Though I'm unsure that I ever thought of it this way, every year during Elul, or at least for sure during the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, I think about forgiveness.
On an annual basis, I decide that at Yom Kippur I'm going to let things go. I've made a ton of mistakes in life, and on a pretty regular basis I apologize--for upsetting people, for thinking that I've upset people, for upsetting myself that I've upset people, or for making the mistake of thinking that I've upset people. It's a terrible habit to get into--to apologize on a regular basis, and it's not an easy one to break (don't worry...I try to let self-judgement go on Yom Kippur as well).
But "for others who have harmed me," I make an executive decision to forgive. I give myself the year, the month, the week, whatever timeline there is before Yom Kippur, and I let myself overthink, wallow, or be upset (usually overanalyzing whatever happened). But on Yom Kippur, I officially let myself have a new start--a day without judgement, without fear, without insecurity. Strange on this day of Judgement that I should be so quick to let mine go...but in reality, there's enough to go around.
I hope that this year, with all the changes that it has brought, will inspire me to continue keeping this tradition: to forgive others and to realize that the apologies I give should come out only when I have truly done something to upset or hurt someone else--and that I don't always have to be so worried about making mistakes--most of the time the only person I upset by doing that is me!
Written without apology,