Forgiveness is often seen as an act of kindness towards others, but it is equally important to extend that same kindness to ourselves. Self-forgiveness is the act of releasing oneself from negative emotions, such as guilt or shame, that may be holding you back from personal growth and healing. After spending the past year putting my life back together after and doing the hard interpersonal work on healing myself I’ve learned a lot, and write this with you in mind…whoever you are that decided to click on this title. I want you to know that this path is hard and is going to piss you off because it requires looking inward and taking accountability for your decisions.
We will explore the importance of self-forgiveness, the barriers that may prevent you from forgiving yourselves, and the process of self-forgiveness.
Why is self-forgiveness necessary? Seeking forgiveness from others can be an important step towards repairing relationships, but self-forgiveness is necessary for personal healing. When we do not forgive ourselves for past mistakes, we may experience negative emotions, such as shame, guilt, and self-blame, that can lead to anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem of which I can tell you first hand that all of those negative feelings will come out inadvertently. It will seep out in the tonality of your voice, in the tension in your face, or stiffness in your body, or worst it will make you self isolate in a way where you are just wallowing in self sabotaging behaviors and what I like to call “functional depression”. By forgiving ourselves, we can let go of these negative emotions and begin to heal from past wounds.
However, there are many barriers that may prevent individuals from forgiving themselves. For example, shame and guilt, two attributes I was carrying around when it wasn’t my burden to bear made it difficult to acknowledge mistakes and let go of negative feelings. Fear of judgment or rejection from others can also make it difficult to forgive oneself. To overcome these barriers, it is important to practice self-compassion and remind yourself that mistakes are a natural part of the human experience. The hardest part is when those mistakes are related to matters of the heart.
The process of self-forgiveness involves acknowledging mistakes, taking responsibility for one’s actions, and offering oneself forgiveness. It is important to practice self-compassion and treat yourself with kindness throughout the process. One technique I’ve explored for self-forgiveness is to write a letter to yourself, acknowledging mistakes and expressing self-forgiveness. Another technique is to practice self-compassion meditation, which involves directing kind and compassionate thoughts towards oneself.
Some of the benefits of self-forgiveness can lead to improved mental and emotional well-being. By letting go of negative emotions, individuals can experience greater self-esteem, reduced anxiety and depression, and improved relationships with others. Self-forgiveness can also help lead you to personal growth and increased resilience in the face of future challenges and adversity. Just know that it does require daily practice, and there will be days when you think you’ve dealt with those feelings or like you’re past something and then almost out of nowhere something will trigger you and before you know it you’ll have a day where you angrier or feeling more bitter than before. Just know those are the days that you have to dig in and love yourself a little more and remind yourself that you are worthy of internal peace and happiness.
Forgiving oneself is a crucial step towards personal healing and growth. By letting go of negative emotions and offering oneself kindness and compassion, you can begin to heal from past wounds and move forward with greater self-esteem and resilience. I encourage my readers to practice self-forgiveness and self-compassion in their own lives and extend the same kindness and forgiveness to themselves that they would offer to others.
No matter how shitty things may feel or be, just know that this too shall pass and its temporary. Be patient with yourself, and try to root yourself with an attitude of gratitude for something, just find something to be thankful for and let it be what guides you through whatever negative episode you may be facing. I can tell you that this past year I have cried, screamed, even began to get a little vindictive which didn’t actually make me feel better. It was taking a step back, taking a deep breath, and reminding myself that I’ve already won by being able to do just that. Find those little wins and let it overcome. Those self sabotaging burdens most likely aren’t even yours to carry to let it go, and give yourself thanks for making it through.
I highly encourage you to try seeing an energy healer, reiki, or a shaman to assist you with clearing out that old trauma or stagnant energy. I’ve linked my two favorites below:
If you’re in Los Angeles, CA check out my divine friend Christina Galvez to help you unblock mental, emotional, and spiritual blocks.
If you’re in Austin, TX check out my otherworldly guide Vanessa Spiva to help you rediscover your life path, purpose, power, and passion.
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