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A time will come where our progress is contingent on forgiving past mistakes
So much of my recovery today is practicing self-forgiveness. The things that bother me today, that at times can overwhelm me and spiral me into incredible grief and guilt, are the decisions that I made in a state of trauma. Research shows that the cognitive part of the brain gets overpowered by our survival instincts when we are under extreme stress. This caused me to make decisions that I later deeply regretted.
When I am operating from a place of “danger”, I am not in a clear state of mind. I am not problem-solving, I am not thinking ahead, considering different outcomes, I am not feeling connected to my intuition or to others; I am literally trying to release everything around me and run. It can take months, years, and in some cases even decades until I might feel the weight of what I believe to have been moments of life-altering missed opportunities, lost to the cruelty of time due to my impulse of flight.
This is where I need to pause and get back to basics. Back to gratitude for what I do have, and my living amends of making every day the very best I can. For me a day well-lived is when I am showing up, being respectful of myself and others, and openly appreciating those around me. Recovery today allows me to adjust so that my values shift to practical and attainable sources of inspiration. Instead of the usual fight or flight response, I connect to my higher power and through that authority I am reconciled and validated.
When I can give myself space for past regrets, when I can let the Holy Spirit move in and through me in order to effect a change of heart and therefore a change in outcome of how situations show up in my life, I truly can forgive myself; I go back to feeling happy and purposeful in my life.