Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing


Forgiving Our Past Mistakes, Reviewing Our Memories

by Evelyn Horan 

In quiet moments, most of us find time to relax and review our memories. For many, it is a satisfying and gratifying pastime. As a caution, however, when reviewing our past memories, we should be careful not to condemn ourselves with regrets and remorse.

moving on

It is easy to recall a cross word spoken without careful thought to a friend or loved one, or a time when children had tried our patience. Perhaps, while enjoying our own good health, we neglected to visit a sick friend, who would have appreciated our caring presence. Perhaps, we forgot to count our blessings for all the good things in our lives, and we occasionally grumbled about our lack of good fortune, not remembering there are countless millions in poverty and deprivation in many countries in the world today.

There are numerous errors or thoughtless behavior in our busy days over the passage of time. These moments hang heavy on our conscience as we experience our regrets.

We should be careful not to dwell too long on areas of “I should have—I wish I had—or why didn’t I do this or that?” If we could return to the past and change choices and decisions with “what we know now,” we would correct errors and any mistakes we made at that time. It is important for us today not to dwell on past regrets by tormenting ourselves with recriminations to the point of becoming depressed.

In thinking back to the past, remembering, most of the time, we were conscientious, trying to live a worthy and productive life by facing our problems and duties with a willing attitude, and doing the best we could with our circumstances at that particular time, we can say we did our best with our decisions and efforts to do the “right thing.”

We are comforted, as we remember we can forgive ourselves as we continue on into the future. We can review our memories with a cheerful attitude and an understanding of our frailties. We can concentrate on recalling the many happy times shared with our loved ones and friends.

About the Author

Evelyn Horan is a former teacher/counselor. Her articles and stories have been published many times in periodicals for children and adults in both secular and religious publications. She holds General Elementary, General Secondary, Pupil Personnel, and also School Psychologist life credentials in the state of California. Horan is the author of a number of books including Aging Requires a Gentle Attitude. Learn more about her work at

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Recovering The Self is a forum for people to tell their stories. Individual contributors accept complete responsibility for the veracity, accuracy, and non-infringement of their reporting.
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