Alexander Pope lived in the Augustian Era and was obviously a deep thinker and a poet. But those words he wrote in the 1600s still ring true today.
Are there mistakes you’ve made in your life that continue to haunt you, cause tears and anguish, and you wish with all your heart you could get a do-over?
For me, there is. And just when I think I’ve let go and forgiven myself, up it jumps again and I start all over with the process. So, maybe it will help to voice one of the mistakes that I continually feel heavy guilt for. Maybe in sharing it, I can be done.
During the twenty-five years that Rick and I were married, he worked tirelessly to create a home. Of course, I worked alongside him, but it was through his vision, perseverance, and hard manual labor, we managed to put together quite a compound where people gathered, where music was played, and where dreams were nurtured.
By the time he passed away, we owned over two acres of land with three houses, an antiques store, a music store, recording studio and eight outbuildings. He built a native rock patio, one rock at a time, and created cactus beds out of discarded telephone poles.
None of it was fancy. All of it was real.
Why am I going down this rabbit hole? Because it is one of my biggest regrets that leaves me with an overwhelming feeling of guilt.
When Rick passed away, I was totally lost. I understood that I was not capable of maintaining this compound we’d built. It required constant care. I had no family there. It was his family. And, his oldest son, who was a heroine addict, began coming daily asking for money. I had to move. Fear can be a big motivator.
I transferred my job with the State of Texas to where my oldest daughter lived and closed up the house by October, after Rick died in May.
Bear with me. I’m getting to the mistake and guilt.
Eventually, it became apparent to me I was never moving back to our home and I needed to put it on the real estate market. Mistake #1 – going with a local realtor. I should have gone with an established realtor in a bigger town. Mistake #2 – changing realtors and still staying with someone local. Mistake #3 – eventually renting one of the houses out (that’s a whole other story) and Mistake #4 – eventually losing the property by taking an offer for whatever the bank would accept to pay off the loan.
After all those years of hard work, blood, sweat, tears and love, I lost the property without making even a dime in the transfer. Rick would not have wanted that for me.
And that, my friends, is a guilt I carry, a burden I bear.
So, how to let go? It’s water under the bridge. I cannot go back and do it all over.
I know that Rick forgives me. Forgiving myself is the hardest. Just when I think I’ve managed to move past it all and let go, it comes back.
Today, I found a meditation on forgiving yourself and once again, feel as though I can let go and move on without any more guilt.
Does that mean it’s gone for good?
I certainly hope so.
The only purpose in sharing any of this is to encourage you to forgive yourself for mistakes you may have made. Anytime the guilt tries to come back around, stop. Cancel it and think of something good and positive about yourself. At least that’s what I’m going to try.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and any methods you’ve found for forgiving yourself for mistakes.