How to Forgive Yourself

How do you forgive yourself…this is a hard topic to delve into, but if the past two months haven’t taught me anything, it has taught me to forgive myself.
Spending Time Forgiving Myself for mistakes I have made.
Sometimes you just need to put yourself in a time out for your own mental health! As I sit here in Tampa Florida, taking a mental break, I realize life is really great and I really needed this mental break to reflect and get back on track.  Being here in the sun (and some rain) and taking some time to unwind has allowed me precious reflect on the past two months (and really my whole life) has helped me see that I am a loving and good person who deserves to be loved and respected.
Reflecting on Forgiveness Sarasota Bay
Yes, the past few months have left me with doubts. I was having a pity party for myself and I was having a hard time seeing any good in myself. I made a huge mistake and I was having a hard time dealing with my guilt.  The guilt turned to self-hate and the cycle started…replaying the mistake over and over and over in my head. Then playing every mistake I have ever made…over and over and over. I couldn’t sleep, smile, or be myself.  I was becoming a shell of myself over a mistake I made and the idea that I was not able to get the positive results of my apology.
Reflecting by the Water looking to forgive myself.
Yes, I became self-loathing and I forgot how many people out there truly love me and need me in their lives. I shut down.  I forgot about how good of a person I can be and I was dwelling on all of the mistakes I have ever made.  I needed to get away from these thoughts and I booked a flight to Tampa.  I needed the time, the sun, the palm trees, the carefree life of being somewhere else.  Thanks to my wonderful sister-in-law and a lot of time to talk and think and reflect on me and my life and others and their lives, I have found a light in me that I have not seen in many years.
Through reflection, I have come to understand that I do not need others to forgive me to heal. What I need is to forgive myself. I have learned that mistakes are just that, mistakes…you can’t reverse time and change them, but you can learn from them and not repeat them in the future. This is all we can do in life…except that you made the mistake, apologize, learn, and then heal.  It is how we grow and change. Mistakes make us who we are, we all make them…it is what we do after the mistake that counts.
Reflecting and Eating some Great Food looking for forgiveness
Good food is always good for the soul!
Yes, I made a mistake, and I can admit that I made a mistake, I have apologized (more than once) for this mistake, and I have learned from that mistake, now it is time to heal.  I know I am worth forgiving and I am worth love, but that is up to those that I made the mistake with to decide, not me.  I can’t dwell on this mistake and let it consume me and my life. I am worth more than that kind of self-scorn. I may not be worth their forgiveness, but I am worth self-forgiveness. I cannot and will not sideline my successes and my happiness because of any mistakes I have made in the past, no matter the size.


So, today, I am going to put on my big girl britches on and move on. Mistakes are just that, mistakes…you can’t reverse time and change them, but you can learn from them and not repeat them in the future. This is all we can do in life…learn from our mistakes. It is how we grow, change, and learn. Mistakes make us who we are, we all make them…it is what we do after the mistake that counts. Today, I am moving on and moving forward at being the best me I can be! Sure, I will continue to make mistakes and I will continue to learn from those mistakes…but my mistakes won’t define me, my successes will! I forgive myself.

Enjoying the Fruits of life!

