Hey, you know what? We’re human, and we make mistakes. A lot! It’s a part of life. But regularly replaying slip-ups in your head, beating yourself up about them, and losing sleep over them – won’t make them go away!
Instead, what you’re doing, is building barriers of anger, pain and sadness around you, preventing you from moving on with your life.
Thankfully, there’s a remedy to bust through those barriers. But it can be a challenge (didn’t say this was going to be easy, but it’s definitely worth it!). Learning how to forgive yourself can help you let go of those negative feelings and bring peace into your world.
“Forgiving yourself and others will release you from the prison of the past. When you don’t flow freely with life in the present moment, it usually means that you’re holding on to a past moment. It can be regret, sadness, hurt, fear, guilt, blame, anger, resentment, or sometimes even a desire for revenge. Each one of these states comes from a space of unforgiveness, a refusal to let go and come in to the present moment. If you’re holding on to the past, you can’t be in the present.” Louise Hay on forgiveness.
You forgive others, but sometimes forget to forgive yourself. Denying yourself the grace and kindness of self-forgiveness could be prolonging unnecessary suffering, and hurting your confidence and self-worth.
How to forgive yourself and move on:
- Recognize what happened
Write down in detail the thing you are having trouble forgiving yourself for. What happened? Who was involved? How did it make you feel? Are you or others still hurting from the incident?
- Grieve and process
Allow yourself time to grieve the hurt associated with the event, and process any anger, pain or sadness.
- Remind yourself that you are still a good person
Show yourself plenty of love and kindness as you remember that you are not perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. You are still a good person and worthy of forgiveness. (You could also try these positive affirmations.)
- Let go
Give yourself permission to let go of negative feelings. Symbolically tear up or burn the paper on which you wrote your incident.
If guilt or painful memories sneak their way back into your head, remember that you have already forgiven yourself for this and committed to moving on. If you are still finding it challenging to forgive yourself, don’t be afraid to speak with a counselor.
Self-forgiveness is a powerful gift. You can’t change what has happened in the past, but you can make peace with it and move forward with good intentions for the future.
What can you forgive yourself for today?