Did you forgive yourself yet for that time you asked that woman when her baby was due? She gave you an out by asking you to repeat what you said but you completely ignored all the flashing signs that were up in neon.
Your partner was frantically shooting you “Please stop talking now” looks but you thought he’d just had a chew on the sour piece of lime in his Corona. So, in you ploughed and asked again in a very loud clear voice just in case she didn’t hear you again. At that point, the whole restaurant went silent!
And of course, she wasn’t pregnant.
Do you regret that? Oh, wait that was me. I have never ever asked another woman that question! And yes, I regret it.
These things happen although I seem to have more than my share of them!
It is often so hard to forgive yourself for these slip-ups, or huge ‘feckin’ gaffs as in my case. We go over and over them in our head and wonder what we should have done differently? Um, shut-up maybe.
We forgive others so much easier. Friends, family even strangers.
Not forgiving yourself can cause health problems some of which can be serious.
While the situation I outlined above is probably not something you would dwell on for long due its total lack of seriousness there may be more consequential incidents that you play over and over in your mind.
Learning how to forgive yourself and give yourself permission to move on from mistakes is important. Your goal is for specific situations to no longer cause you negative emotions such as pain, anger and resentment. Here are some tips for forgiving yourself so that you can move on with your life and start to love yourself in the way you deserve.
Release negative emotions. Guilt, shame, disliking yourself will all hold you back from forgiving yourself.
None of us is perfect, we all make mistakes. You didn’t intentionally set out to hurt someone or yourself through your actions, or non-actions.
Your mistakes aren’t ‘proof’ of your failings and they don’t make you a bad person. If you can see mistakes as an opportunity to learn and grow that’s a good thing.
Are you still holding onto those images of what happened and running that reel when you feel like you need a dose of regret? This could be one reason why you’re struggling to forgive yourself.
That doesn’t make it helpful though! Reliving the situation fools your brain into believing that it is happening again and that sets off the stress response. It can also mean that you define yourself through the situation, rather than accepting that it happened and moving on.
It’s not about forgetting what happened. Instead, you want to acknowledge that your actions may have had repercussions but to not beat yourself up about them.
This is gold! If a friend told you she went through the exact same thing what would you tell them? Chances are you would do everything in your power to let them know that it is okay. Why shouldn’t you be allowed that same assurance?
Talk about the situation with a friend. They have enough distance to see things in a way that maybe you can’t.
Immediately after the incident think about what you could have done differently. Learn from your mistakes.
If, however, it was something that happened years ago then best to let that shit go.
Love is a strong factor in our ability to forgive. The opposite can be true too – if you don’t love yourself you will have a tougher time forgiving. Acceptance of yourself will make it much easier to forgive yourself and others.
Is there something you wish had gone differently that you replay over and over in your mind?