Updated: Apr 3, 2021
A common struggle with most clients I coach is how to Forgive yourself for your past actions. Forgiving others may be easy, but many times it is us who needs the forgiving & it's not an easy job. The sense of shame & guilt we have for our past actions prevents us from living our best life. Here are some tools that can help you forgive yourself:
1. Offer an Heartfelt Apology
If your actions have wronged or hurt someone else, offer them a heartfelt and sincere apology. It is important that you truly feel remorse for your actions, understand what they have been through because people can see through a superficial apology. Sincerely apologise. If you are not able to face them, then write a letter to them expressing how bad you feel for hurting them. Important thing to note here is to not to expect anything from them in return. Whether or not they forgive is their choice and you cannot control the outcome but what you can only control is your actions for amending it.
2. Mistakes help you Evolve
Our soul is on a journey of evolving. Mistakes help us remove the layers of fear, self doubt, low self-esteem, insecurities etc in order for us to become true to our original self. Thus, understand which layer of impurity you need to remove when you are unable to forgive yourself. For example, if you have hurt someone, understand where did your action originate from? Was there any sort of fear or insecurity behind it? Were you trying to control your circumstances? Was low self love behind your anger and shame? When you understand your root cause, you will be in a better position to work on those impurities. You behaved at the level of your soul's consciousness. We act as per our emotional & mental capability. You would have behaved better if you were evolved more. Hence, be easy on yourself and learn from your mistakes. Try not repeating them.
3. Process & Release the Emotions
Feel how you are feeling. Are you feeling regret, guilt or shame? Feel the emotion. Nature has given us emotions as a tool to know which direction to take. So if you are feeling regret, guilt or shame, it means you were on a path that was not right for your emotional well being. Understand the lesson in your feelings. Progress towards emotions like Joy, Happiness, Peace. Those emotions indicate that we are on a path that is right for our well being. Now think about what actions you need to take to move towards feelings that make you feel peaceful from the emotions that make you uncomfortable. Do more of the things that will make you feel at peace with yourself. The uncomfortable emotions are the doorway to know what your soul truly desires. Do not deny those emotions and feelings else it will keep creating negative thought loops. Accept them and process it to know what you need to learn from it.
4. Write a letter to yourself
I have mentioned several times before, that writing is a powerful tool for healing. When you are struggling to forgive yourself, write an apology letter to yourself. You can structure your letter the following way -
Express how you feel for taking past actions that you regret.
How not forgiving yourself is affecting your life
How would you feel, once you have forgiven yourself. Visualise and write about it. Try to imbibe those feelings and you will gradually start feeling better with yourself.
What action you need to take to amend your past decisions
When you write, you connect to your subconscious which helps you heal your inner self critic. You understand where did your actions originate from!
5. Work on Self Acceptance
Struggle with forgiving yourself comes from feeling not good enough. We all have subsconscious need for everyone to like us and when we make mistakes and how badly we have affected ourselves and others, this sense of being not liked by others is multiplied. Hence we feel a sense of self rejection and not fitting in. But what one needs to understand is that this need for acceptance from others roots from our survival instinct. What we need to remember this, is we are no longer in an era where rejection from others will lead to our death. We need to accept ourselves with our imperfections. Making mistakes is part of human nature. Else we all would have been God. Be easy on yourself. Read this article on self love that will help you to accept more if you.
No matter how hard it may seem, forgiving yourself is possible. Willingness to change and having regret about it shows that you realise your mistakes. This shows you are a good person and can evolve into an even better human being. Be kind & patient with yourself and release yourself from your own harsh inner critic. You can connect with a Life Coach to get help in this area. Click here to know more. What tools you have utilized to forgive yourself. Comment below and share your knowledge.