Directions to the Clean Slate

Directions to the Clean Slate

It is time to let go of our mistakes and give ourselves the fresh start we deserve.
88
views

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” ~Johnny Cash

We have all heard time and again that it is perfectly normal for us to make mistakes. With that said, we always seem to have a difficult time letting them go. Sure, we can brush off that insignificant mix up at work no problem, but it is a lot harder to forget how we hurt the feelings of someone we care for. Sometimes our mistakes stick with us, they pile up, and soon we are haunted by them. The truth of the matter is that we allow ourselves to be constantly reminded. Whether it is because we live in fear of repeating the mistake or we feel like we deserve to be punished for it, we burden ourselves by holding on. After a while, living in regret can affect our daily lives. When this happens, it is time to give ourselves a break, let it all go, and give ourselves a clean slate. While it does not erase any damage or mean that everything in life will be mistake-free from this point onward, we can move on with our lives without being bogged down by regrets. Let us assemble our clean slate.

The first step is to accept that while we all make mistakes, no one will feel their gravity more than the person who made them. Very rarely is someone forcing us to relive or mentally torture ourselves over our mess-ups. We do it to ourselves. Sure, a certain person or event may cause us to be reminded, but they do not demand us to continue replaying the memories. Our loved ones may offer sympathy or advice, but they cannot stop us from tossing and turning all night wishing we did things differently. In other words, we are only harming ourselves by replaying it all in our heads. No one else feels our pain, and no one else can let it go.

The second and hardest step is to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we made. They happened. They are done. We are not doing any favors by allowing ourselves to hurt, dwell, and whine “why, oh why did I do that?” Instead, we can learn and grow. Let’s take the lesson of the mistake with us, not the mistake itself. We cannot do that if we are feeling sorry for ourselves about them. While forgiving ourselves can be easier said than done depending on the gravity of our situation, it is the vital step to obtaining a fresh start. Bear in mind, forgiving ourselves will be easier if we learn not to think about what might have been if we did or did not do that one thing, or if we did it differently. It is impossible to know and focusing on it will do nothing but bring more upset. The past is finished, but we have an opportunity with the future, especially if we let go of our wrongs, come to peace with ourselves, and move toward that sought after clean slate.

Yes, there are some mistakes that are heftier than others, thus making them harder to release. Sometimes those mistakes morph into baggage. What is vital is that we do not become defined by said baggage. Let it be a layer, like our guilty pleasures or flaws. We are human, we are imperfect, and we all have some form of baggage that may be checked for inspection through the airport security of our peers. We are not the baggage; we are the vacationers who lug it around. But we can lighten it by not putting all our dirty laundry into it, but only the appropriate amount of thought souvenirs. Whether our respective mistakes are carryon-sized, suitcase-sized, tiny and ultimately insignificant, or gigantic and life-altering, odds are we are the only ones who are going to carry their weight. The fact of the matter is, we do not have to. We do not have to dwell on them or let them define our lives. We can accept them, forgive ourselves, and carry onward.

Finally, embrace the future with an open mind. The future is where the clean slate begins. Anything can happen at the future. It’s clean, it’s open, it’s ours. Let’s not go in there afraid of messing it up. And it is certain, with us being human, that we are going to mess up again on some scale. Just because it is inevitable does not mean the cycle of holding on has to continue. Now that we know how to let go, we can polish the slate to keep it clean. It does not have to become dirty or burdened with regrets or memories of mishaps. So, let’s carry it into the future.

Everyone wants a fresh start from time-to-time. For some, this means packing up all their possessions and leaving the past behind in a physical sense. But, as we are all aware, beginning again externally does not matter unless we can begin again internally. That is why it is handy to have a clean slate to carry with us wherever we may go. All that we truly need to do is look inwardly and accept what has passed. Let the past rest where it belongs, and let the mistakes stay there with it. It is now time to take our lessons (minor or major), forgive ourselves, and admire just how shiny our new slate is.

Challenge: Let go of one mistake. Let’s identify a single regret we made that we are clinging to (that one major hiccup at work, a failed test grade because of lack of preparation, breaking a promise to our best friend, etc.) and make our peace with it. We deserve more than to be left dwelling on the past . . . we owe it to ourselves to forgive ourselves.

Cover Image Credit: Tara Barksdale

Popular Right Now

I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

36812
views

Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

When You're With The Right Guy, He'll Take The Time To Learn About Your Mental Illness, Trust Me

If he wants to make it work and really loves you, he'll learn all of your ins and outs.

1118
views

My boyfriend and I have been dating for a little over a year. The journey we've been on to get to where we are now has been one of the scariest and most fun roller coasters I've ever been on.

My mental health has come in the way of a lot of relationships, both romantic and platonic. I've never quite been able to find a way to master explaining it to people. And I still haven't. Explaining what can happen in your head, when you can barely explain it to yourself is a very difficult and often heart wrenching task.

When I had started dating my boyfriend, I was scared to tell him about my mental health. While I have gained a lot of confidence and it isn't nearly as severe as it was years ago, I know how it can get when "one of those days" comes. I know how scary I can get when I fall into a panic attack. I know how hard it can be to look at someone you love while they have a tear stained face unable to tell you what's wrong.

In the past I've tried two different things. One being that I wouldn't tell them at all and I would try to go day by day like I didn't have this cloud above my head. Once they'd see what I can get like, they'd leave. They "couldn't handle the amount of work I needed" or they felt burdened by being with me. Some would even say they "love me too much to put themselves through seeing me like that."

The other option I tried was putting it all out on the table. I had tried that once. I had told my most recent ex boyfriend everything. I laid it all out on the line, hoping that it would be different. At first, it was. He was comforting and understanding. Until it got to a point where he was using what I told him against me.

He knew my weak points. He knew what would hit the hardest and he was good at what he was doing.

It wasn't until my current boyfriend that I realized that isn't how love should be.

He could tell from the beginning that there were missing puzzle pieces. There were walls that I had build around me that I wasn't about to let just anyone knock down. At first, I found his pestering quite rude. Until he proved his point. He had come to me one night and said he wanted me to tell him everything. No details left behind.

I kind of sat there with my mouth open. I actually tried to pretend as if I didn't know what he was talking about. Within minutes, I was spilling everything. Every crevice I could have touched base on, I did. While I thought he was going to look shocked, scared, or bored even.

He didn't.

He was looking deep into my eyes the whole time. He never broke eye contact with me. He was focused and didn't say anything, just nodded his head. After I was finished and the tears were falling, he held me in an embrace and the only words he could mutter was, "You are so beautiful and one of the strongest people I know. You will get stronger. I promise."

He's taken the time to learn everything. He's watched psychologist's lectures, he's read articles. He's done everything in his power to learn what I need on my dark times. He honestly has gotten to know me so well, I think he knows me better than I know myself.

Not only has it helped our relationship as a whole, but it's helped me learn about myself in a way that I couldn't quite do on my own. He's offered me a kind of love that I've never had before. One where I don't have to fear rejection or getting left behind.

Ladies, if he's the right guy, he'll do whatever it takes to make sure that you have exactly what you need. Not just physically but mentally as well. My guy knows the days where, I could just really use a good cry and being held for 20 minutes. He also knows when I need reassurance.

A guy that truly loves you will learn these things about you. He won't ignore you, he won't brush it off and say "you'll be fine."

Take my word on it, that's the guy you'll want to marry someday.

I know I do.

Related Content

Facebook Comments