Forgiving Oneself So You May Move On in Life

Forgiving oneself is a letting go process. Self-forgiveness may take longer than a day or two and the time frame will vary for everyone. But regardless of how long, it keeps you on the path of hope.

Many of us continue to harbor the past and the mistakes made for far too long after a particular incident. Many people hang on to self-guilt for years!

And by letting go of the guilt begins a path for everyday miracles in your life!

It was among many other things, my longtime golfing pal, Jon Phillips, who I hadn’t seen or spoken to in over 15 years, located me in an Ohio prison where I was incarcerated for a foolish securities violation.

In a previous article I discussed he now living in northern California, Jon admitted he’d often reminisced over our golfing glory days in Florida.

But as you might well know that as things get busy, sometimes we seem to easily lose touch with friends, while still keeping in the back of our minds great memories.

Jon told me his company’s high-tech communication systems had enabled him to track me down, as well as to see for himself through court records the details of the mess I’d gotten myself into—not to mention the heartache I must have caused others. 

Get caught up

He went on to say in his detailed letter how time flies when we merely get caught up, and that by just knowing me, he was well aware of my sincere regret and my apologies to those who fell victim to my irresponsible actions. 

He reminded me about the importance of forgiving oneself.  

Jon also added how glad he was to see that my case was not as serious as the court had trumped it up to be.  He indicated that I should relax and expect to get through this experience while I watch it leave itself behind me.

 “Just hang in there” were his closing words to this treasured communication between good friends.

I paused to put his handwritten letter down briefly and thought to myself how absolutely correct he was about forgiving oneself, to begin letting go and moving on from your mistakes. 

I just cannot believe how I allowed myself to get caught up in the actions that sent me to prison, and for those directly and indirectly affected, I take this opportunity to publicly apologize once again. 

Forgiving ourselves

There are times when we take ill-fated action and we know it.  So why do we do it?  Only deep within us individually do we truly know the answer. 

Accepting this answer is the first step in forgiving ourselves. 

A Course in Miracles states, “The real world is attained simply by the complete forgiveness of the old, the world you see without forgiveness.”

Then we can move forward in asking others for their forgiveness.

Looking at our past mistakes or wrongs without self-scolding and further condemnation we may begin reflecting what is most important to us.

In his letter he reminded me about words of inspiration and wisdom he said I once gave him as a gift, and that he still treasured today. 

In fact, he said he recalled those words during a difficult time in his transition to California, with the hectic move and the business being reestablished in a new state with different regulations. 

It was something about “change being healthy and shouldn’t be frightening” that struck a chord with him.

Letting go

As I put his letter into my footlocker with the intention of savoring it later, in a more relaxed time of the evening ahead, it dawned on me how we each help each other in this world and often don’t realize it. 

All along I was thinking about how Jon had always inspired me, and now here he was thanking me for the same.

But after letting go of some his own struggles, Jon was once again back on his game, inspiring me further when I truly needed it, along with an open invitation to one day play golf with him in the hills of the wine country. 

I licked my “golfing chops” with a smile and kept my motivation moving forward in me with a definite and certain vision of forgiving oneself, while placing the totality of these dark times in prison behind me.

I don’t have to believe, because I know my good friend Jon didn’t find success and happiness due to his beliefs.  The ego-stroking temptation to become a star pro golfer held no power over him because he was honest with himself. 

He is where he is today due to the knowledge and inner power of mind he tapped into within himself, simply by following his heart, rather than what others prescribed for him. 

His golf game, his brotherhood, and his family life are a clear reflection of the “jewel” that is his Reality.

(Please note that if you feel the urge for more content relating to today’s article, try this article about anxiety confusion easily overcome.)

To forgiving ourselves,

James Nussbaumer

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