Forgiving Yourself: Stopping the Self-punishment
Updated: Nov 5, 2020
Forgiving yourself is never a sign of weakness. Yes, it may be a difficult thing to do, but not doing it could hinder us from things that we could experience and achieve. It's more than just moving on, removing the shame upon yourself, or accepting the responsibility of the event.
Forgiving yourself is also a way of taking care of yourself.
Understandably, the story will be different if you were to forgive others, not yourself. It’s always easier to forgive others because it takes the responsibility of looking at your reflection of how you see yourself. But just because forgiving yourself is not easy, it doesn't mean that it's impossible. It is possible to forgive yourself; it is possible to stop the punishment that you're giving yourself.
The Proper Way to Respond
It’s difficult to forgive yourself if you won’t properly dissect how to respond to the situation. The art of forgiving yourself requires proper response and action. You have been cognizant of what you learned, and what you’re forgiven yourself for and use it as preventative steps to not repeat those things.
Look around the situation again, assess what happened, then ask yourself "Why did it come to this? Why did that happen?". Throwing stones to an invisible target is not a good way to respond. To forgive yourself, you have to thoroughly know and understand what happened, and what led it to this moment.
Learning From Your Mistakes
Striving to become a better you is one of the best things and the first steps you can take in order to start to forgive yourself. In the beginning, experiencing guilt and shame is unavoidable, but you shouldn't dwell on it more. The more you let guilt and shame will consume you, the more you will be distancing yourself from others. Pushing yourself away from them isn't suggested, but if you need to take time, then be wary of the time you are taking to dwell. Take a few hours, to understand your actions. Anything more than a few hours is now taking away time from your life.
The guilt and shame upon not forgiving yourself will not just consume you emotionally but also physically. These are the things that you won't notice yourself at first, but it will slowly manifest and be very visible in your perception of yourself, and how you move in the world. If you have the urge to punish yourself through self-sabotaging, always remember to do a physical activity, stretch, walk, ride a bike, move your body, eat healthily, and practice conscious meditation.
Ask for Help
The power of forgiving yourself is more effective when you ask others for help. Humility can allow you to receive the help that will allow you to move forward and prosper. Or you can have pride and stay stuck and stagnant with no clear way of prosperity. Sometimes, if you choose not to forgive yourself, you'll end up being stuck in the thoughts of your own mind, which could be self-destructive. The more you are full of yourself, the more your mind becomes cloudy of all the different thoughts that could pop up in your mind --- may it be good or bad. No one else would know that and these thoughts may consume you. That’s why it’s also vital to learn how to use discernment to help with the thoughts that could occur in your mind.
Even Superman needs help.
If you feel like things aren't that easy to handle anymore, never doubt to ask for professional help. Don't be afraid to share with them everything that's on your mind. They are there to help you in the process of forgiving yourself. Sometimes, they are the best people to pull you out of that deep hole of shame you built yourself.
Our self-discovery program workbook and as well as our sponsors are willing and more than happy to help start on your journey to self-discovery.
Be in a Forgiving Community
Lastly, forgiving yourself is not just a once-in-a-lifetime event, soon it may become a daily, weekly, or even a monthly thing that happens. Shame and guilt cannot be avoided, that's why you must surround yourself with a community that will learn to accept you for who you are. People that will not judge you based on what you have done or what have happened.
Do not fight this battle alone.
Find yourself a forgiving community full of forgiving people. It's a great practice to forgive yourself, but it's also a greater practice to forgive others. Remember, time alone doesn't heal all wounds, forgiveness does. If you are interested in looking for a community that suits you, take a look here and we will help you find one.