Ways to Forgive Yourself

Since we are human beings, we are bound to make a number of mistakes over the years.  Yes, some of them are more serious than others.  All of us have learned that nothing can change the past.  The time wasted drinking, doing drugs, gambling, engaging in risky behavior , over spending the credit limit, or caught up in a lousy marriage can not be gained back.  The one thing each person can do is to process his/her thoughts and actions in order to learn something from the experience.  Then you can promise yourself a better tomorrow.

There are a number of actions you can choose to take that can help you develop  the inner peace and freedom from past hurts that you are longing for and learning to forgive yourself is a first step.

You need to continually remind yourself that you did the best you could with what you had at the time.  Maybe you didn’t have the finances needed or the perfect job.  Maybe you couldn’t spend as much time and energy on a project as you would have liked.  Maybe you had a personality conflict with someone at work or in school.  Perhaps you missed a golden opportunity because you were too shy or fearful to go for it at that time.

Recognize that it is time to get off of your “pity pot” and put aside your self righteous resentment. The expression “pity pot” comes from the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous.  The expression refers to someone who sees himself as a helpless person who has no power at all.  Everyone experiences misfortunes of some type.  Accept the fact and get on with life.  Stand on your own two feet and begin to take responsibility for your actions.

Be honest with yourself.  Stop blaming others and playing games of self deception.

Be willing to take more risks.  The fact that you have been hurt before doesn’t mean that everyone is out to get you.  There are more good people in the world than lousy.  Allow yourself to open up and  love others.

Take care of yourself: physically exercise at least 4 times a week, eat nutritional meals, get plenty of sleep, and practice some R & R weekly; mentally -use it or lose it — read, play games that require thinking; emotionally practice some sort of meditation, yoga , or tai chi to listen to your inner self.

Think positive thoughts and fill your mind with healthy living habits.  No one would choose to live in a latrine or garbage bin yet millions choose to fill their minds with junk watching trash on TV or in movies.  Only when you choose to eliminate negative, destructive thoughts from your mind will you be able to truly practice self love.  When we dwell on the negative, we send out bad vibes to those around us.

Accept the support others offer you.  Allow them to encourage and help you.  If you don’t have someone close you can trust, find one of the many support groups who can relate to your situation.  Someday, when you feel strong again, you will be able to reach out and support someone else in return.

Recognize and celebrate your strengths.  Learn to accept compliments.  Take pride in yourself and know that you are of value.  God made you!  Use your strengths to help wipe out any feelings of jealousy you may be harboring. The first classmate I ever envied was the first one to die – a suicide.  As time passes on and I continued to make comparisons I realized that life in the long run hasn’t always been as bad as imagined. 

Read biographies – learn how others have coped with various life situations.

Count your blessings!

Last but not least, develop a firm foundation with a strong faith.  There are numerous different religions.  Find one that will allow you to connect to a Higher Power.  Accept God’s grace.

An unwillingness to forgive keeps us living in the past and cheats us out of a more beautiful tomorrow.  It is time for you to stop putting a guilt trip on yourself and start accepting the fact that you are human so that you can begin to enjoy life.  Start to practice healthy choices.