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How to forgive yourself? Be your best friend!

Updated on October 14, 2014

“When you initially forgive, it is like letting go of a hot iron. There is initial pain and the scars will show, but you can start living again.” –Stephen Richards.

There are times when you feel you have done something wrong. You feel ashamed of yourself and find it impossible to forgive yourself. Do you feel guilty that you have harmed somebody? If you say 'yes' I am sure you find it difficult to live with your conscience.

When you set certain standards for yourself, you want to be impeccable in your behavior. You do not want commit mistakes. When you do it unintentionally it makes you feel bad and you brood inside that you are not the good person you thought you were.

What are the things that make you feel bad about yourself?

  • When you say harsh words which hurt people.
  • When you do not keep up promises.
  • When you betray the trust someone has in you.
  • When you ignore your loved ones.
  • When you realize that you were the reason for your wrecked relationship.
  • When you look back in disgust at your unworthy past

There are many more things that make you guilt ridden and you unable to forgive yourself. Do not forget that you are very human and so you are prone to faults and mistakes. It is true you sometimes commit mistakes with a purposeful intention of hurting others and sometimes unknowingly.

Whatever the reason might be, you feel an initial elation that you have done what your mind had dictated, but in retrospect you do not feel good about yourself. The early stages of smug satisfaction always wear off and in its place you feel you have been callous and unthinking in your attitude.

You have to forgive yourself to live your life. Otherwise you would not have a moment of peace

Why do you find it unable to forgive yourself?

  • It is very easy to forgive others as you elevate yourself as a supreme person. You think that you are doing great service by forgiving others. But it is totally different when you have to forgive yourself. You know who you are, what you are and what you are capable of, more than anybody else. You cannot lie to yourself, can you?
  • You have to live with your conscience 24\7 and though you try hard to forget what you did, you find it impossible to forgive yourself.

What happens when you are unable to forgive yourself?

  • You always feel guilt ridden.
  • You do not have a moment of peace
  • You cannot accept the fact that you have stooped so low.
  • You feel palpitations all the time.
  • Your health is affected.

Hurting and demeaning yourself will never help you. If you keep brooding about the mistakes you have committed, you fail to notice the good aspects of your character. Life is too short to be wasted in being angry with you.

Can you point out one single perfect person in this world? There will be none. Everyone has his faults and drawbacks. How well a person deals with his minus and makes his life a plus decides the percentage of happiness he has in his life.

How to forgive yourself?

  • You should accept you as what you are.
  • You should change your negative behavior.
  • You should consider yourself as a good person
  • Prayers help you a lot.
  • Take a vow never to commit the same mistake again.
  • Talk to your friends or parents for consolation

1. Accept you as you are.

You should accept yourself with all your faults and try to rectify the faulty characteristics you have. Do you know you learn a lot from your mistakes? It helps you evolve into a better person. You understand the world and the people better and you realize that you too have worthy characteristics in you. Acceptance is a great way to forgive yourself.

2.Change your behavior

You know you have made mistakes which had hurt someone. Did you analyze where you went wrong? Self analysis is very important for you to know yourself better. When you think and analyze yourself, you are always very frank as there is no need for an artificial facade of goodness which you present to the outside world. When you are able to pinpoint your fault, you should change your behavior so that you do not commit such blunders in your life.

3. I am a good person.

Do you think that you are not a worthy person? You will lose your peace of mind if you do so. There are lots of fine characteristics in you which go unnoticed and you must concentrate on those fine aspects. The thought that you are a good person should be inculcated in your mind. ‘I am a bad person’, ‘no one will like me’ are all negative thoughts you have about you. ‘I have done something which is out of my character. Never will I commit such mistakes again’ is the right attitude you must have.

4.Talk to your inner mind and comfort your seething conscience.

No one can comfort you as good as you. You have to be in peace with your inner mind to have peace with the outer world. Are you such a bad person that you degrade yourself so much? Making mistakes is just a fraction of your character and do not make it as though you are an offender from head to foot. Comfort your seething conscience and think that you are a far better person than what the mistakes you commit has made you think of.

5.Prayers help you a lot.

No one can give better solace to you than god. He forgives you when you are truly apologetic about your faults. Talk to him frankly and ask his forgiveness and you can feel it easy to forgive yourself.

6. Vow never to commit the mistakes ever again.

Do not make it a habit of committing mistakes and then forgiving yourself. When you commit faults continuously it becomes a habit and you slowly get used to it. When you want to forgive yourself, it is imperative that you do not repeat the same mistakes again and again.

7. Talk to your friends or parents.

If you keep your emotions locked inside you, your mind becomes a brooding place of negative thoughts about yourself. When you talk it out with people who truly love and care for you, you feel lightened and the words of comfort you hear from them makes it easy for you to forgive yourself.

Your inner mind is your shadow and it follows you wherever you go. If you want your inner mind to relax in peace you should have the ability to forgive yourself. You are not a criminal, are you?

You are very human and a normal person. You have made mistakes and you have vowed never to commit it ever again. Do not make your life a torture by demeaning yourself. Ask forgiveness from the person who means the most to you. Are you wondering who the person is. It is you!

© 2013 mathira


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    • mathira profile image

      mathira 4 years ago from chennai

      You are right. When we treat ourselves with respect and decency, we can never treat others with disrespect.

    • mathira profile image

      mathira 4 years ago from chennai

      Eddy, thank you for the visit.

    • chuckd7138 profile image

      Charles Dawson 4 years ago from Bartow, FL

      I guess we could say that karma isn't just based on how we treat others, but also how we treat ourselves. If we treat everyone but ourselves with decency and respect, we still open ourselves to bad karma. I might not be stating this as articulately as I would like, and I apologize for that. Great hub though. Voted up and sharing.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      A great hub Mathira and one which I know will benefit so many. Here's to many more.

      Have a great day.


    • mathira profile image

      mathira 4 years ago from chennai

      You are very right, MsDora, god always help and prayers are always answered. Thank you for your visit.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Hi Mathi, this is such an important issue you have raised here. In the Christian tradition, forgiving yourself means to accept God's forgiveness; that when He says you are forgiven, you really are. It is so easy to doubt ourselves. As you rightly said, "Prayers help."