You never thought of yourself as perfect. You’ve always known you had many flaws and imperfections.

And you’ve always known that sometimes, you make mistakes.

That sometimes you hurt people without even wanting to and that you probably even broke someone’s heart without the intention of doing so.

But even when you do something harmful, you have the ability to realize it afterward. And you feel horrible about yourself until you make things right.

You’ve always been someone who knew when it was time to apologize and to do whatever it took just to make the other person understand how really sorry you were.

And at the same time, you’ve always tried to find the strength to forgive those who hurt you. And when you were younger, you assumed that everyone was just like you.

You assumed that people never had the intention of hurting you and even when they did, they did it without thinking of the consequences of their actions.

But life has taught you differently. It has taught you that not everyone is like you. That there simply exist mean and evil people whose only goal is to cause emotional pain to others.

That there are people who enjoy seeing others miserable and who enjoy having others cry over them.

With time, you’ve learned that there are people who refuse to take responsibility for their actions, even when they are clearly wrong.

That there are people who wouldn’t admit that they were wrong, even if it was the last thing they did.

You’ve learned that there are people who don’t care if they do you some harm. And people who simply don’t want to or don’t know how to say they are sorry, even if they are.

Life has taught you that sometimes, you just have to accept the apologies you never got. But nobody has ever told you how to do it.

How to stop holding on to some painful experiences from the past. How to forgive someone who doesn’t want to be forgiven.

How to make yourself forget everything you’ve been through when the person who has done you harm never showed the slightest sign of regret.

How to stop being caged by bitterness this person caused you to feel when they disappointed or abandoned you.

How to set yourself free from all the hatred you feel, although you know you shouldn’t feel it. How to really let go of the resentment that has been eating you up from the inside out.

And how to do all of this when you know very well that this person doesn’t deserve anything good from you. When you know that the last thing they deserve is your forgiveness.

Well, let me tell you one thing—I am not advising you to forget about everything you’ve been through.

And I am definitely not advising you to let these people who have done you harm back into your life because that would mean that you are giving them permission to hurt you all over again.

But you shouldn’t let this define you. You shouldn’t let resentment and pain define you because that would mean they’ve won.

That would mean that everything they did to you was fruitful and that they managed to make you a prisoner of their words and actions.

And that is why you shouldn’t have doubts about forgiving anyone who has hurt you in the past. But don’t get me wrong—I am not telling you to do it for their sake.

I am telling you to do it for the sake of your emotional and mental health. To do it for yourself and for no one else.

Because this is the only way to set yourself free. The only way to accept everything that has happened to you but to leave it in the past, where it belongs.

The only way to stop allowing these harmful things and even more harmful people from the past to have an impact on your present and on your future.

The only way to really cut them off and for them to lose a place in your mind, your heart and your life.

Because let’s face it—all of this consumes you even when you’ve physically removed yourself from those who have caused you pain.

It’s the only way to let go of the negativity and to move on with your life and the only way to defeat them once for all.