How to Forgive Yourself
Edited By: Stephanie Dawson
1. Practice self-acceptance
Don’t feel bad about who you are. Forgiving means to target specific things you feel bad about, not the person you are. Self-acceptance is a technique that allows you to acknowledge your faults as well as the fact that you are a good person. It doesn’t mean you should ignore your faults, it means that those faults should not hinder your progress in life. Acknowledge your faults and work on them.
2. The importance of forgiveness
Much energy is required to live in a state of unforgiving. You constantly live in fear of your vulnerability, the source of your pain keeps you burning with anger, and you live with constant sadness, hurt, and blame. This energy can be better utilized, instead of feeding negativity, feed your creativity and abilities. Forgiveness allows you to move into the future, it helps you to live in the present.
3. Own Up
Self-forgiveness is only relevant when you take responsibility for what you have done. If someone can’t see the wrongs they have done, what would they forgive?
4. Accept your emotions
People often find it difficult to accept that they are experiencing emotions like anger, resentment, and fear. Negative emotions can lead to lack of self-forgiveness.
5. Reflect on why you are trying to hold yourself to a higher standard that anyone else around you
Don’t hold too high a standard for yourself as you may then find it difficult to forgive yourself as that may seem substandard to you.
6. Let go of other people’s expectations
Self-forgiveness is essential if you don’t feel good about things once said to you. Many things are said unconsciously by other people and you do not have control over it. Living your life according to other people’s expectations is asking for too much. Forgive yourself, you tried to live a life according to someone else’s expectations and live according to your needs.
7. Stop punishing yourself
Forgetting or condoning is not forgiving. Confusion between these may mislead a person to feel that its wrong to forgive oneself as that act might involve forgetting or condoning the past.
8. Think about what will improve in your life if you can forgive yourself
Its important to do things that confirm the forgiveness process, it will give you a new sense of purpose. A few things to consider are:
• Taking up meditation
• Affirm your self-worth
• Keep a diary to write down your journey of forgiveness
• Seek therapy
9. Forgiveness should be a journey, not a destination
Accept that forgiveness is an ongoing process, there will be ups and downs. You might feel you are almost there when something happens and you are back to square one.
10. Take into account challenges raised by not forgiving yourself
Not forgiving yourself adversely affects your emotional and physical health as you remain stuck in the past.
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