To forgive someone else seems much easier than forgiving yourself. You can accept their apology, or not and move forward. When you are the person to forgive, how do you move forward?
Recently, I read an article by Andrea Brandt, Ph.D who is a family and individual therapist. She wrote an article on Andrea Brandt’s Blog, “When forgiving yourself is the hardest kind of forgiveness.” Andrea spoke a lot about the subject, but what stood out the most for me was her comment that there is “no benefit or any good that can come out of keeping yourself stuck in the pattern of self punishment.” A very powerful statement!
We all have things that we wished we could do over or erase from our lives. It could be a bad decision we made or a person we really cared about that we hurt. Whatever the regret is, we need to realize just how much dragging around the emotional weight is sapping our energy.
Constantly thinking about the things, you wish you could change…But have you thought how to forgive yourself for past mistakes instead?
When we don’t acknowledge our feelings, it can be hard to manage and release them. Allow yourself to recognize and accept the emotions that have been triggered. It may also help to write down any situations or actions that trigger these emotions to find out exactly why you are feeling this way.
Sometimes we need to make mistakes so we can learn from them. It’s cliché, but if you think about how you contributed to the mistake and what you could have done differently, you will be much more likely to correct yourself in the future and succeed the next time.
That inner critic is the little voice inside your head that tells you it’s not okay to forgive yourself. You can quiet that voice by journaling. It will help to understand and develop compassion for yourself.
Be gentler with yourself. If the first thing you do when you make a mistake is criticize yourself, you need to change your judgement towards yourself to compassion. Self compassion is the capacity to have an understanding that your experience is one that all humans have. Be kind to yourself!
For not knowing what you didn’t know until you lived through it. Honor your path. Trust your journey and forgiving yourself means accepting what happened and finding a way to move forward.