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Self-Forgiveness — The Ultimate Act Of Love!

Forgiving yourself is an important act of moving forward and releasing yourself from the past.

Forgiving yourself is in many ways more difficult than forgiving others.

All of us yearn for the freedom to live without guilt, shame or sadness. Some people are afraid to forgive themselves because they fear who they would be without the anger, resentment and vulnerability. Many people actually define their entire existence in terms of what they did years, or even decades ago! Is it possible they want their entire life to become a shrine to one painful event? Why? What is the emotional payoff for that? If we let all that go, do we lose a part of ourselves?

When you are in an emotional state of shame, self-hatred and pain you are being ruled by your ego mind.

We can only be in one state at any given moment, either in a state of fear or a state of love. The ego, once developed to protect you as child now runs amok in fear creating stories about what a bad person you are for what you did. It creates a continuing loop, and each time you relive the event in your mind, the neural pathways that were created become deeper and stronger, so it is easier to “fall back” into that thought and feeling. It poisons your mind, your heart, your body, and your life, and often the lives of those around you.

Before long, you view everything through that filter and your vision, your thoughts, and your emotional processes are so poisoned that the only thing you can see, think, or feel is pain, shame, resentment, and disappointment.

When you’re carrying around a sense of blame for something that has happened in the past, this bundle of negativity burrowing deep into yourself can cause a never-ending, pervasive sense of unhappiness. You cannot function properly if you resent yourself. Your relationships, your work, your physical health and your emotional well-being are all likely to suffer significantly if you are in a state of unresolved conflict with yourself. Being bitter against your own soul for the mistakes of your past will lead to self-loathing, reduced self-esteem and lack of self-worth.


Forgiving yourself is an important act of moving forward and releasing yourself from the past.

Self-forgiveness is an act of self-love. It’s also a way of protecting your health and general well-being and opening your heart. We all affected by perfectionism on some level, whether identified as overt or covert, an unrealistic expectation of oneself, that one should never fail. Self-forgiveness helps the perfectionist within us move from unrealistic expectations to more realistic expectations. Stop punishing yourself. Yes, you made a mistake, but you are human. Accept your vulnerabilities and faults. There is no need to keep replaying the mistake each day in your head. Grieve. It’s important to mourn the loss of unmet expectations and the loss the offense has brought.

If you’re stuck in a spiral of self-hate and never feeling good enough because of things that were once said to you or you said to hurt someone, self-forgiveness is essential. Let go of other people’s expectations for you. You have no control over what other people do and say. Sometimes people do and say things unconsciously that most likely have been motivated by the other person’s own shortcomings. Living your life in self-loathing because you don’t feel you lived up to someone else’s expectations is giving your power away to another, remaining hostage and bound to them. Once you start to forgive yourself and practice self-compassion daily it will bring about a corrected self-image, one in which you feel secure and worthy as you accept your imperfections as well as the imperfections of others.

Withholding forgiveness requires a lot of energy.

Wouldn’t you rather use that energy to live in the present instead of staying stuck reliving the past? Wouldn’t you prefer to live in the “now,” enabling you to move towards a more vibrant, happy future with a renewed sense of purpose, focusing on change, improvement and self-love? The choice always lies within your grasp, but it’s up to YOU to reach out and choose to make the decision to forgive yourself or ask for forgiveness. 


Sometimes we hold the erroneous belief that forgiving ourselves too easily removes the consequences of our behaviors or even condones it. Instead however, self-forgiveness assists us in facing the reality and impact of our behavior, which hurt others and ourselves and which urges us to make amends & restitution. Self-forgiveness helps us become responsible and accountable for ourselves.

Asking for forgiveness is a noble act.

It is an acknowledgement that you hurt someone and it makes it easier for the forgiver to forgive. Yes it does take courage to admit your role in the situation, but at the same time it reduces the shame and guilt you carry. It takes a burden away, but this is only the first step. If you really want to be forgiven by the person that you hurt, just apologizing is not enough. You have to try to right the wrong. A little effort can go a long way. While nothing can undo an unfortunate experience, making amends counts. It might help the injured party feel like you are doing something and it can go a long way to helping a person get over the wound, forgive and move on.

Forgiving oneself does not mean we forget what we have done.

