We all beat ourselves up over one bad decision or another, but I also am inclined to think that those of us who are very empathic, emotionally and spiritual sensitive, and who have put a great deal of effort into being an overall more self-aware and kind human being, tend to be the hardest on ourselves. We agonize over the wrong choice of words, the inadvertent hurt feelings we caused, the bad decision we made.
The trick is, we’re all human beings, and the trick of being a human being is that we are all far from perfect. That bad move you made does not make you a terrible person. In fact, the very idea that you feel remorseful about it makes you a good person.
We lose our tempers, we make hasty decisions, we hurt people without thinking about it, but having the conscience to realize it was a dumb move doesn’t mean you have to flog yourself daily about it. If possible, you make your apologies to the parties involved, you learn from your mistake and you move on.
Many of us sit on this guilt and let it fester. Well, I’m here to say, stop all that festering! Everything we do in life becomes a series of learning experiences. If you choose not to learn from all of those experiences, good and ugly, then you are probably living under a rock and really need to come out look around at the sun.
This doesn’t mean that you need to hunt down every person you’ve wronged or every dumb decision you’ve made and make it all better. It means you need to ask yourself, what did I learn there? Am I smarter now because of it, and perhaps will think before doing the same thing again? Great! You’ve evolved!
Now, you have to forgive yourself. Even if every person you know came to you and said, you’re forgiven, we know you didn’t mean anything bad, or we know you know that was a bad move, ultimately, that doesn’t mean a thing if you can’t forgive yourself for being imperfect. Let go, stop beating yourself up.
It can be as simple as quietly contemplating the situation and saying to yourself, “I forgive you.” It can be more involved and ritualistic if you need it to be, write a journal page about it and end it with “I forgive you.” Go to your favorite spot in nature, hug a tree, and say, “I forgive you.”
How you do it is not important, what’s important is that you simply forgive yourself.