How to Forgive Yourself

How to Forgive Yourself as published here.

If we want to forgive, we must first identify what we are upset about, why we are upset, and what the meaning of our upset is. If we are responsible for this situation, then we also need to find a way to accept what has happened and move on. This can be easier or harder depending on the situation, your level of involvement and how self-critical you are.

Considering these things, I find it helpful to sit with my emotions, write, draw, walk, or engage in some activity that helps me get into my head and be with my thoughts. Once there I try to understand my emotions, their roots, and what would help them to be soothed. Often when we make mistakes we cannot let go of some aspect of the situation and in holding onto that we prevent progress (or acceptance) due to resistance of some form.

Instead of invalidating ourselves it can be very helpful to take responsibility for our behavior, and to also acknowledge to ourselves the reasons that we acted how we did. While reasons do not justify, we often have very real reasons we took the action that we did.

Instead of beating yourself up, try loving that part of yourself that is imperfect, and give it the space to grow without judgment. Have compassion for your humanness and do not criticize yourself for your regrets. Know that in acknowledging this part of yourself, non-judgementally, that you can begin to change it

Try to have patience and understanding with your process of growth as a person and don’t forget that this lifetime is a never ending education. Try to challenge your self-expectations of perfection, and trust in yourself to manage all actions, both success and failure. Remind yourself that you are not alone in your human condition, and that there is no one way to actually “get it right”.

Forgive yourself for whatever you have done, and try to see that all of your experiences, no matter how you judge them, contribute to who you are and your strengths as a person. Know that whatever distress you feel at present will fade with time, acceptance, and progress. Allow yourself to be human and to make mistakes.

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