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How to forgive yourself?

MOM

I failed in my marriage. I wasn’t the best wife. I took my relationship for granted; I didn’t put much effort into it.

Only when our relationship ended could I get really put the necessary time and energy into getting to know myself. As my life fell apart and the tsunami of divorce shook me to the core, I reflected upon and noticed many of my immature tendencies and behaviors during the marriage.

But now what? I hurt myself by being negative all the time. And I don’t want to affect it on my future relationships.

Tell yourself a new story

You can hold onto that old victim story and continue to replay it in your mind. Or you can blame yourself and continue to feel guilty for what you did. Allow anger to burn you or let your pain fully consume you.

I could be stuck on how I ruined my marriage and both our lives. I could blame my parents for my dysfunctional relationship skills. I could blame my ex for the things she did wrong.

Or I could let it all go and tell myself a new story about how this relationship helped me become a better man and partner.

You are not your mistakes.

Yes, you made mistakes but your life is not a mistake. Yes, you failed but you’re not a failure. It’s important to distinguish between your decisions/behavior and your inherent self-worth.

You are not an inherently bad or evil person. Misguided at one time, maybe. But that doesn’t mean you should label yourself with self-flagellating labels.

Extend empathy towards yourself.

You grew up and developed certain characteristics because of the way your parents raised you. You inherited certain behaviors from them. You are human and you err but you can also learn from those mistakes. Learn to give yourself a break and extend compassion and empathy to yourself.

No, you didn’t know what you were doing but yes, you can do better and become a better person because of it.

Respect your emotions and 6th sense, whatever they are.

How do these mistakes make you feel today? Acknowledge the feelings of guilt, anger or sadness. Feel these challenging feeling identify them and sit with them.

Feel the intensity of these feelings so you can process them. Process your feelings by talking to someone about them. Write an email to yourself about what you’re feeling. Write a journal entry about how you’re feeling.

Become familiar with and aware of your feelings towards your past mistakes so you can do something about them.

Accept that you made mistakes.

Take note of where you messed up. Take note of the bad decisions you made and where you went wrong. Reflect on what you could have done differently or wiser decisions you could have made.

Instead of blaming someone else or playing the victim, take responsibility for the areas of your life where you went astray.

3 comments

  1. I have been recently working on this a lot. Forgiving myself is not just a single choice, it’s a determination to change my interior life of self-blame and other blame. Forgiveness, I am learning, is another word for freedom. Thank you for this blog. 😉 http://wp.me/p1QwdP-1YL

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