Laura Clark Barefoot, Ph.D.
Barefoot Chaplain Intervention Services
January 1, 2016
“When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.”
–Paolo Coelho, Brida
Releasing Past Mistakes
Let’s not kid ourselves. If you are alive and reading this, chances are, you have regret concerning a decision or a “mistake” you have made in your life. Learning to face your past, especially those things you dread the most, are an important part of personal growth. Every human being who has lived has an event, or a choice he wishes he were able to change, or, as some say “do over.” Regret robs joy, albeit, in the moment, or for substantial periods of time.
The first step to releasing past regrets, and obtaining your freedom, is through discovering acceptance. Own what happened, accept your freedom of choice, and begin to practice focusing on the present moment…one day at a time. Sometimes, we are gifted the choice to apologize to the person we hurt. Sure, it’s uncomfortable, but, attempt to right the wrong, make an amends. Don’t expect forgiveness. Expect freedom and liberation. You and God, together, control only you. You can’t control the other person’s opinion of you. After all, the goal here is to forgive the former you, the one who made, what you believe, was a mistake. We are not, currently, who we once were.
Commit yourself to a fresh start in 2016. It’s a way of protecting your health and well-being. Allow yourself to admit, your energy deserves to be put to better use. By doing so, your creativity is fed, your sense of purpose will be renewed, and you can lead a more productive life. Just remember, human progress doesn’t happen in a straight line. While moving forward we often take two steps forward and one step back. The best approach is to allow feelings to happen, while envisioning them as necessary steps back in your journey forward.