Do you find it difficult to forgive yourself?
I do sometimes. It can be really, really hard.
But why is this so, when seems relatively easy to forgive others? I mean, if someone has wronged you, you might after a few days, weeks or months, accept their apology (without forgetting their actions) and attempt to start over. You don’t want to dwell on the past – moving forwards seems the appropriate direction. You have forgiven them, not necessarily to assuage their guilt, but rather to lift the burden of hatred, pain and negativity you carry as a result of it.
And it feels good afterwards.
Lighter and happier, like a dark veil has been lifted from your soul.
With ourselves, it can be a different matter entirely.
Maybe you have hurt somebody. Maybe you have lied. Maybe you have cheated. Maybe you have stolen from someone. And maybe you have done something else.
When the blame lies squarely at your door, the pangs of guilt and conscience can be unbearable, a crushing weight threatening to squash you under self-inflicted misery. Sometimes the weight of our actions weigh on our hearts so heavily, that we isolate ourselves from others, with only our torturers depression, shame and guilt, for company.
We just don’t feel like we are worthy of forgiveness. Languishing in our self-imposed painful punishment seems the only way to atone for our own sins.
But it is not the way. Your mistakes do not define you so don’t allow them to. Don’t give them the permission to blight your present and your future.
Admit your mistakes to yourself. The concept may seem terrifying but you have to be brutally honest with yourself. Assess why you did it and be brave in admitting to yourself the full extent of the consequences. What impact has your actions had on others? What should you have done instead? Be careful, however, not to dwell too much on ‘if only’ notions – it can prove counterproductive and prolong your period of languishment.
Then let it go.
Self-forgiveness is necessary for healing. Free yourself from the negative emotion and turmoil inside of you. But learn from the lesson and remember it to emerge from it wiser.
Forgive yourself and move on. Start over if you have to.
You owe it to yourself.
Credits: Original Picture by GraphicStock