You open up the book, and a part of you says, "Look at me, and be honest about what you see. Do you see self-blame, sorrow, guilt?" Maybe not that severe, but enough to bring you to a place where you're tired of living with regret. You're a good and kind person, and you never meant to hurt anyone or yourself. But you did at times in the past. Well, you're not alone. We've all done that. But there comes a time when you can't allow your past to contaminate your future.
Someone once told me that whatever we do, it's always according to our growing ability at the time. And 'growing' is key. Hopefully we grow and learn as we go along. Of course we make mistakes, but maybe we have to climb those mountains in order to learn what we need to know to move forward. Maybe we need those experiences to teach us who we really are. And we could have come no other way to grow in a positive direction. But getting stuck in regret, self-criticism or blame can sabotage where we want to go now.
A few years ago I was stuck in regret, and the following poem helped me to forgive myself for my mistakes, my poor choices, and for unintentionally hurting someone. And this poem helped me understand the journey we all travel and the experiences we need to push us forward.
NO OTHER WAY by Martha Smock
Could we but see the pattern of our days,
We should discern how devious were the ways
By which we came to this, the present time,
This place in life; and we should see the climb
Our soul has made up through the years.
We should forget the hurts, the wanderings, the fears,
The wastelands of our life, and know
That we could come no other way or grow
Into our good without these steps our feet
Found hard to take, our faith found hard to meet.
The road of life winds on, and we like travelers go
From turn to turn until we come to know
The truth that life is endless and that we
Forever are inhabitants of all eternity.
We really are on a grand journey, no two of us alike, each unique with our own mistakes in need of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a great healer, and the place to start is with yourself. It cleanses your soul and allows you to release what causes you pain. It gives you freedom to express more of your true Self. And when you free yourself from blame and regret, then it's easier to forgive someone else.
Keep your eyes and heart on the road ahead.