How to Forgive Yourself

December 1, 2011 by Daniel Collinsworth

We are what we choose to be.
Daniel Collinsworth

This past Thanksgiving weekend, I got to spend some time with my family – my parents, my brother, and my sister-in-law, all of whom I love very much.

In the midst of the laughing and good times we had, I felt a heaviness bubbling up from deep within me. As it surfaced – slowly, cumbersomely – I felt an unshakeable sadness covering me. An old sadness, one that had been hibernating for years.

Old heartache and regret.

I became haunted by years worth of memories, from childhood onward – of not being a good son, of not being a good big brother. Things I said and did that have left irreparable scars. It was all still there, like a briar patch in my heart and mind.

I felt overcast and morose. I drank to numb these feelings so that I could enjoy my time with my family. I felt unbearably heavy. Big, hot streams of tears came as I lay in bed that night.

Finding Center and the One Real Truth

As I set out on the hour drive back home that weekend, I allowed myself to sit with these feelings that had surfaced. Sadness, yes. Regret. The anger that I was feeling toward myself. The excruciating reality that I couldn't go back and change any of it.

Once I got home, I retreated to a deep breathing meditation. I connected with that central still point, around which the entire Universe revolves. It eased my suffering and brought clarity into my awareness.

I observed the following conversation unfolding in my mind:

What's done is done – I can't change it. I can move forward from here. I can be the man I know in my heart I want to be. The man I know, deep inside, that I am. I am. I am.

And as I just kept repeating "I am" in my mind and throughout my being, I became sharply, freshly aware that it was the only real truth in all of the Universe.

I am. I am. I am.

The sadness, the regret, the heartache – illusions. It was my choice to let them take up residence in my consciousness, or to let them go.

To let them go forever, and to just be I am. Not I was or I could've been.

So I chose I am. I let that old sadness go. I released it like a kite flying high into the sky, smaller and smaller until it disappeared from view.

Forgiveness knows your name, and is waiting for you.

Today, you have a choice. To be I was or I am. And the true beauty of it is, you are who you choose to be. This moment. You just choose, right now, and begin walking in the I am.

You can't rewrite the past. But you can write the story of today. Today, you are who you choose to be.

Today, you are free.

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