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Vishal Ostwal

I Write About Life

5 Ways to Forgive Yourself and Release the Past

What do you do when your expectations fall short, your faith is torn apart, and everything stands against you?

This is what happened to me a few years ago. It didn’t take place within an instant. Instead it happened to me gradually, each day, slowly. The circumstances had changed me obviously. But the hurtful outlook that I developed during those days wasn’t obvious.

I witnessed my weaknesses and failures molding me into someone who I wasn’t. But I realized this only after all those feelings had planted their seeds within me and turned me into a person for whom trusting himself became the harshest task. I felt like a feeble aspirant after those ups and downs.

After so many years, I have cured myself by maturing my control over emotions. But one thing which I can honestly admit is that the unforgiving attitude which I had developed was one of the greatest mistakes I made. It was an obstacle which prevented me from growing.

The criticisms of others, self-abasement for not being up to my expectations, the desire of becoming perfect, and the inability that prospered within me knocked me each day and lowered me in my own eyes.

My self-doubts turned into beliefs by forcing me to think that I was the only person who should be blamed for everything wrong in my life, and should be punished as well.

I filled my heart with guilt and blamed myself for everything that went wrong, even if it made my life a suffocation. I allowed my failures to slap me each day and cursed myself for them. I even started seeing my successes as undeserved accomplishments.

This attitude made me hate myself. I thought that perhaps punishing myself for not being good enough was the only manner I could improve.

But the sad part was that I did all these wrong things just to get a right result. Ironic, isn’t it?

The straight truth behind my wrong behavior was: I shunned myself when I needed myself the most.

I did the wrong things in the name of improving myself. But everything changed the moment I realized my fault.

I looked at the smiling faces of the imperfect people around me and wondered about what made them so happy. They weren’t the best. They didn’t fit into the standards of the world. Their life wasn’t even close to nice. Yet, they smiled proudly as if they owned the world.

This scenario instantly triggered my thoughts and showed me that I just needed to let go and move on. Because the only thing that made my life miserable was my self-critical behavior that was still making me live in my past and preventing me from taking a grip of my future.

I could’ve improved my situation earlier by forgiving myself instead of treating myself like a sinner. My mistake was made out of choice.

Don’t we sometimes push ourselves too hard without understanding the depth of matter? I had done the same.

We unintentionally get trapped in false beliefs while making attempts towards improvement. We start feeding the negativity standing against us, which prevents our old scars from healing by scratching them.

The only option to end all this is – forgiving ourselves.

Forgiveness is a slow process which might take some time before it shows its changes.

But there’s a proper manner of doing it which I’ve found. You can use these ways to wash-off your past mistakes, forgive yourself, and learn to live again.

1. Stop pretending

In my quest to becoming a better person, I got into the habit of pretending. I lied to myself and tried to protect my false beliefs. Perhaps it was because my flaws made me insecure and I couldn’t face the truth.

I tried to convince myself that I was perfect when I wasn’t. I tried to believe that I was a right when I knew I was incorrect.

But I stopped coating the actuality with lies when I recognized that I was just pretending to gain some sort of self-belief.

The false beliefs that stand on lies don’t last. Admit your mistakes, stop lying, and then ascend with a new hope. The lies have the power to reveal themselves again in near future and make you vulnerable. Being real is the only way to stop pretending.

2. Accept yourself

We work on refining ourselves as if we’re starting our life again, and totally ignore the fact that we were someone else in the past.

We don’t always like to accept what we were in the past as it reminds us of our inadequacies. But can we expect to grow by leaving behind ourselves?

Accept the loser within yourself before you decide to be a winner. Accept your past before you build your future.

Accept each and every bit of yourself and feel proud about being you. Leave no trace of guilt or self-doubt within and stop hiding the identity of past from yourself.

3. Don’t let your past define you

It becomes hard to repair life when everything goes wrong. Each action of ours seems anew when we decide to begin again. That’s when the self-doubt strikes us.

It chooses all the faults from our past and keeps them against us to remind us of our weaknesses. Our progress decays once we start struggling with the past.

Face your past and focus on creating a better future. Trust your potential, do all the worthy things that can benefit you, and have faith in your intentions.

The past might still have a grip over your present, but the only way to get rid of it is to work on improving present circumstances for creating the kind of future which won’t be a slave of the past.

4. Save your inner child

We grow up, gain wisdom, and start chasing higher things, yet the child within us never dies.

Our inner child inspires us to dream. He doesn’t care about the world or logic when he searches joy. The child stays within us as an inseparable part of us. As we grow up, the existence of this child fades in the midst of sorrows and hardships, and soon he is forgotten.

The child within us proves our innocence by guiding us towards righteous motives and goals. He isn’t involved in your lies, but is always ready to forgive you. Don’t leave behind this part of yours or doubt its presence. It’s always there.

Save the child that stays within you and trust him. He’ll be the first one to forgive you.

5. Pick up your broken pieces

What do you think happens when our dreams break, we fail, or refuse to accept ourselves? A lot.

Our trust is shaken, our expectations bend, and we’re left in state where fear accompanies our every action. This state makes us incapable of finishing our responsibilities and then slowly plagues our thoughts by dragging us into the habit of feeling guilty again.

Our confidence is shattered at once and wrecked to pieces. This causes an irreparable loss and makes forgiving ourselves even harder. But it can be prevented by forgiveness itself. The tiny actions of forgiveness inspire us to do it often.

We are ought to stand with ourselves and not against us. That’s how we may be able to forgive ourselves and start again with new hopes.

Forgive yourself

Know what? There are regrets hidden behind experiences.

This is my confession. You aren’t supposed to make the same mistakes over or wait for the right time to forgive yourself. Start doing it today.

A punitive approach can’t serve any positive change. Or at least, it didn’t in my case.

Forgiving myself, releasing the past, and moving on again is the only proper way I’ve learned to build the foundation of future. It’s works perfectly.

We cannot build a future without facing our past and forgiving ourselves.

What habits do you think are helpful in dealing with the past and making a new beginning? Leave a comment below.

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