They have all acted badly and felt guilty afterwards. It can give you negative thoughts, making it difficult to forgive yourself. You may wonder what you can do to make it easier to forgive yourself. Here are some suggestions that can help you.
What is forgiveness?
Maybe you did something that hurt someone else’s feelings. Maybe you knew it was wrong, but you still did it. It’s human to do these things and it’s important to apologize when you hurt someone.
Forgiveness is letting go of your anger towards someone who has done you wrong to stop demanding payment for what they did. It is the will to stop holding that person hostage in your heart for what they did. It doesn’t mean that you trust them or think that what they did was right. It just means that you let it go. You are at peace, you may still feel the sting of what they did, but you are not going to try to get revenge.
What about forgiving yourself?
But there is another side to forgiveness. Studies show that unforgiveness can make you dislike yourself and believe you are not trustworthy and unlovable. To deal with these thoughts about yourself, it is essential that you forgive yourself.
According to the National Library of Medicine of the National Institute of Health, the forgive yourself is the following:
the will to abandon one’s resentment towards one’s own own recognized wrong goal, while fostering compassion, generosity, and self-love.
How do you deal with your past mistakes and forgive yourself?
There are many ways to incorporate self-forgiveness into your life. Here are some practical habits to forgive yourself and move on.
1 – Resist the temptation to rehearse what you did wrong
It’s disappointing when you do something nasty or tell a lie, but rehearsing what you did over and over again won’t make you feel better about it. It will only make things worse for you. You may start to feel unworthy of love or trust. Once you’ve apologized to the other person or people, it’s time to move on and forgive yourself. Resist the urge to punish yourself for what you did wrong.
2 – Find faith in God
People of faith believe that God forgives them and helps them forgive themselves. They know that they need help outside of themselves to be able to forgive others and themselves. They also find support in their church community, which is learning about forgiveness. One study found that emotional support from other church members can make it easier to forgive yourself. Most religions endorse forgiveness as a way to find peace and personal help. Knowing that God has forgiven you can help you forgive yourself and others.
3 – Take responsibility for what you did
Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes. When you make a mistake, like saying something hurtful by accident, it is essential that you take responsibility for what you did. Trying to defend yourself is often counterproductive. Also, not taking responsibility for the things you do will make you feel bad about yourself because you know you are living a lie. Step up and take responsibility for your mistakes. It will help you to be more at peace with yourself and with others.
4 – Do not condemn yourself
Self-condemnation will not help you forgive yourself. These feelings will make you feel worse and can lead to depression or self-harm. If you have asked the person or people for forgiveness, you can be at peace and forgive yourself. If you have faith in God, ask God to forgive you too.
5 – Take positive steps
If there are things you said you would do but didn’t do, like finishing a project at work or spending money on something you said you wouldn’t do with your partner, you may feel guilty about it. Start the habit of going back and doing what you said you would do. It can make forgiveness easier for yourself. Getting caught up in your feelings of guilt or shame for letting your boss or partner down won’t help you. Forgiving yourself allows you to take the appropriate steps to correct the mistakes you have made.
6 – Discover your triggers
Some things in life trigger feelings of unforgiveness. It may be something that you associate with your childhood. There are some relationships or situations that can trigger an emotion, making it difficult for you to forgive yourself. Parents often have a hard time forgiving themselves when they get angry at their children or when they say something hurtful to them. This guilt can trigger feelings they had as children, so they try to make up for it by buying gifts for their children or by apologizing too much. Repentance is a terrible substitute for asking for real forgiveness. Once you have apologized to your child, you can proceed with self-forgiveness. Of course, you may need to find a way to control your anger because it can affect your child in the long run, but that’s secondary to apologizing to your child and forgiving yourself.
If you find yourself repeatedly doing the same thing wrong, it may be time to break free from this habit. If you always lie to your spouse or get angry at work, you may need help. Taking steps to change in these areas can help you forgive yourself.
8 – Make amends if possible
If possible, try to make amends for what you did. Apologize personally to the person, or at least over the phone. Try to avoid texting or email apologies. These do not convey their full meaning and could be misinterpreted by the person you are apologizing to. If possible, see if there is a way to make up for them, perhaps by replacing what you broke. It’s an essential step in correcting your mistakes, so you won’t wonder if you could have done more to help the relationship.
9 – Ask yourself if you really are to blame
It is essential to make sure you are responsible for doing something wrong rather than being blamed for something you did not do. You should never apologize for something you didn’t do. If you are prone to feeling like you should be blamed for things you are not responsible for, you may be experiencing past trauma or abuse. This causes feelings of guilt and shame in innocent patients. If you see this pattern in your life, talk to your pastor or counselor. They can help you solve these problems and get other help you may need.
10 – Learn from your mistakes
It is impossible to live life without making mistakes. Maturity is not that you don’t make mistakes, but that you win with your mistakes. He will remember what he did and try to avoid it next time. This lesson is an excellent impediment to stop doing certain things.
11 – Stay healthy physically and mentally
Mental health is vital to forgiving others and forgiving yourself. Here is a list of ways you can stay mentally healthy.
- Sleep: Get enough sleep every night. Lack of sleep affects your judgment and the way you relate to others. If you don’t get enough sleep, you will be prone to irritability and anger. You will not be patient with your children or kind to your spouse. This impatience can lead to hurt feelings and then you feel bad about how you are acting. It’s a vicious cycle that a good night’s sleep could cure.
- Obtain vitamin D: This vitamin is something called the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D is vital for your mental health. It improves your mood and gives you more energy. If you live in a climate that doesn’t have much sun in winter, you can take a supplement or use a phototherapy lamp.
- Keep active: Staying physically fit will help your mental health. It helps reduce stress and stimulates the chemicals in your brain that make you feel happy. Because of this, you will interact better with others and be more productive at work.
- Stay connected with people: Try to maintain connections with your friends and family. Even if you are struggling with forgiving yourself, join others. They will support you when you feel disappointed in yourself. It can also help you stop thinking about yourself and others.
Doing wrong is a universal human problem. Perhaps when you did something wrong, you found it difficult to forgive yourself. Maybe you held onto resentment, which hampered your ability to forgive yourself. Try incorporating a few of these habits to see if they give you the ability to regularly forgive yourself. Hopefully, these ideas strengthen your resolve to release yourself from guilt and practice self-forgiveness.