How often have we looked back at events in the past that caused us trauma and wished that they had never happened, that we had done things differently. And that’s when those words pop up: IF ONLY. ‘If only I had done this instead of that; if only I had thought before speaking or acting; if only I had tried harder’. If only….

These thoughts and deliberations are pointless because you can’t change what happened in the past and asking these questions fill you with regret and guilt. Guilt is one of the emotions and states of being that vibrate very low and can sink you to depths of depression and agony.

Get this: you did the best you could at that time, according to the person you were then, according to where you were in your journey of life, according to the knowledge you had then. You did the best you could under those circumstances.  And there had to be times in the past when we knew less, lacked certain positive qualities that we have now or were less equipped in whatever way than we are now. That is what the journey of life is all about. We have to mess up, sometimes badly; we have to fail, in order to learn vital life’s lessons and in order to grow, learn and develop.

The important thing is to learn the lessons from our mistakes and ensure we don’t repeat them. That is how we become better, stronger and wiser people and gain a heightened sense of self awareness, spiritual awareness and develop character. If things always go our way and if we don’t fail and are not challenged, there will be no need for us to move out of our comfort zones and old programmes. We will not change and grow and that is a pointless existence.

I have found that the best thing to do is to make peace with whatever happened in the past and move on. Acceptance. That is a very liberating word. Acceptance is an acknowledgement of our human frailties and the vicissitudes of life. It’s being able to let go and forgive ourselves and move forward. It takes us to a place of growth and strength. Beating ourselves up internally makes us miserable and depressed and anxious about the future. It brings down our self esteem and hinders our ability to achieve any goals because we’re so busy lamenting our actions in the past. And it wrecks our health.

This life is short. Don’t compound your failings by giving them more time than they’re worth. Give time to your healing and achieving instead.