We all are imperfect people who make mistakes. It’s an inevitable part of living. When we mess up, how do we react? As our own worst critics, how do we go about forgiving ourselves? Though this is not a sure-fire way, if you consciously take each step, it might help you recover emotionally.
1. Start small. Think of a person you recently hurt.
“I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him.” – CS Lewis
2. See yourself as a small child standing before that person.
“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.” – Christopher Germer
3. Ask for forgiveness using the phrase: “I hurt you when I _______. I am sorry, and I hope that you will forgive me. I will work hard not to do this again.”
“I forgive myself for having believed for so long, that I was never good enough to have, get and be what I wanted.” – Ceanne DeRohan
4. See the person forgiving you, coming forward to give you a hug.
“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” – Brene Brown
5. Feel forgiveness take hold of you both.
“I now choose to release all hurt and resentment.” – Louise Hay
6. Practice this throughout the day, but also at the end of each day.
“If you don’t love yourself, you’ll always be chasing after people who don’t love you either.” – Mandy Hale
This exercise may seem foreign, and you can tweak so that it works for you. Ultimately, just remember this – Yes, you may have messed up, and yes you need to seek forgiveness from the other person/people. We all have been in your shoes in one way or another. Let yourself love yourself. Let go of your mistakes and forgive yourself.