Forgiveness is an art of letting go of the feelings and emotions associated with what went wrong. You let go of any resentment or anger. It may be easier to do this when forgiving others, but many find it hard to do this for themselves.
Self-forgiveness does not mean we agree with or condone the situation but rather, choosing to stop using the energy we have left to beat ourselves up.
Sometimes we look back at how situations played out and tend to blame ourselves for losing control, being lenient with our boundaries or being human for feeling or making mistakes.
Think of it as carrying a rock around in your bag every day. And for every time you resent yourself, hold on to anger or guilt, the rock gets heavier. In the long run your life gets harder and less fulfilling. Self-forgiveness means we choose to not carry this rock with us always and channel this energy to becoming more accepting of ourselves. It means we make a choice to find meaning for our lives even when its not obvious to do so.
Research has shown that forgiveness helps improve our physical and mental health and make our relationships more meaningful.
Here are some tips we can find helpful as we work towards becoming self-forgiving.
1. Take responsibility of ourselves and things that are within our control. This means we recognize our role in how things play out and what aspects are in our control. Shifting blame or holding all blame against ourselves is unhelpful. Adapting healthy ways means we minimize on labeling ourselves by knowing what is within our control and what is not.
2. Express remorse for what we did wrong. Learn to apologize to ourselves and those we feel we hurt in the course of our hurting. Making amends creates room for us to let go of the guilt and anger we have against ourselves.
3. Rectify our mistakes and make amends. It is healthy to learn from our mistakes and prevent them from occurring in the future. Sometimes revisiting the situation to see where we went wrong helps us correct our shortcomings and make better choices in future. Be cautious not to overdo or get fixated in rectifying our mistakes. Remind ourselves that we are not working to perfectionism but rather self-understanding.
4. Release past hurt and accept imperfection. Beating ourselves up for past mistakes does not change the past. Let the bygones be bygones. Release the hurts of the past. Sometimes we hold ourselves with so much regard or none at all that we feel undeserving of forgiveness. Changing this mentality means we grief from our past mistakes and make peace with them and honor our future. Remind ourselves that we are better than our past mistakes!
Choose self-forgiveness and watch your life become more meaningful and fulfilling.
By Shalom Luvutse
Chiromo Hospital Group