Forgiveness is something we often reserve only for others. A sacred burial ground we allow others to cross, or in some cases, do not allow them to cross.
Almost as if forgiveness is a barren wasteland we create between ourselves and the hurt that has touched our lives. Sometimes it is far easier to never venture into this wasteland and almost always easier to pretend it does not exist at all. Move on. Strive forward. Keep the past in the past.
Yet what if the only way to move forward is straight through this wasteland. More so, the only way to move forward through forgiveness. To forgive ourselves. Our past.
It is overwhelming to think that we need to forgive ourselves and forgive the past we have taken part in creating. Overwhelming more so that our actions and decisions have taken part in creating any aspect of the past. We cannot possibly be to blame for the moments that have hurt us. The decisions that have given rise to that hurt.
But that is the first step forward, accepting the decisions we make, the choices we have lived by, have shaped part of the life we live. The decisions and choices that we have made. Not others.
Yes, there are many cases where this may not be true, extreme cases more so, but in our everyday lives, with our everyday moments, our choices and our decisions have shaped our past and will shape our future.
Stepping aside from the ego, the hurt, the pride that often stops us from looking in the mirror, we can gain so much more than we allow ourselves the grace to realise.
More often than not, it is only when we are confronted by our own mortality that we consider the humbling prayer of forgiving ourselves, forgiving our past. Realising in that definitive moment what power it can hold over life, when there is no more life to live.
Forgiveness is an act of acceptance. An act of humility. An act of kindness. Acceptance, humility, kindness – these are all values we not only should allow ourselves to live, but owe ourselves to live.
A sense of lightness can come from taking a pause, to forgive our past. Forgiving that one decision, that one thought, that one action and then, letting it go. No longer carrying it through the barren wasteland as a burden invisible for us to see.
Sometimes the past can be on constant repeat in our minds, our hearts. Replaying over and over again the thoughts, the actions, the conversations that tighten around us. Suffocating the air. A moment of forgiveness could unravel the strong hold.
I will not beat myself up for the decisions, the moments, the actions I have taken in the past that weigh me down. Instead I will accept my responsibility in creating the weight. Forgive myself and set the past free. For when it spreads its wings, the past inevitably soars to become our future.
Let it fly.
Do you forgive your past?