I recall a point in time many years after my divorce when some issues related to my divorce surfaced. Grief and loss have a way of doing that—circling back years after you thought you'd done your grieving, needing yet more attention.
I realized that what was needed was that I let go a bit more of some hard feelings and dreams I'd had. I had to forgive the younger woman I was at the time of our divorce, and I had to forgive the younger man my former husband was. We did the best we were able to do, given what we knew and who we were then. I needed to let go of some of the expectations that were still hanging around to plague me—and forgive him and myself.
Forgiveness is such an important piece of life. It's part of grief and loss, and it's part of so much of the healing we all crave. Forgiving ourselves is even more difficult than forgiving someone else—and that's not easy. But when we are able to forgive and let go (that's not the same as forgetting!), energy is freed up inside us. We feel lighter and happier. A calm, serene feeling can settle into our souls if we do the work required to forgive others and ourselves.
Do you have some forgiveness work to do? Don't wait. The benefits of forgiveness aren't for the one we think wronged us; they're for us. We're the ones who let go of a huge weight when we forgive.