Everyone is human. We all make mistakes that needs to be forgiven. By forgiving yourself,you are choosing love over judgement. That’s a good choice. You are also sending notice that moving on with your life is more important than remaining in the emotional prison of self-condemnation.
As painful and uncomfortable as it may feel,there are things in life that are worth enduring the pain for inorder to move forward and forgiving yourself is one of them.
Now,there’s nothing you have done that cannot be forgiven no matter how bad you think it is. Offer yourself with the olive branch of compassion and choose to love yourself instead. As a child,I grew up believing I was going to be a saint,or at least a nun. In my mind,I pictured myself heading off to the convent to join the Medical Missionaries of Mary. Of course,I never came close to being holy enough. I would beat myself up unmercifully for every little infraction that took me further from my goal. It was a great relief when the convent burned down because it meant I didn’t need to be so good anymore.
In order to heal,we must first forgive and sometimes,the person we must forgive is ourselves.Mila Bron
I have come to realize that we are so hard on ourselves,and we sometimes set such high moral standards and expectations on ourselves. This oftentimes set the stage for most of the problems we unnecessarily suffer.
And as a perfectionist,it is much easier to forgive others than to forgive yourself. This is not right at all. You need to focus more on self-acceptance. By doing so,you will notice that having compassion for yourself becomes easier.
Here’s a ten-step process to avoid this trap.
One: Accept What You Did
Take full responsibility for your actions or inactions.Confront the situation head on,no excuses or denial. I suggest you journal your thoughts. This will bring clarity,and help purge the memory. Allow yourself to be emotional. Release any pain you have,shed some tears if you need to.
Confession is one of the oldest and best methods for unloading heavy burdens. It works. Confess to God,or someone else what you did. Nothing you have done,no shame deep enough,can separate you from God.Talk to Him,let Him know your remorse and regret. Reconcile your relationship with God if you need to. Telling someone else is a bonus. We share our humanness by showing each other that we make mistakes. Letting go of the pain with someone you trust will prevent you from making excuses or living in denial.
Step Three: Give Up Self-Flaggelation
There is no value in continuing to punish yourself,even though you feel you deserve to be condemned. Remaining a victim will negatively affect the relationship you have with yourself and others.
Step Four:Make Ammends If Appropriate
A sincere apology or a verbal olive branch may be all that is required. Perhaps you need to return something or pay back money that you owe. A word of caution- For every choice,there’s a consequence. Sometimes you can create more damage by the way you make ammends. Be discerning. It’s imperative you proceed with the right intentions,having no expectations about the outcome.
Step Five:What Did You Learn.
Mistakes have a habit of reoccurring unless your eyes are wide open.I believe all of life’s experiences are designed to teach you something. If you have blinders on,you will miss the lesson and it’s significance to your life. Learn to forgive yourself. Travel through life unburdened by guilt.It’s one of the best gifts you can give yourself and those you love.
Step Six: Give yourself permission to put this process on hold
If you make a mistake but have a hard time puting it out of your mind,You can visualize your thoughts and feelings about the mistake going into a container,such as a mason jar or box. Then,tell yourself you are putting this aside for now and will return to it if and when it will beneft you. This is a macho task. That’s right.
Step Seven : Have a conversation with your inner critic
Journalling can help you understand your inner critic and develop self-compassion. You can write out a conversation between you and your inner critic. This can help you identify thought patterns that are sabotaging your ability to forgive yourself.
Step Eight:Quit playing the tape
It’s human nature to spend time and energy replaying our mistakes in our head. While some processing is important,going over what happened again and again won’t allow you to take the proper steps to forgive yourself. Go ahead and take three to five deep breathes or go for a walk. Sometimes,I just listen to music and this does wonders to my spirit.
Step Nine: Determine The best action to take
If the mistake you made hurt another person,you need to determine the best course of action. Do you want to talk to this person and apologize? Is it important to reconcile with them and make amends?
Step Ten: Seek professional help if necessary
If you are struggling with forgiving yourself,you may benefit from talking to a professional. Like talking to a counsellor who can help you learn how to handle these unhealthy patterns in your life and learn new and healthier ways of coping with mistakes. Once you identify what you are feeling,give a voice to it and accept that mistakes are inevitable. You will begin to see how freeing forgiveness can be.
Forgive Yourself First,Release the need to replay a negative situation over and over in your mind. Don’t be a hostage to your past by always reviewing and reliving your mistakes. Don’t remind yourself of what should have,could have,or would have been. Release it and let it go. Move on.Les Brown