The importance of Self-Forgiveness

 

Have you forgiven yourself for your past mistakes? Or are you still holding onto what you wish you’d done differently?

Living in a constant state of guilt is tormenting. Your mind replays what you did wrong and how things could have been different. It leads to self-sabotage and negative self-talk. You can believe that you are not good enough for certain positive experiences because you weren’t able to change what happened. We may overcompensate to fix the issue but the thoughts still linger in our mind about how we messed up.

Guilt takes away our ability to practice self-compassion. You may end up using harsh words towards yourself as a form of punishment. 

At some point in our life, we might do something that causes harm (intentionally or unintentionally) to others. Having to deal with the reality that our actions have contributed to someone else’s pain is a hard pill to swallow. Forgiving oneself is a practice of self-preservation, kindness, compassion, and love. It’s a commitment that despite your mistakes, you will not give up on yourself.

The guilt arises when our actions are out of alignment with our values. If you value being kind, honest and respectful to others, being deceitful and malicious created an internal conflict. We know better but chose not to at that moment. Carrying guilt stops you from practising self-redemption. We all can change, even when our actions are seen as ‘unforgivable’ in society’s standards.

Often the thing that we don’t forgive ourselves for, we would forgive others doing the same thing. Be willing to offer yourself the same level of compassion that you would to a friend.  If you believe you have changed, you don’t need to hold yourself hostage to mistakes that were committed by an old version of you. If you had known what you knew now, you wouldn’t have done what you did- you made choices in the past at the level consciousness you had at the time. You know better now. Be willing to see this situation differently. Your mistakes have given you clarity about the type of person you want to be and the situations you will avoid next time.  Some life lessons are harsh but necessary to become a better version of ourselves. 

How to Forgive Yourself: 

Be honest with yourself

What situation do you hold guilt about? Have an honest conversation with yourself about what you feel guilty/ shame about and how it makes you feel.

Admit your messed up

Self-acceptance is a practice of self-love. You need to accept that you messed up and take full accountability for that situation. 

Practice self-compassion

Check if you are missing something. Did you know everything about a situation at hand or was you not in the mind frame to comprehend the harm you caused? Was fear one of the reasons why you made the decision you did? Offer yourself some compassion for not knowing what you know now.

Apologise to anyone who you hurt

Take a risk and contact the person you hurt and apologise. Tell them exactly what actions you take accountability for and why. However, don’t hold onto the expectation that they will be forgiving. Give the person space to express their feelings and don’t go on the defensive. If you are struggling with forgiving yourself for allowing someone else to inflict pain onto you, maybe write an ‘I’m sorry for’ letter to yourself.

Write yourself an apology

Write a letter of forgiveness to yourself.

Give yourself time

It’s okay to feel guilty for what you did. When a situation happens it’s difficult to move on especially if it’s life-altering. Give yourself the time and space to let go of the past. Start by being more present every day and reminding yourself of why you deserve to self-forgiveness.

Quotes of Self Forgiveness:

“Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know until you lived through it. Honour your path. Trust your journey. Learn, grow, evolve, become.” – unknown.

“Forgive yourself for not having the foresight to know what now seems so obvious in hindsight”- Judy Belmont

“Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives”- unknown

You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens. – Louise L. Hay

“Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it.” — Maya Angelou

“I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than him.” – C. S. Lewis

 

Recommit.

Every now and then, life will throw us a curve ball.  When we go through hard times, it’s easy to forget that we have the tools within us to make ourselves feel better. When life is good, self-care practises feel easier to follow out of pure enjoyment. However, when we are feeling low we can become complacent with feeling stuck in our pain.

Just because you fall short at times doesn’t take away from the progress you have made in your life. Self-love isn’t a linear progress. It’s a journey which has multiple bumps in the road. Don’t beat yourself up when you fall short and find yourself reverting back to an unhealthy place. Instead, make a detour back to practicing constructive things that will make you feel better.

Recently I’ve been going through a rough couple of weeks due to personal issues and I found myself completely neglecting my personal needs. The things I’d usually do like meditate, exercise and pray were being supplemented by unhealthy practices i.e brain numbing tv shows. Instead of beating myself up about it, I decided to get back on track and try again.

There’s still enough time for you to recommit to your own growth. We may fall off sometimes, but we must not be discouraged. Don’t be afraid to give yourself a 1000x second chances.

A Gentle Reminder:

Don’t forget that you’ve got the resources within you to help your healing.

Self-care is how we take our power back.

Sometimes there will be bumps in the road that will throw you off course. What matters most is whether we choose to get back up.

Question to you

How are you doing today?

Love, Ash xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A reminder: You are not defined by your mistakes

Yellow Bordered Flower Instagram Post (2)

You can’t keep holding yourself hostage to your previous wrongdoings. They do not define you but add character to your life’s story. You owe it to yourself to let go and forgive. You can’t beat yourself down about something you know better about now. That version of you no longer exists anymore.

Whilst you have to take responsibility over your previous actions, the only thing you can do is strive to a better version of yourself in the present moment and learn from your mistakes.  Beating yourself up about them will only steal your joy and take up energy that could be used for personal development. Don’t allow guilt to stagnate you or fool you into making the same bad choices over and over again.

Remind yourself that you have full control over your present actions. Use your past mistakes to motivate you to do and be better. Mistakes usually set us up for something more profound if we use them in a constructive way. Maybe one day you can use your experiences to inspire and help others. So let’s be more compassionate and kinder to ourselves mmm kay!

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