Forgive But Don't Forget: 10 Things It's Time You Forgave Yourself For

It's time we bury the hatchet that is the past and look ahead to a brighter future.

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By Kait MacKinnon

Throughout life, we all have our ups and downs. We have moments that we’re not proud of, and sometimes we cringe when we think of the past.

What’s important to remember is that we are not in control of the past. The past has come and gone, and there is nothing we can do to get it back. You can beat yourself up about what was said and done, but it won’t change the fact that what happened, happened.


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Friend, it’s time you’ve forgiven yourself for these 10 things.

1. Not getting over your ex

It’s time to forgive yourself for not getting over your ex.

The reason it’s so hard for you to move on is because they gave you some of the happiest and best memories of your life. It’s okay to grieve. They likely made you feel better than anyone has ever made you feel, and you probably can’t understand why anyone would want to throw that away.

When you’ve finally moved on, you might hate yourself a little for how much time you wasted on them. Don’t feel stupid. You’re a human being who has emotions and can feel.


2. Your mental illness

Forgive yourself for any mental health issues you have.

I’m going to tell you something that you need to hear: it is not your fault and you are not crazy. There is literally nothing you could have done to prevent your mental illness. It is not a choice, but a chemical imbalance in your brain.

Mental illness gets overwhelming, and even when you feel like you’re crazy, remember that you’re not. Forgive yourself for the years your illness took from you. You decided to keep fighting and get help, and you should be proud of yourself for that.

3. Saying “no” in order to take care of yourself

There comes a time when you just need a break. In a time when our generation is deeply affected by “fear of missing out,” it’s okay to sit this one out.


Spend your time however you want to, whether it’s in a bubble bath surrounded by dimly lit candles or on the couch in your pajamas eating ice cream and watching Netflix. Take care of yourself and don’t worry about letting people down.

4. Saying “no” simply because you don’t want to

Life is too short to spend time you don’t have, doing things you don’t want to do with people you don’t like.

Say no and don’t be remorseful. If they’re offended that you don’t want to do something, then you should be offended that someone would expect you to waste your time doing things you don’t want to do.

5. Time you’ve wasted

Maybe you wasted your time in a career field that you didn’t like, or maybe you wasted your time on a boy who ended up being a jerk. Whatever you wasted your time doing, forget about it.


Don’t waste more time wondering how your life would be if only you had done things differently, because the truth is, you learn a lesson from everything you do in life. Forgive yourself for your time wasted, but don’t forget what it taught you.

RELATED: How Gratitude & Forgiveness Can Help You Let Go Of The Past And Heal Trauma

6. Mistreating your parents in your youth

At point or another, we all experienced a little teen angst, and we likely took that out on our parents. You may have been a bit nasty to them in your youth, but they’ve probably moved past it and so should you.

Focus on the relationship you have with your parents right now, and what’s in front of you. Make up for that lost time by cherishing your parents and treating them how you should treat them.


7. Falling in love with someone you shouldn’t have fallen in love with

We don’t always have a say in who we fall in love with. Sometimes you meet the right person at the wrong time and sometimes you meet the wrong person at what seems to be the right time.

You don’t always have full control over your feelings and emotions and sometimes they run wild without us. Embrace that love you felt and what you learned, even if it meant getting your heart broken.

8. Mistakes you’ve made

A few mistakes here and there is how we learn our lessons.

No matter how much sleep you lose over it, you can’t completely undo a mistake. Sure, you can make efforts to fix it, but you can’t completely erase it.


Accept that you messed up and forgive yourself. It’s okay to have a few under your belt. It’s good for your soul and builds character.

9. The times that you weren’t brave

Forgive yourself for the times that you weren’t brave enough to stand up for yourself.

For the times that you weren’t brave enough to get out of bed. For the times you weren’t brave enough to be yourself. The times that you weren’t brave enough to let someone go. Or the times that you weren’t brave enough to live your life.

Life is tough. We bend and we break and it’s okay.


10. The way you allowed others to treat you

Maybe it was a bad friend or an abusive lover, but it’s time to push away that disappointment we have in ourselves for allowing someone to treat us that way.

Being disappointed means that you know (now) that it’s never okay for someone to treat people the way they treated you. Let this teach you how to treat others in the future.

It’s time we move on and forgive ourselves. It’s time we bury the hatchet that is the past and look ahead to a brighter future.

Learn how to apply these lessons to everyday life and help you make the best decisions for yourself. It’s okay to be ashamed of something, but not so much that it prevents you from living your life. Things happen and you’re going to be okay.


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Kait MacKinnon is a writer who focuses on relationships, love, and mental health topics. Her work has been featured on Huffington Post, Elite Daily, and Thought Catalog.