Today, I woke up and forgave it all.
It wasn’t even difficult, really. Curiously, it wasn’t even something I thought about. I just dropped it. Full abandon. Carrying the burden of shame, anger and regret was just no longer sustainable. I simply lost interest in holding it, letting go just felt easier.
And I discovered something remarkable: it immediately became easy to move on.
You see, when holding on to the past by replaying arguments like late night reruns on every channel in our head, unwinding our experiences and envisioning them in new ways while adding in the wisdom of hindsight, sprinkled with the fantasy of who we wish we would have been in that moment—the past becomes an imagined alter reality: a waking dream (or nightmare?) we cannot see our way out of.
At least, this is what I have experienced time and time again in my life.
Every time I have lost a loved one—dissolving friendships, break-ups, separations, death. When I have argued with my daughter. When I have argued with my husband. When I’ve said things I should never let escape my lips. When I’ve failed to follow through after making a promise. When I have said yes when I meant no. When I’ve said no, but wanted to say yes. When I have lost jobs, faced personal challenges, dropped out of college, lost weight or gained it back. When I have spoken when I ought to have listened more.
I have conditioned myself into regret by replaying words, thoughts, behaviors, relationships, choices and outcomes. Regret is a trance state wherein our recollection of events is distorted by our limited viewpoint of them.
What if forgiveness (of others, of ourselves, of life) is the doorway into a world of acceptance of the way things really are? What if forgiveness is the space where all of our burdens can be set down for good? What if forgiving the entirety of life is the key to being in love with every single breath you take?
What if where we are is exactly where we are meant to be? What if forgiveness was the simplest method of all?
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Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo Credit: elephant archives