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Letting Bygones be Bygones

Forgiveness is one of the single greatest gifts we can give ourselves. It liberates us. We forgive because we are worthy of peace. As we turn our calendars to January 2023, let us lay down the burdens and pain of the previous year(s) and begin again anew.

In the words of Paul Boose, “Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.”

Do not let a past moment in time define your present and future.

It does not serve us to hold grudges or allow our past hurts to fester like a wound we continue to open and never let heal. The anger and resentment we hold inside when we refuse to forgive damages us more than the initial moment of harm or transgression. It's like a poison we feed ourselves when we relive it in our minds and through the retelling of the story to others. We unnecessarily hurt ourselves over and over again…way more than the other person hurt us. And then we become prisoners of our pain, rather than the liberators of it.

Think about how much time and energy goes into mental retribution and reliving harm caused by others, and even toward ourselves when we play the “woulda, shoulda, coulda” self-blame game. What is the cost of that? How much of your life has been spent on that?

What if you could use that time and energy toward building the life you want? What would you gain by letting it all go?

When we forgive, we find peace and space. Space to be our true, creative and joyful selves. We allow freedom where there was once constriction. We open our minds to inspired possibilities and our hearts to love. Our focus changes to hope and optimism about what lies ahead.

Isn’t that a better way to live?

So, in the spirit of forgiveness, I invite you to take out a blank piece of paper and write at the top, “I forgive.” Then write down all the people and past pain you’re willing to let go. Without diving into the details, just jot down a simple name or short description.

Then speak it all aloud: “I forgive…(so and so for this and that).” Envision yourself truly letting it release from your mind, body and heart. If it helps, think of each memory as a stone you’re dumping out of your heart to expose your inner light.

Once you’re done releasing each item on the list. Either tear the paper up into many pieces and flush it down the toilet or light it on fire and safely burn it up in a pot or fireplace.

Then physically turn away and walk toward your future that awaits you with open, loving and compassionate arms.

Welcome 2023 and all the fresh possibilities that await us!

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