How to Forgive and Let Go of the Past

 

Those who know me know that my moods can change pretty quickly. One minute, I’ll be happy and carefree. The next minute, I can be grumpy and lash out at people. This is something that is very difficult for me. It has ruined relationships, because people don’t always have the patience for my moods.

Even more frustrating is that my mood changes remind me of my past growing up. I worry that I’m repeating behaviors in my past that were hurtful to me. I have found it can be hard for me to forgive myself in these moments. But by dwelling on these mistakes, I go back to square one—making myself feel less worthy and more insecure. Everyone knows that forgiving others is very important. But I am learning that forgiving myself is also very important.

Forgiveness for my own mistakes has the power to free me from my past and to keep me moving forward. When I dwell on my past mistakes or when I worry about whether I’m repeating patterns that were destructive in my childhood, I’m letting the past keep control in my head. I can’t dwell on those years, and I can’t keep wondering, “What if I had done this” or, “What if I didn’t do this, would all of this have happened to me?” Because none of that worrying or dwelling or negativity will help me now or in the future.

One of the ways I’m trying to overcome my frequently shifting moods is to repeat to myself, “What happened in the past was not all my fault, and more importantly, it’s in the past.” As I’ve written about before, I have achieved so much in school, work, and my relationships. I can overcome this struggle too. I have learned that by taking ownership and acknowledgement of my mistakes, I have the power to fix them.

There is no sense in punishing my future for my mistakes or the mistakes of others in the past. This is easier said than done, I know. I’m reminding myself of that even by writing this story. But I want to share this because everyone has a future that can be better than their past. And I believe the key to that is being forgiving of yourself when you make mistakes and looking for the lesson or the way to grow from it. Something better can come along in life, even if you don’t think that it’s possible. Knowing this helped me so much, and I hope it helps you too!

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