How To Forgive Yourself For Your Past Mistakes To Become A Better You

When it comes to forgiveness, it’s normally attributed to something we ask for or have to give to others. But believe it or not, it’s also something we need to learn to do for ourselves. Forgiveness plays a huge role in how we show up for everyone else but more importantly, for us.  

 

Even if we aren’t willing to admit it, we know exactly what we need to absolve ourselves for. It’s those ugly feelings we get when past transgressions cross our minds that we try to ignore. The stuff that makes you cringe…yeah, all that! I know, it’s ugly but it’s time to dive deep and explore it. Why does it make you feel uncomfortable? How do you fix it?  

 

The plus here is the path to personal clemency is quite easy and you’ll wish you’d done it long ago. Because having personal accountability is a healthy thing. It’s when you start to beat yourself up over what you did that it becomes mentally unhealthy and opens the door to coping mechanisms.  

 

Mistakes and struggles are a normal part of the human process. You cannot suppress it or dwell on it because it will not add to your self-improvement. And if you don’t forgive yourself, guilt, shame and anger could manifest as a result of it.  

 

 

Examples of what to pardon yourself for can be something small like a broken promise that hurt a dear friend to something major like being promiscuous. And this doesn’t just revolve around things you did, it can also be something you didn’t do. It can be not pursuing a dream or not making amends with someone before they died. 

 

Anything that you were the direct cause of that made you feel disgrace, needs to be forgiven. It’s the only correct way to release the emotions that are holding you back. Here are a few steps that are pivotal in the process and why each one is important.

 

Steps to Forgiveness

 

First, you have to say it. It doesn’t matter how ugly it is, call that thing out! You can also do this through writing. If you lost a great job for stealing or regret not having a child, say it. Full disclosure with yourself gives you the freedom to face it. 

 

Next, you have to forgive yourself for it. Say “I forgive myself for ________” and be real about it. This is your moment to accept it and let it go because you absolutely cannot change it. You may have to sit in this stage for a second as you allow acknowledgment to settle in, but don’t wallow in it.  

 

Many times this personal purge also involves asking a person for forgiveness that we hurt. So an important expectation to have here is that this may not fix the relationship you once had with them. They may very well not pardon you for what you did if it cut too deep and that’s okay. It will hurt at the moment but the goal isn’t to be forgiven, it’s just to do the right thing and ask for it.  

 

In the long run, you will be proud of yourself for handling it humbly which is what will give you true peace about the pain you caused. Being forgiven is just a side effect of asking for it. True growth resides in the asking, not the pardon. You owned the situation and now you can close the chapter.  It’s now on the other person to deal with the emotional toil of not accepting it.

 

 

On the other hand, there are plenty of wrongs we’ve done that no one knows anything about. These situations can be tricky because they give us the feeling that we “got away with it.” This false security may have you think you don’t need to address your wrongs but sometimes, it makes them haunt you more.

 

In this case, you still go through the process of forgiveness but you also go the extra mile to secure it. Do for others. Give selflessly to another cause as a way to make amends with the universe. You still need to make peace with your past even if you think no one knows. Good deeds help clear your conscience.

 

Now that you’ve accepted these uncomfortable but liberating truths, the next step is thriving as the new you. Be clear on your morals and values now. We feel guilt about our past actions because they don’t align with how we believe now. So recognize it but pat yourself on the back for your growth. You earned it.

 

The path to being mentally healthy is an intricate, slow, snot slinging reality that you have to have with yourself in order to reach the highest peak of humanness. There’s only one way to come for everything that’s meant for you in this life, and that’s the civil way.

 

Candace Blair's byline

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