Close your eyes and feel. Feel every ounce of regret, remorse. Feel every word that slipped from your lips. Feel every action you should, or shouldn’t have made. Feel every unspoken sentence, every fear and doubt and hesitation that caused you to be too late. Feel every mistake, every mess-up, every moment where you should have, could have, and didn’t.
Feel it all and let it break you. Let it tear you down. Let it tire you until your bones ache.
Then let it go. Realize that you cannot control every single outcome, that you cannot rewrite the past, that you cannot always be perfect, that you are human and so incredibly flawed. And that’s okay. That’s okay.
So let go. Let yourself acknowledge that your misery is valid, but that you can’t hold onto it forever. Let your mind be at ease that what is done cannot be undone, but that you can move forward and continue again.
And remind yourself of your worth. Focus on all that you have done, and will do right. Let your mind drift to better days, brighter times. Let every worry roll off your shoulder, turning pain to purpose and anger to acknowledgement, to acceptance, to appreciation for what you’ve learned.
Then be gentle. Gentle with yourself because there is only so much beating your little heart can take. Open yourself to the people you’ve hurt and ask for them to see in you in a new light, ask for them to grant you a new start, new beginning, new chance. And if they can’t just yet, still be gentle—with them, and more importantly with yourself.
Because this moment does not, and will not, define you.
Believe in better days. Because they will come, even though you’re buried right now. Believe that you will shed this past like an exoskeleton, and grow new wings. Believe that you will rekindle the flames of friendship, or re-strengthen the bonds of a relationship broken by you. Believe that you are not a bad person. And then become who you are capable of being.
And then, move forward. Baby steps, because this isn’t always easy. Baby steps, because sometimes we cannot undo the pain we’ve pressed upon another’s soul. Baby steps, because sometimes you hate yourself, and it takes time to remind yourself that you are worthy of your own self-love.
Baby steps, until you forget. Until this is just a piece of your past. Until you can look back and see how far you’ve come. Until hope oozes through your pores and you feel the freedom of being forgiven. Until you can acknowledge that every day you are growing, and that you are human and beautiful and broken and a blessing, even when you fall short.