July 8

Today's quotation:

They are the prudent who leave behind yesterday's
mistakes in complete self-forgiveness, but for the
lessons they learned from them, and to then face each
new dawn as if it were their very first.

unattributed

Today's Meditation:

I made some mistakes yesterday.  I probably said some things that I would have been better off not saying, and I might have done some things that could have been better done differently.  But are yesterday's mistakes any reason to make today miserable?  I don't think so.  I know from experience that the effects of mistakes fade with time, as long as I don't continue to make the same ones over and over again.  And I also know that if I take the lessons from yesterday's mistakes, today will find me making even fewer than before.

Only through self-forgiveness can we face each dawn as a new and fresh experience.  Self-forgiveness allows us to put the past behind us and focus on today, on the here and now. If I'm focused on the regret of what I did or didn't do yesterday, then I'm not completely present in the moment.  If I can replace that regret with forgiveness, though, I can be who I am and affect others with my positive outlook rather than affecting them with my somber, regret-filled self.

Some people feel that it's important to beat themselves up over their mistakes.  Some people even feel that it brings them closer to God to focus on just how "sinful" they are, thinking that God will somehow try to get closer to them the lower they dig their holes in the muck and the grime.  After all, didn't our mother give us more attention when we were crying?  But God loves us all equally, and calling myself a sinner or beating myself up over yesterday's mistakes won't change that a bit.

So leave yesterday's mistakes with yesterday, where they belong.  Bring the lessons with you so that you won't repeat them, but be gentle with yourself and you'll find that you're much more able to be gentle with others.

Questions to consider:

Why do we so often carry mistakes with us for a very long time, without even seeing the lessons in them?

What would you say are some of the positive results of self-forgiveness?

What does it mean to "face each new dawn as if it were their very first"?

For further thought:

I think so many of us are too hard on ourselves for what
we didnít accomplish or what we should have done.
The first step is to forgive yourself for all the things you didnít do that you should have and all the things that you did do that you shouldnít have.  Get rid of the guilt.  Negative feelings donít do you much good.  The way to deal with them is to forgive yourself and forgive others. . . .

Forgiveness helps you come to terms with the past.
I've learned how to forgive myself, and this has helped me
no longer feel deep regrets or sadness about my past.

Morrie Schwartz

  

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