On Acceptance and Moving Forward

Accept what is done is done

Is it easier said than done?


People make mistakes. Sometimes very serious ones. As often as not, the mistakes aren't deliberate or personal. Sometimes people just don't know what they are doing. This means that if, in the past, people have behaved badly towards you, it wasn't necessarily because they meant to be horrid, but because they were as naive, as foolish, as human as the rest of us. They made mistakes in the way they brought you up or finished a relationship with you or whatever, not because they wanted to do it that way, but because they didn't know any different.

If you want to, you can let go of any feelings of resentment, of regret. of anger. You can accept that you are a fabulous human being because of all the bad things that have happened to you, not in spite of them. What is done is done and you need to just get on with things. Don't use the labels 'good' and 'bad'. Yes, I know some if it is indeed bad, but it is how we let it affect us that is the real 'bad'. You could let all these things get you down, fizzle away internally like some emotional acid making you ill and resentful and stuck. But you can let them go, embrace them as character forming and in general as positve rather than negative.

An acquaintance once told me that on paper, he had a seriously dysfunctional childhood and for a while was resentful. He blamed his bizarre upbringing for all that was weak or dispirited or badly formed in him. It's so easy to do. But once he accepted that what was done was done, and that he could choose to forgive and get on with his life, things improved enormously. He saw at least one of his siblings carrry on building resentment until it overwhelmed them. For my friend, it was essential, if he wanted more out of life, to embrace all the bad things as being an important part of him and to move on. He says that looking back, it was tough being the kid he was, living the life he did, but it has certainly helped make him, him.

The message here is that there is no going back, only forwards. What is done is done and you need to just get on with things. Make it a motto for life - keep moving forwards.

(an excerpt from The Rules of Life by Richard Templar).