No matter whom you are, no matter where you are or what stage you’re at in life we all have a past. We have all taken part in misdeeds or have done something that we are not happy about and would rather forget. If we are, to be honest, a lot of us stand in judgment or have opinions about the things others have done but very rarely do we take account of our own mess or the things that we have done. In fact what allows us to stand in judgment of others is that we are not really aware of ourselves.

Self-awareness is the true path of freedom that leads to forgiveness and ultimately freedom. As I have said many times that is what we all desire is freedom in every area of our life and freedom is being able to forgive your past, accept who you are, and become who you want to be without any limitations.

We often have a hard time coming to terms with the mistakes that we have made in our past and so we either bury them or ignore them. We disassociate ourselves so much with our past that sometimes we forget who we truly are and what we have come from. The problem with that if we disassociate without past mistakes, past hurts, past failures then we also can’t learn, grow, or become better human beings. You see it is in our pain and our suffering that we have the greatest victories because they give us the opportunity to go from where we are to the higher ground. It is out of our failures and our sufferings come to our greatest inspiration to live better lives, more effective lives, and more meaningful lives.

Looking back on our lives we all don’t look back with gratefulness as we should. There are some of us who look back on our past with sadness and shame. What I want to offer you is that perhaps your mistakes, your failures, your pain, and all the negative things that have happened to you has more to do with who you become than even your successes. In fact, it would be impossible to have true success without some pitfalls. When you look back on the things that might have brought you to your knees or the things that you find embarrassing about yourself put a smile on your face and thank God for how far He has brought you.

We have to learn to forgive our past and forgive the things that have happened to us that we had no control over and forgive the things that we did have control over. The best way to forgive yourself is instead of looking at your mistakes as mistakes look at them as a learning lesson. Look at them as the foundation to building a better you, a more complete you that can use those experiences to relate to others who have felt pain and to be able to show compassion and in turn they will look at your strength and realize that they are going to be okay.

What I really want you to see is that everything good and bad that has ever happened in your life is for you to take that experience and help someone else overcome. It is for you to be transparent enough to not hold judgment against yourself for but to accept it with great joy. Knowing that everything that you are going through, have gone through, and will go through is not in vain but in some way will bring freedom to yourself and bring freedom to someone else.