how do i forgive myself katherine keller feature post

The question I received from Elaine is:

“I’ve messed up a lot in the past. How do I forgive myself? I mean REALLY forgive myself, not just say that I forgive myself.”

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I love this question because I know from my own experiences and my own mistakes in life that you CANNOT move forward until you let go of the past. Now, the disclaimer I always give is that I am not a doctor and I can only tell you what works for me. But this analogy has helped me put perspective on some things so I hope it will help you as well.


Think of a relay race. You have a team of people who each take turns running (individually) and then they pass the baton to the next person. The best way for me live my best life today, is when I wake up each morning I remind myself that I have 24 hours to run this portion of the race. I have 24 hours to give it my best, give it my all, and set my teammate (or my future self) up for a really good head start tomorrow.

If I spend my entire 24 hour leg of the race thinking about how my team mates who ran before me screwed everything up, I will only put the team mate in front of me, back that much further.

The team mates behind me did the best they could. Maybe they had an “off” running day (or year). Maybe their head wasn’t focused on the race like it should have been. Maybe they were dealt a bad injury (in the form of a divorce, a death, a medical diagnosis, a financial crisis) and because of that they didn’t give 100% in their leg of the race.

But none of that matters now, because TODAY you have the baton. TODAY is your leg of the race. TODAY is the day you have to put 100% of your energy and effort into giving and loving and running and playing and laughing and working. TODAY is the day you start getting more momentum for your team.

Your future self is standing at his or her starter block waiting for you to pass the baton off tomorrow. They are hoping you’ll give 100% because it just make it a little bit better for their leg when you have that momentum going. And as long as you keep that momentum going….as long as you give 100% day after day, each leg of the race, then it doesn’t really matter how your team mates behind you started off the race.


They messed up…they had a bad run. And the only thing that could make them feel WORSE about that, is if you are slacking in your race today because you’re worried about THEM and how they didn’t run as well as they could have.

GO FOR IT, give it your all. Set your next runner up for a spectacular run. Okay?


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