5 Things to Do Right Now to Help You Forgive Yourself
What do you do when someone treats you badly? What if the person who mistreated you…is you?
Self-forgiveness is a tricky process. We become angry at ourselves all the time for our misdeeds and wrongdoings, but we're not as likely to cut ourselves the slack so that we might grow beyond it. Why? In part because we don't always know how to forgive the one person we know the best: ourselves.
If this sounds like you, there is hope. You can try one of these quick tips right now to start the process off right:
Taking a step back and focusing on how we betrayed ourselves goes a long way toward understanding just what happened and why. Did you let yourself down somehow? Or were your expectations off? If things don't seem clear, try journaling to help sort out your feelings and get to the heart of the matter.
Figure Out What You Want
What are you seeking from self-forgiveness? Are you just wanting to end the negative inner dialogue, or are you looking to restore a sense of peace in how you feel about yourself? A more precise idea of the outcome you want will show you what you need most from forgiveness.
Define the Emotions
What are you feeling right at this moment? Try separating the emotion from the event. Remind yourself emotions are reactions to the event, nothing more. Try to step outside of them and control how you feel. Forgiveness is easier when you can set aside your feelings and look at things more logically.
Give Yourself a Cease-and-Desist Order
Thinking over and over about what you did is only going to keep you there at the moment. Don’t allow yourself to revisit the past. The moment these thoughts come up, change the subject. Think about something else. Remind yourself forgiveness means consciously stepping back from what happened. Try thinking about something you’re looking forward to instead.
When was the last time you told yourself you were sorry? Try writing a heartfelt letter to yourself in which you apologize for your actions. Read the letter aloud to yourself or have someone else read it to you, so you hear the words if it helps.
Most of what you need right now is to stop what you're doing and redirect yourself to a better way of thinking. Interrupting negative thoughts will give you room to forgive and finally move past what happened so you can grow and become the best version of yourself possible.