Forgive Yourself

The most important person to forgive is yourself.

Forgiving is hard. It requires you to let go of the pain of regrets, of wishing that things had gone differently, of wanting to change the past. When we are hurt by someone else’s actions, it seems strange that we need to forgive ourselves. The truth is though, that any time there is pain or regret involved, we need to forgive ourselves.

Whether we did anything wrong, part of the process of forgiving someone else is forgiving ourselves. Forgive yourself for whatever it is that you tell yourself you did wrong. Whether it was trusting someone or allowing someone to take advantage of you or being too kind and friendly or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, forgive yourself for that.

Forgive yourself for any mistakes you feel may have led you to this place of hurt and pain. Forgive yourself for not knowing better or seeing the danger or doing something.

People say, “it’s not your fault” as though that somehow fixes things or makes it right. But the truth is, whether or not it was your fault, the only way to come to peace about it is by forgiving yourself for being hurt.

Forgiveness is not just for doing bad things. Forgiveness can be for doing good things that just went wrong. Forgiveness can be for doing nothing at all. Forgiveness is for the broken because it’s the only thing that makes us whole.

Over the past year, I have discovered the power of forgiveness. First, I was able to forgive some people that did terrible things to me. I was able to let go of the hate and be free of the anger. Then, eventually, I realized the need to forgive myself.

I forgave myself for helping someone, which had resulted in me being yelled at. I forgave myself for trying to fix a situation, only to have it end up getting worse. I forgave myself for all the times I didn’t have the right words to say or didn’t say anything at all, and it led to pain or misunderstanding. I forgave myself for allowing abuse to continue, even though there wasn’t always something I could have done about it. I forgave myself for not doing good things because I was afraid of getting hurt.  And ultimately, I forgave myself for being me, for being human, for having my faults and weaknesses. I forgave myself for not being perfect and not being able to perfectly prevent all the pain and anxiety and discomfort in my life.

I don’t know what it is that you have to forgive yourself for. It may be for doing something good. It may be for doing something not so good. It may be for doing nothing at all. It may simply be for being yourself.

Whatever it is, make the choice to forgive yourself. Make the choice to give yourself the love you don’t feel like you deserve. Life is too short to hate the person you spend all your time with. Love yourself, and that love will bring forgiveness.

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13 thoughts on “Forgive Yourself

  1. So much wisdom in this post! Very thought-provoking and kind of philosophical! I began to think of things about acceptance, letting go, and moving forward in a different light while reading. Forgiveness often seems to imply that someone did something wrong. But I see your perspective is also that forgiveness is just letting go and accepting our own self whether or not we were really wrong. If we feel low about something we are or did, whether or not we had good intentions or were truly right or wrong, we just have to forgive our self and keep going. It’s very liberating! Thank you! ❤

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  2. I’d say there’s something else very, very important that goes with forgiveness: responsibility. We can forgive others (actually…that part was TOO EASY for me, and got me into many bad situations, for which I need to forgive myself!!!!), but if they don’t take responsibility, it will happen again…Similarly, we can forgive ourselves, but we need to be wise and learn and take responsibility so that we aren’t right back where we started in a sort of endless forgiveness loop! Hope that makes sense!
    Thanks for this post!!

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    • It does make sense. I think part of the problem is that people say to forgive and forget, but really forgetting isn’t necessarily ideal for most situations that need forgiveness. We should forget the pain, forget the anger, forget in the sense that we don’t keep bringing it back up to hurt ourselves or hurt others. But we shouldn’t forget the situation. We should be responsible with our hearts. We should be responsible about keeping ourselves safe physically, mentally, and emotionally. Forgiving doesn’t necessarily mean forgetting. We should definitely be responsible.

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