Have you ever made such a big mistake that you literally can’t sleep because what you should’ve done keeps running over and over in your head and what you did do is sitting in your stomach like a sunken stone? I know I have. So what do you do at that point? Do you let yourself sink deeper and deeper into your regret? Do you apologize to the person you hurt or search for ways to make up for whatever you did? Maybe. But what I’ve found to be most crucial to the healing process after a big mistake is one thing: self-forgiveness.
I’ve realized that it doesn’t matter whether the person you hurt genuinely forgives you or you find a way to somewhat right your wrong. The only thing that will prevent your regret-based insomnia is to simply forgive yourself. We must remember that everyone makes mistakes in life, but that doesn’t mean they have to pay for them for the rest of their lives. We shouldn’t have to dwell on our mistakes and be pained by them over and over. We must learn that sometimes good people make bad choices and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean they’re bad people, necessarily, but rather that they’re human. So relax. Stop beating yourself up over something you cannot change, something you have no power over.
Our society has become very quick to judge, and in my opinion we are quick to label people as self-centered. If we choose to focus more time and effort on bettering ourselves and a little less on other people, we are often deemed selfish—and that needs to change. Recognize that it is perfectly okay to focus on your own happiness. You deserve to be happy and free of anguish. You deserve to sleep soundly at night and wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day. You deserve to be forgiven. So learn from your mistake and then move on. Because the only way a mistake can truly be permanent, is if we don’t learn from it and we don’t forgive ourselves for it. So let’s all make a vow to be selfish next time we make a mistake. Let’s make a vow to choose to forgive ourselves.