Have you ever given much thought about how you sometimes hold on to past mistakes, long after they occurred?
Sometimes, we can hold on to those past mistakes for years!
I remember when a childhood friend and I had a major disagreement. We were best friends since elementary school and inseparable, until we started junior high school…
Although it was many years ago, I remember the event as if it was yesterday. When we started junior high we began to drift apart. We were still friends; however we started spending time with other friends. I’m not sure what started our disagreement on that fateful day, but our friendship was never the same.
So what happen? We were sitting in class laughing when one of my classmates told me my friend said something negative about me. I was so angry; I decided to confront my friend at lunch time.
When I saw my friend, I lit into her. I publicly embarrassed her by sharing personal information in front of our peers. She left the cafeteria very upset.
As she left, I felt horrible! I went after her and begged her forgiveness. She accepted my apology, but our friendship was never the same. Over the next several years, I worked hard to earn her trust, but I never forgave myself. How could I be so insensitive? I caused pain to my friend!
Have you ever caused pain to another person, intentionally or unintentionally? Or blamed yourself for poor choices you’ve made?
According to Dr. Everett Worthington, “unforgiveness towards oneself,” or the inability to move forward from anger or pain from a past mistake, will delay any sense of closure.
Well, we have all made mistakes or said things that were hurtful. So how do you begin the healing process? Forgive yourself! Begin the healing process by following the steps below:
- Ask for forgiveness from the person you have wronged – accept responsibility and offer a sincere apology
- Accept yourself and your flaws – no one is perfect and we all make mistakes
- Reshape your priorities and goals – learn from past mistakes and move towards a positive direction
- Remember to be grateful – no matter what happens, be grateful for what you have
- Commit to living differently – shift your focus from “me” to “we”
- Let go and move forward – forgive yourself and let go of the past
You are more than your pass mistakes. Remember, forgiveness is a process.
Do you need to forgive yourself?
Dr. Kim Moore
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