I used to lay in bed at night and cry myself to sleep. My husband at the time would console me as best he could then I would wake up at 3:00 in the morning and start sobbing all over again. I had been married to a prior husband in a household full of amazing animals. When we divorced, I had to abandon most of them. We were all very close knit and this tore me apart. We had three german shepherds, a maltese, and five cats and each of them was my best friend. It was almost impossible to choose which two to bring to an apartment.
Then, when I finally chose, I still had to keep picking one of my shepherds up each week to take to the chiropractor because she had a degenerative disease in her back and was getting to the point she couldn't go the bathroom anymore. As her condition did not seem to be improving, I had to take her to vet visits to have her evacuated (this was this vet's first practice and we were his first clients when Loba was just a pup so she grew up with this vet). He (and his lovely wife we'd also grown close to) and I (alone) eventually had to have her put down at the tender year of two while she laid across my lap and peed all over me still so full of life (she loved frisbees and balls so much she was still taking off after one to her last day).
Soon after, one of the cats I had chosen to live in my apartment with me had been sneezing a lot and started to drool. I brought him to the vet to find out what was going on. I found out he was going through kidney failure and was going to die (Loba had just died two weeks prior). He was dying because some guy bought me my favorite flowers (Stargazer lillies) to impress me even though I had quickly brought them to the bathroom so the cats wouldn't get into them and I could do some research on the internet to see if they were safe. I remembered one petal dropped on the floor between the front door and the bathroom and he had licked the petal (when I discovered they were poisonous, I was actually relieved because he had only licked it). I never cried so hard as I did holding sweet little Leo's lifeless body in my arms all because some stupid guy gave me flowers. He was such an angel and so young.
In the meantime, our little maltese, who literally looked up to me endearingly every waking moment, but who I was unsuccessful at potty training despite my best efforts as a positive reinforcement trainer, got placed in a new home. And one of my german shepherds we adopted I promised would never have to go to another home again as long as he lived because he'd been tossed around like a toy from home to home for many years, went to a new home because my ex husband said he was dying of a broken heart and he couldn't stand watching it. He was with his new owners a short time, started having seizures, and died. One cat went missing as well. It was such a horrible time. And so many different aspects of this could have paralyzed me. By the way, later, my ex admitted he'd bought me an animal every time he was afraid I'd leave him so I'd stay. So, ALL OF THIS - MY FAULT.
I could have decided I'd never own another animal. I could have been angry and vengeful toward this guy who gave me flowers that killed my cat. I could have hated my ex husband for not helping me help Loba get better. Although this entire circumstance ripped my heart apart, I knew I wasn't honoring them, couldn't bring them back, and wasn't doing any good to anyone or myself by sulking. So I, instead, strived to move on and forgive myself and everyone else involved. In this way, I felt I honored them by using them to make me a more loving person, was good to me by teaching myself that I love myself unconditionally, and was good to others by letting this experience shape me into a more compassionate person and caused me to become a foster mom for kittens years later.
I also had an affair with a married man (I was single). In fact, he was my boss. I had resisted it strongly, taking the moral high ground, at first (I'd never cheated on anyone in my life). But he was unrelenting in his efforts and I feared losing my favorite job I'd ever had making the most money I'd ever made. We had also become quite emotionally close. It was inevitable. And we were caught up in this "faux" relationship for three years! It was so hard to be in and so hard to leave at the same time. I would date other guys to try to move on, but he would make grand, romantic gestures to win me back again over and over and rip my heart open time and again. To add to it, I had started to fall in love with his amazing, beautiful children as well. Although, we were making plans to get an apartment together, he ultimately refused to leave because of them.I was STUCK. I finally had to move out of state and get "stabbed in the back" by him to finally move on.
And these are just two examples of so many things I could regret. I could make a huge list. Ultimate freedom, however, is to lovingly embrace and appreciate all of these things that used to torture us. Then we feel true transformative power and honor our pasts. If you are struggling to forgive yourself for something, I highly recommend this video. You will see the truth.
Please feel free to leave a comment below with any questions or feedback. Namaste.