On Shavuos morning, I was learning with an old friend of mine from my Israel days, and he said something which surprised me and inspired me.
Two words, which have really improved, not only how I serve Hashem, but how I live my life.
The context was with regards to moving on from sinning. I sin. It happens. I'm not happy about it, and it bothers me whenever I do, but I sin. (When it rains it pours, it seems, as the floodgates of admitting to embarrassing things seems to have been not just been pin-holed, but shattered.)
Doing an aveirah bothered me sometimes so much, that I wouldn't do something I should have done, or did something I shouldn't have done, because I was so affected by what I had done.
The way he does things, and the way that I now do things, is simple. Look up to the Heavens, say "I'm really sorry Hashem. I'll try my hardest not to do it again," and forget about it. Just like that. Forget about it. Continue to work on whatever area it is that you're weak in, perhaps write in a little notebook of things to clap al cheit for on Yom Kippur, and move on.
The Yetzer Hara is the wiliest of characters. It's not enough for him to get you to do a sin. It's not enough for him to get you to do a sin and then feel so bad about it that you can't even enjoy it. He'll go so far that after you've done the sin, feel so bad about it that you can't enjoy it, he'll make you feel so bad that you'll feel that you shouldn't do another Mitzvah, or that you should do another aveirah. Giving credit where credit is due, the Yetzer Hara is good at what he does.
Because the Yetzer Hara is so good, we mere mortals need to come up with ways of outsmarting him. For example, saying to yourself that you'll do the aveirah...but in 5 minutes, is one way of fighting him. Moving on is another. Forget about things you've done in the past, and don't let them affect the present.
It's a difficult task. "I just did THIS!! How can I just forget about it?!" Just do it. Move on. Push it out of your mind.
It's worked for me. It hasn't been easy, but I've managed to employ this tactic as a way of not letting something I've done in the past affect my service to Hashem in the moment.
The Yetzer Hara tried this on me before I sat down to write this Torah Thought. "Um, you know, it's not Thursday anymore, Lost and Found? Have you lost track of days again?" Snicker. "Remember, you thought it was Wednesday twice in a row a few weeks ago? Today's Friday. You can't post Torah Thought Thursday on a Friday!" He almost had me too. But I remembered my "Moving on" tactic and here I am, employing it. You're right, it is Friday, but YOU know what, Yetzer Hara? Torah is Torah is Torah. I may be late, and that may be my fault, but I'm going to do it anyway.
Have a beautiful and restful Shabbos!