We all make mistakes. We all feel guilty. It can be for anything from cheating on your partner, to behaving badly with your loved ones, spreading a rumour about a friend, etc. There comes a situation in your life when you find yourself helpless, for example, losing someone accidentally while you were with them. Therefore, sometimes, you punish yourself for a mistake that you have not even committed. Seeing your loved one losing their life in front of you is scary.
It is not your fault, but still, you find yourself guilty. Such incidents leave a deep scar. There are many situations where you need to be forgiven for the mistakes you made and even the mistakes you didn’t. Most of us tend to be hard on ourselves more than we are on others and we struggle to love ourselves. If you are not feeling lovable because of the actions you took, you may need to work on self-forgiveness and offer yourself what you offer others who have hurt you: a sense of inherent worth, despite your actions.
It can be devastating for an apology to be denied, but another person’s forgiveness of you and your actions doesn’t have to determine how you continue to treat others, and ultimately, yourself. Of course, that’s no easy task for many, considering we’re infinitely harder on ourselves than on anyone else. But forgiving yourself is an opportunity to get rid of the pain and anger that has built up inside you over time. Self-forgiveness helps you get away from your past hurting your present. You may not forget the hurtful event, but you can move on with your life.
“When we break our own standards, a lot of times, we won’t let ourselves ‘off the hook,’ so to speak,” says Dr Robert Enright.
“Self-forgiveness is not a free pass to keep up the nonsense. It’s to restore your humanity to yourself, as you correct [the damage you’ve done].”
To read more about the ways to forgive yourself and let go of the burden you are carrying for so long, click here.
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Note: The article was originally published here.