Don’t let the mistakes and disappointments of the past control and direct your future (Zig Ziglar). It is difficult to move past mistakes and disappointments. Some are so devastating they change the entire course of our lives–at least on the outside. The tragedy of these situations is when we allow them to alter the way we see ourselves on the inside. It’s possible to move past mistakes and disappointments, learn valuable lessons, and change for the better within ourselves. While some mistakes and disappointments are the results of our own bad decisions, it’s still alright to show ourselves compassion and yes, forgiveness. Forgiving ourselves is the hardest forgiveness of all. However, if we are unable to forgive ourselves, it’s going to be virtually impossible to forgive others. The hard-line of rigid condemnation we inflict on ourselves for past mistakes or disappointments we’ve suffered cannot help but be projected onto others. Take a few minutes and consider yourself as a fallible human who, indeed, makes mistakes and disappoints others–those we love. Begin to develop self-compassion while at the same time recognizing lessons learned. I once heard in a sermon that God does not define us by our worst moments but by our best moments. That was a shocking concept to me because of the judgement teachings of the church of my childhood. To understand God’s love of me in light of understanding not damnation was the most freeing moment of my life. We are taught from a very early age to define ourselves by our mistakes–we are “bad” when we make mistakes or “incorrigible” when we deliberately break a rule. In reality, people are neither good nor bad–only their actions can be defined as such. We really need to lighten up on ourselves in order to be able to treat others kindly. Stop giving yourself a life sentence for past mistakes or disappointments and accept the lesson, learn from it, and continue with your life. We all struggle in one way or another. None of us are in a position to judge others and it’s not our place to judge ourselves either.