“When you forgive, you in no way change the past — but you sure do change the future.” – Bernard Meltzer
This is a quote I’ve recently stumbled upon. It got me thinking about how I’ve been holding onto something negative that has really affected me day-to-day. For the longest time I have been weighed down by the past. Over the last few months I’ve begun to grow, and accept that in order to forgive myself, I have to forgive the past and all of the things I’ve been through.
The things I struggle with the most are things that cannot be undone. After everything I talked about in a previous post about my father and his addiction, I held resentment, as most people would. My feelings drove me to points where I started tearing myself down and wouldn’t allow myself to get over what happened. I blamed a lot of things that happened to me, or that didn’t happen to me, on that situation. For example, I have had a difficult time opening myself up to the prospect of love. I always blamed my dad for my trust issues that cause me to automatically shut people out. I’ve felt so angry for the longest time that he made me miss out on so many opportunities.
Recently, an incredible person wandered into my realm of existence who has changed the way I view a lot of things. This person has helped me begin to break free from some of my past demons. I’ve started to see that what happened, happened, and there is nothing I can do about it. But I can do something about what is going to happen, and about my future. The only person I’m hurting by not forgiving is myself. I’ve learned that I am capable of being loved, and that there are people who I can trust completely.
So, now it is time I work on forgiving myself. It wasn’t really my fathers fault I missed out on so many things, it was my own. I control how I react to things, and I chose to shut the world out. As much as I want to put the blame on the past, and on my mental illness, I can’t. I won’t anymore. I’ve now accepted someone into my world who has proven to me that history won’t always repeat itself, and I think that has been a big step towards forgiving myself and moving forward from the past.
Completely forgiving myself, and my father, is going to take time. Heck, I don’t know if I’ll ever heal entirely, but I can tell you that I won’t ever hurt myself in that way again. Holding all of that resentment inside only made dealing with my mental illness more difficult.
Sylvia Plath couldn’t say it better: “Wherever I sat—on the deck of a ship or at a street café in Paris or Bangkok—I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air.”
My bell jar is finally starting to lift, and I am starting to breath in new air.
About Emma Holden
18, tea enthusiast, animal lover, word writer, and wants to change the stigma on mental health one blog post at a time.