How to forgive yourself often takes a person back to their childhood state of mind. During those long years of being held prisoner in your own consciousness you were punished for actions you did at that time. While you may not be able to fully comprehend the harm you have inflicted on another individual at the time of the action, you can certainly feel it from your heart. When you start to heal from your past, however, you may find that forgiving yourself comes much easier than forgiving someone else.
The most significant pitfall of self-forgetting is it can in fact decrease compassion for those you have hurt in the past. While self-forgiving often alleviates feelings of guilt, there are also times that this inward focused concentration can actually make it harder to identify with those who were hurt. When we punish another for something we ourselves have done, we unintentionally harm others. If we learn to forgive ourselves for hurting another individual in the past, we gain compassion for a person’s struggle to move forward in their lives despite past hurts. This emotional connection to the other person can lead to an improved sense of health and physical well-being.
How to forgive yourself begins with the understanding that all people make mistakes. Just like every person has a story to tell, everyone also experience pain, grief, shame and anger. If you want to effectively move forward with your life, you need to learn how to forgive yourself for committing mistakes you are not responsible for. Forgiving yourself is about accepting responsibility for one’s actions rather than punishing yourself for past wrongdoing. When you understand that all people make mistakes and if you truly want to learn how to forgive yourself, you must focus on accepting responsibility for your own actions.
It takes time and patience to fully come to grips with painful experiences. For some this healing process includes learning to release negative emotions like anger, guilt and shame. For others a more drastic change in lifestyle may be required. Fortunately, with the help of mental health professionals, learning how to forgive oneself is often possible and can significantly improve physical health and self-image. In addition, releasing negative emotions will dramatically reduce your stress level, which can improve one’s overall mental health.
Forgiveness programs are based on the assumption that all people have a right to feel angry, ashamed or guilty. If we choose to ignore these feelings and use them as a way to avoid taking personal responsibility for our actions, we can place ourselves in a position of weakness. If we choose to take steps to heal ourselves by forgiving a painful mistake or even large or small error, we become a powerful example of what it means to be moving forward despite setbacks and mistakes.
Learning how to forgive yourself means not putting off your decision to forgive until you feel the need. By forgiving yourself when you commit a mistake, you show others how forgiving is possible. It also helps you feel better about yourself and about the world in general. When you’re ready to learn more about self-forgetting and forgiveness, contact a trained therapist today.