I found myself in a situation recently where I couldn’t let go of my past. I had made some mistakes, stepped on toes, and hurt some feelings. Even though I knew in the deepest caverns of my heart I hadn’t done these things intentionally, I couldn’t forgive myself. Self-loathing became a daily emotion. In short, I was miserable.
I finally forced myself to take some time to meditate in an attempt to sort out the negative feelings festering inside me. I knew I had to figure something out or I would continue to be a version of myself I hated.
As I cleared my mind and allowed myself to quiet the voices screaming in my head, I came to this simple realization:
The past is in the past,
My future is not yet written,
I can simply live in the present…
The mistakes I made are in the past. I feel true remorse over them. I’ve apologized for the feelings I hurt. And I have worked hard to be a better person than the person I was when I made those mistakes to begin with. There’s nothing more I can do. Hating myself everyday for something I did in the past does nothing to change what happened, nor does it help me better myself for the future in order to avoid making the same mistake again. So what is the point of hating myself or beating myself up over something done in the past?
The future is not set in stone. No one can predict where I will be in two weeks, two years, or two decades. More importantly, the mistakes I made in the past do not have to determine what my future will be.
If I choose to live each day in the present, I can leave my past in the past where it belongs, and I can work on building the future I want to see. Each day I can make the effort necessary to strive for whatever goals I want to reach in my future. By focusing on the little pieces I need to set into place today (in the present) in order to build the future I long for, I leave no time for dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
This revelation has brought me tremendous peace over the last few days. I’m sure I will face more challenges similar to this one, but for the present, I am determined to enjoy the peace…