Mistakes are a necessary part of life.
Intentionally or unintentionally, we have all wronged others or been unloving at times. To recognize this does not mean that we should be self-condemning. It means that we are ready to acknowledge the ways in which we have failed to love, even if we did not mean to do so, and strive to grow as a result.
If we treat mistakes as feedback to learn from, then our past becomes a valuable resource, a well of information and inspiration for living into the future. Although we cannot change what has already happened, we can change our thoughts about it. In doing so, we change our experience in this moment and the future we are creating.
If however, we remain mired in the agony of remorse, not only have we done damage in the past but we ruin the present moment as well. By accepting full accountability for our thoughts, words, and actions and learning the necessary lessons from the past, we free ourselves to move forward toward greater love.
Which Way Do You Want To Go?
Each moment offers the possibility to draw closer to love, to be indifferent to it, or to move away from it. If we look at every decision and every communication through this perspective, we reduce many of life’s complexities and save ourselves much aggravation.
Spending time judging and criticizing ourselves or those around us is not drawing us closer to love. If instead of finding fault we strive to encourage through kindness, we infuse our hearts with compassion and other people’s lives with inspiration.
If instead of fighting for our point of view, we practice patience and acceptance of our differences, we develop emotional maturity and gentler relationships. Love is the way to reach people, to change people. Committed to what moves us closer to love, we can build bridges of peace and create more ease in our lives.
A Journal Practice in Forgiveness
This is a practice of self-inquiry. Spend some time contemplating each question. Journal your answers or share them with a trusted friend.
- What stops you from forgiving?
- How do you think not forgiving serves you?
- What do you imagine will happen if you forgive, that serves as such a strong inhibitor to such a profoundly freeing act?
- What is the cost of not forgiving?
- Consider becoming willing to forgive even if you do not know how right now.
- Think of a possible way to bring forgiveness into a relationship with your family or in your workplace?
- Imagine what freedom will come if you move into the blessing of forgiveness.
- Try taking one breath of forgiveness now.
Lack of forgiveness traps our energy in the past, and keeps us stuck in the damaging feelings of blame, remorse, and shame. When forgiveness and compassion take the place of anger or self-condemnation, then we can take clear action on things we wish to be different, in order to create peace.
Forgiveness is our key to freedom.