Forgiving who you used to be isn’t as simple as telling yourself that you’re not that person anymore. Hindsight (which is that wonderful realisation that you shouldn’t have done something; after you’ve already done it) doesn’t quite grant you the capacity to just forgive and forget. You can understand, then, why it’s common for people to say hindsight is a bitch.

The problem comes in when we struggle to accept that we’ve made a wrong choice, a mistake, or screwed up royally. We can accept that a mistake has been made, but we struggle to accept that it wasn’t us who made it, or at least it wasn’t this version of us. Forgiving who you used to be takes a lot of self awareness and self reflection, but it’s worth doing the work, rather than continuing to carry shame for it.

forgiving who you used to be

It doesn’t mean you negate responsibility

There isn’t suddenly this get out of jail free card because a past version of you made a choice you now have to live with. It’s still you; nice try. The person you are now, realising that the choices you’ve made maybe weren’t so fantastic after all, has the gift of hindsight and it’s important to realise that detail when it comes to dealing with your shame stories and forgiving who you used to be.

Shame might swoop in with stories about what these mistakes may say about you, about your capacity for happiness or success, but this is why it’s so important to remember what the function of shame should really be.

It’s there as a red flashing light to tell you that something needs improvement so you can made said changes and move forward. It’s not a signal to beat yourself up about it for the rest of your life.

Forgiving who you used to be starts with recognising why you made those choices

It’s not going to be a matter of saying “well my childhood was screwed up and that’s why I made the decisions I did”. That might seem like a time efficient way to wrap it up in a mangled little bow, but true self reflection needs to go deeper than that.

Maybe you’ve made decisions from a place of fear. Fear of abandonment, of letting someone down, of not being good enough. Maybe you made them from a place of love, such as wanting to put a family members needs before your own because you love them.

Whatever reasons caused you to make those decisions, you need to be honest with yourself about why you did. Even if it might really hurt.

Why?

Because otherwise, you run the very real risk of making that same decision, with a similar outcome, all over again.

Want to spend the rest of your life reliving your blooper reel?

No. I didn’t think so.

In Now Get Back Up, I talked about the way that shame has come up for me in my life and was very transparent about the things that contributed to my decisions. It’s important to focus on that word though.

Contributed.

We are creations of those things we’ve been exposed to in our lives.

Every person we meet contributes that little bit more to the person we become tomorrow.

At the end of the day, it’s still in our hands to decide what behaviours we accept from ourselves, and those that are less than healthy in our lives and we need to change.

Forgiving who we used to be means recognising where those behaviours have come from, but also acknowledging that it is still our responsibility to decide whether or not we’re going to keep doing them.

If you’re given an opportunity to react differently next time you’re in that situation, you’ve got to think about whether you’re going to be forgiving who you used to be and learn from the mistake, or are you going to continue to make the same mistake over and over and blame the past for the way shame impacts your choices?

Your pieces are your own, love. Go start picking them back up.

Dana Maree xx

DAna MAree

About the Author

Dana Maree is an International Best Selling author, coach, and mentor of the Craft to new witches. A life time practicing Witch herself, and a teacher of the Craft for more than 10 years, she has seen, heard and felt both the joys and pains that come with being a part of the Craft community. She now promotes shameless living, and is passionate about creating safe spaces for new Witches to explore their Craft. 

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