How to forgive yourself


Feel angry? Shame? Depressed? Self loathing? Do you struggle to find happiness? Do you feel you don't deserve happiness? Most people have regrets. The challenge is learning how to cope with the regrets, forgive yourself and learn to be happy again.

Things You'll Need

  • Time
  • honesty
  • self kindness and self nurturing
  • support

You have made a mistake or many. Maybe it has caused significant damage to your life, marriage, job, relationships, etc. You may feel very negative about yourself, which continues to effect these areas of your life, as feeling happiness has become a struggle. Shame, despair, regret, powerlessness, negative, hopeless, depressed, may be just a few of the negative feelings you experience about yourself and life. If this describes you, the first step is learning how to forgive yourself.

First, understand the difference between forgive and forget. Forget means the memory is faded or gone. It will most likely be impossible to forget. This is especially true if the consequences are great and are experienced repeatedly. for example, if a divorce occurred because of your actions, you will experience the loss daily. Forgetting does not have to occur to forgive.

Accept what is. Instead of trying to forget, learn to accept. Ask yourself what occurred and why. Take responsibility for your actions.

Next, ask for forgiveness from others. Try to make amends to those you have wronged. Explain what you have done, why it is wrong and what you will do differently to prevent it from happening again. Understand this may not change the persons feelings or response or end result. You are to make amends to help the other person know you take responsibility and are sorry for your actions. The apology is for them and not you. Hopefully it will make them AND you less upset, but the primary goal is to make the other person feel more at ease.

Next, learn how to forgive yourself. Self hatred, shame, guilt all are feelings that occur to help a human understand that they have done something wrong and are meant to help prevent us from repeating the action. It is comparable to physical pain. If you put your hand on the stove burner, you pull back. You will think twice about doing it again, based on memory of the experience. Emotional pain has the same effect. If you are experiencing these feeling, ask yourself if you are still repeating the same behaviors. If you are, the emotional pain will continue. If you are not, identify what you are positively doing instead.

Take an honest look at what occurred and why. Determine what you have done to resolve the issue for yourself. Have you given up or are your working twice as hard to repair the problems that resulted. You must work twice as hard to fix the problems. Look for all viable solutions. Ask for help from others.

Accept that you are human. Accept that you made a mistake. Make amends to others. Put together the remaining pieces and create something stronger and better. Look at the experience as a chance to build something new and great. Stop thinking negatively and find something positive from the experience to create growth and positive change.

Everyday should be viewed as a new opportunity to continue building a better, stronger and happier you. Believe in yourself. Put out 100% effort or more. Know that happiness is there for you, when you stop punishing yourself.

Seek professional help to assist in how to begin or continue the process of self forgiveness.

Seek self help through books designed to teach self forgiveness.

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