my own life, and reinforced for me the value and necessity of it. We innately know that when we forgive, we release an old hurt from the past, so that it no longer harms us in the present. Generally speaking, we think of forgiveness as an act that we do to someone. We forgive a person for a wrongdoing, we forgive family for the unnecessary stress they cause, we forgive friends for disputes.
So often our forgiveness is outwardly focused, and we completely ignore the fact that it is essential that we also practice self-forgiveness. As human beings, with free will, we are going to make a wrong choice, we are going to have errors in judgment, we are going to go against our own best interest, we are going to mess up. It’s going to be painful and agonizing. Though mistakes, of course will be present, and they may cause lots of difficulty for us, we must remember that mistakes are a necessary part of life. The mistakes we make teach us, the errors provide for a course correction, and going the wrong way, shows us how good life can feel when we go the right way.
I’ve made a handful of pretty hefty mistakes in 2020. I’ve gone through the feelings and emotions and consequences of my mistakes. I’ve learned and adjusted my thoughts and behaviors accordingly. Everything that I’ve gone through will be incomplete, if I don’t intend to forgive myself for my actions.
I have to constantly remind myself that my mistakes don’t define me, and that my errors in judgment don’t indicate my worthiness as a person, and it’s in that awareness that I start to heal, grow, and learn from that difficulty.
Holding on with regret and remorse will never change what transpired, it only carries the pain into the present moment, where you can consciously choose differently. When you forgive yourself, you create the space to choose better, to be a better version of yourself, to use the knowledge gained for good, rather than clinging to the old version of yourself that you want to punish. When you forgive yourself you also empower yourself to be that better you, to take action to make amends, and to feel more in control of your actions, rather than at the mercy of them.
I feel pretty confident in saying that anyone reading this blog today has a desire to be the best version of themselves they can be. That intention can’t fully come to fruition if we don’t release ourselves from the agony of old wounds.
You deserve the love and forgiveness that you are so willing to share with others. You deserve to be set free from your past so that you can live a better present. I wish that for all of you.
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org