6 Helpful Tips to Help You Forgive Yourself

    1. Before you can start to forgive yourself, you need to acknowledge that you made a mistake and take responsibility for that mistake.  You can do this is a few different ways.  One way is to say the mistake out loud to yourself in the mirror.  Another way is to admit the mistake to a trusted friend, partner, or someone that was involved in the mistake.  Finally, you can journal about the mistake.  The important thing to do is admit to yourself that you did something wrong and you are ready to own up to it and heal.
    2. Take time to reflect and accept that you are only human.  Write down all of your irrational thoughts about the mistake.  Then for each irrational thought write down the rational thought.
    3. Stop playing the mistake over and over in your head.  When you find yourself starting to replay the mistake in your head, go for a walk, read a book, play a game, exercise…do something to change the thoughts.
    4. When you make a mistake use it as a learning experience. Mistakes are a part of life, you will make them!  No one is immune from making mistakes. Mistakes are a way for us to learn and grow, not self-hate.  Reflect on the mistake and how it has affected you and others.  Look at it from all sides.  Why did you make the m0istake?  What were you thinking when you made the mistake?  Who was hurt by the mistake?  Journal on the mistake and really learn what you did, why you did it, and who you hurt. Then think about how you will avoid making the same mistake in the future. Learn from the mistake.
    5. If you hurt others, or even just yourself, you need to ask for forgiveness.  This is not as hard or as easy as it may seem.  You can say to the person or yourself, “I am really sorry I hurt you, what can I do to make this better?”  At this point, if you are truly sorry, it is up to them or you to give forgiveness or for you to forgive yourself. At this time take time to reflect on what you can do to make it better for the people you have hurt or yourself.  It may seem impossible to make things better, but there is always a way to make it better.
    6. Now is the time to put the mistake behind you and move on.  Say to yourself, “I made a mistake, I have learned from that mistake, and I will never make that same mistake again.” Then let it go.  To help you release yourself from the mistake you can write the mistake down and burn it or visualize the mistake and put it in a box, lock the box and walk away.  Do whatever you need to do to forgive yourself and let go of the mistake to truly heal.

“When someone does something wrong, don’t forget all the things they did right.” -Anonymous

Again, we all make mistakes it is how you deal with that mistake that will define you, not the mistake.  Remember, you cannot go back in time and change the mistake, but you can grow and become a better person from having made that mistake.  Learning and growing, that is what we do when we make mistakes…even if someone cannot forgive you, you need to forgive yourself and move on.

Love you all my family and friends, thank you for supporting me in all my good times and all my bad times!

Disclaimer- I am not a doctor or a mental health professional!  These are ideas that have helped me to forgive myself, they may or may not work for you.  If you are having a hard time dealing with forgiving yourself you should talk to your doctor or mental health provider.

Have you made a mistake that plays over and over in your head?  What are you going to do, today to forgive yourself?

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20 thoughts on “How to Forgive Yourself

    1. Thanks Jennifer! Asking for forgiveness is so important, even if you are asking to forgive yourself.

  1. Mistakes are human and I am so glad that you put your big girl britches on and are moving on. This was such a true and personal post and I absolutely love it!!

    1. Thanks Vicki! Sometimes it is hard to put on the big girl britches, but I have to do it sometimes.

  2. I love all the things you said here. I am so glad you are back in full force! You are a great lady and have helped me more times than you could ever know. Love you Miss Linda Jean.

  3. Welcome back Linda, I am so glad you found your way back to us! Your article is very beneficial to so many. We all need to learn to forgive ourselves! Thank you for reminding us all that we are human and we make mistakes. You have no idea how much I needed to read this today!

    1. You are more than welcome! You amaze me every day! Where would I be without your support? Probably no longer blogging…

  4. So beautifully written and so raw and honest. These are some great tips. I had written a couple of posts last year about forgiving yourself and forgiving others. Strange as it might sounds, forgiving others is usually easier than forgiving yourself. You are an amazing person and I hope and pray this is the beginning of a great new chapter, fresh start!

    1. You are so correct! Forgiving yourself is so much harder than forgiving someone else. I also feel that if we don’t forgive ourselves, we never truly forgive others. It is a cycle we need to learn to break.

  5. It was brave of you to share your story. I see myself in your experiences. I like to journal and I love #2.

  6. Thank you Linda for writing this. I had Mike read it because he too is suffering from depression and anxiety. I hope you find peace. Mike is still looking for relief.

  7. You gave some great advice here. I also think your choice to go to Tampa was a good one. I love it back there. I wish you all the best and happy healing.

    1. Thank you Marc! I appreciate your support and I love Tampa! It was just what the doctor ordered, sun and rest.

    1. I love you too! Thank you so much for loving me and showing me that I am worth forgiving.

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