If you read any of my posts ever at all (and I hope you do!) you know I’m a huge fan of forgiveness. But not only forgiving myself but also forgiving those who hurt me. Now what I get an awful lot of over on my Facebook page (when I do Livestreams) is how to forgive yourself when you’ve done something really terrible.
That’s a good question and I’m here to help you with that now!
Forgiving others is hard
I’ll admit, it’s not that easy to forgive others when they’ve done us wrong. They dragged us through the mud or did _________ < insert terrible act here, and there’s no way you think you can forgive anyone who has hurt you.
First of all, let me remind you that any act of forgiveness is done for you, not the other person. Of course it’s hard to forgive Joe Blow for beating you or stealing from you. I totally get that. Trust me here.
But if you don’t forgive them and let them go you will carry that burden of hate for the rest of your life.
You’re better than that and deserve better than that. Forgiving others is for you. Not them. Love yourself enough to release them. Now.
Forgiving yourself takes time
Especially after something really bad has happened. We replay the situation over and over in our head thinking about what we could have done different. We go on and on in our own minds about how we shouldn’t have done that.
That was so bad what I did.
When you do that, beat yourself up over something that happened in the past, you aren’t loving yourself anymore and when we don’t love ourselves, forgiving ourselves is almost impossible. You think you’re a bad person. You’re not. No one is perfect. We all do things without thinking and then have to pay the price for it. Hello Karma.
But you still have to love yourself independent of how bad of a thing you just did. When you forgive yourself, you start loving yourself again.
Here are a few of my recent articles on loving and forgiving yourself and forgiving others you might enjoy and might help you:
Make sure you take some time to read those. They will help you a lot.
So let’s move on to the topic at hand; how to forgive yourself. Because in all honesty, you are number one and your mental health and happiness should always be at the top of your list. If you are struggling with how to forgive yourself and move on from something you’ve done, this will help you ( I hope!)
How to forgive yourself in 5 easy steps
You can’t change the past
I know, simple enough right? I mean, that’s a no brainer. No you can’t change the past but you also can’t hold on to the past forever either. What’s the point? Is there anything you can do about it other than apologize to who you hurt and let it go? Nope.
If you want to forgive yourself you have to start by accepting the fact that what’s done is done and you must move on. Every time a memory comes up from the past stop it immediately and say to yourself “nope I’m not doing this again. I’m not going to keep beating myself up over this. It’s over.” And then start thinking new things! Happier things.
Write a forgiveness letter to yourself
Want to know how to forgive yourself in one of the most powerful ways I know how? A forgiveness letter, or also called an open letter to myself. Sit down alone one day and put on some nice soft music. Light candles if you want to.
Write out all the horrible things you’ve done and at the end of the letter, write “I forgive you I love you I’m sorry”.
This letter is so amazing you won’t even believe how you feel when you’re done writing it. Don’t forget to get rid of it when you’re done.
No need to hang on to it. If you have more thoughts of anger about something you’ve done, write another open letter forgiving yourself.
On a side note, you can also write an open letter to anyone who has hurt you. This is also very therapeutic. Here is an example of one I wrote and man it sure feels good to write these!
Is it time to sniff out the people you hurt, suck up your pride and say sorry? Do you think it’s too late? This is one of my favourite quotes ever and it answers that last question.
Hearts are left broken by words left unspoken
It’s never too late to apologize. Even if the person has already passed away. You can still apologize. They will hear you. Trust me on that one. For everyone else you hurt, reach out, say sorry, and let it go. If they accept your apology, great, if not, that’s their problem, not yours.
You did your part. The rest is up to them.
Remember healing comes through forgiveness. If they don’t accept your apology it simply means they aren’t ready to forgive yet. Show them this blog!
Acknowledge and analyze your actions
I know I just said to let it go but take some time to really dig deep into what it is you did, and find out why you did it. Was it something about that particular person that just triggered you? What did it trigger?
Often times we get angry and lash out because of something we are holding onto from our past. People trigger us and bring out that ugly thing. This is an indication that you simply haven’t healed from it.
It just might be time to have a closer look at it, deal with it, heal from it and let it go.
If anyone was to ask me how to forgive yourself when you are hanging on to so much hate the first thing I would say is find out where the hate is coming from and then do the work.
Powerful self talk
This is going to be key for you. You can talk to yourself out loud or simply quietly in your head but you have got to do it. The more you do it, the sooner you will forgive yourself and start loving yourself again.
Remind yourself you made a mistake, you get it, you feel bad about it, you forgive yourself for it and promise not to do it again.
Every time a thought comes up about this incident take yourself back to self talk.
“It’s ok Iva. You learned the lesson. It’s time to let it go”.
“You are an amazing person no matter what you did. We all make mistakes”.
“No one is perfect. At least you learned your lesson and are moving on.”
Try a combination of these or your own powerful self talk statements. Remind yourself that no one is perfect and it’s ok to mess up every now and then. We all do it. Live and learn my friend and move on.
It’s so important to let go of the past and move on. Holding onto anger, even for yourself, is damaging and will never serve you well. You are human. You made a mistake.
Forgive yourself, apologize, brush off your ass and keep on keepin’ on. If you need help with forgiveness for yourself or others, why not check out my new self help guide From Hell to Happiness. It just might be what you need.
Peace and Love
ox iva xo