It is one of the greatest acts of self-love to learn. Why? Because the ego will not vanish over night. Our past ‘story’ will not vanish over night. And when we feel comfortable, happy and healed, the ego can come sneaking on in so cunningly and throw us right back to where we never wanted to go again. It will happen. It’s inevitable.

We learn from it. The memories will always be there.

When we make the decision to love ourselves by letting go we open the door to healing, allowing our painful feelings to flow through us and to be worked through. It is then the emotional healing aspect of the process of Self-Forgiveness begins.  Self-Forgiveness is a must-have in everyone’s toolkit. When you self-forgive, you are self-loving…and this my dear, takes you to the home that resides in your heart.

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Di Riseborough

Di Riseborough is quickly becoming known as ‘The F-Word Specialist’. As a Fear & Forgiveness specialist, she helps you become consciously aware of what fears are driving your decisions in life, and assists you in making positive changes and better choices.

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25 Comments on "Self-Forgiveness — The Ultimate Act Of Love!"

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patricia jackson
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patricia jackson

I agree self-forgiveness is a key in your life. without it you can not have self love. I made a lot of bad choices and mistakes in my past, which built up a lot of shame guilt anger and resentment towards myself and others. even through a very abusive relationship I thought I was doing something wrong, or I deserved it. I was always hard on myself and up until recently ii began to forgive myself and love myself. so being in a very abuse relationship when you have no love for yourself brings you into such a deeper place feeling no self worth no respect or dignity I almost didn’t feel human. the hardest thing I had to forgive myself for was when I had a fight with my daughter it was the worst fight and she did not talk to me for a long time. I took responsibility for what I did. I decided to turn my life around thinking she deserves to see me well that is all she ever wanted. and not to worry about me. I hardly saw her during this time but I just wanted her to be happy and at the least she deserved a mom she could be proud of. all my misplaced anger sadness shame I had to work on through therapy, I went to an outpatient mental clinic I really worked on myself. when I left my ex I lived on my own for 3 yrs now, expect for the five months I lived with my parents. I got out of the environment I was in. I got to know myself, I never lived alone. just this past Christmas my daughter hugged me and told me she loved me. it was priceless. it made me want to just keep working on my self even more than I was. my thoughts change I was being positive towards myself and others. I forgave my ex abuser in dec 2016. it was freeing because it helped me more to forgive myself and love myself. it took away my shame guilt and anger. I had deep faith In God and through my struggles I would put things in his hands, and knew I would be okay. I started to be in support groups on facebook and began to help and inspire others. it made me so happy to do this. and I keep on doing this, got involved with an agency that will help me advocate for domestic violence and mental health. to make speechs, have fundraisers, different events , become a peer specialist. it is so exciting to me because through my tragedy I found a purpose and passion !! to be a domestic violence and mental health activist and advocate. and it is such an amazing feeling. this is a big part of loving myself and forgiving myself. I am doing good fpr people, I stay positive and try to help people who where once in the place I was at because it is an awful feeling. and loving myself I am ready to love someone else. and that is such an exciting thing to look forward to!! I have peace. I deserve happiness and to be treated good and I will never settle for less. I embrace my past it made me who I am today. if I think back to it I just have a moment that takes me back to something its only a moment I focus my energy on my life today giving all my energy to my goals and dreams. it is a wonderful thing. I am excited about my future. I have a long past and I overcame it, and I believe anyone can overcome it takes a lot of work and patience and if you fall a lot always get back up!! because if you cant forgive your past you cant love yourself and have the present and a future. it is so worth it, I am blessed it is like a second life. and a lot of people do not get that chance. I am making it the best life possible. know yourself forgive yourself love yourself then you have the greatest gift of actually start living your life. best of luck to everyone!

Ghidaa
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Ghidaa

Thanks a lot
I think if we love ourselve we can success in whole life

DonnaHaynes2296
Member

Wow!!! Your story is almost exactly my story! I need to lesrn how to forgive myself. I HAVE DONE A LOT OF BAD THINGS TO MYSELF AND PEOPLE!!! Especially my marriage!!! I regret that the most!!! He was the best man I ever had! Took him for grsnted! The latest st is never ending! I hate myself for it! I am miserable! I can’t seem to find a good therapist. And when I had a decent one I didn’t follow their advice. I need to find another therapist. I am soon to be57. Please offer me some advice? Thank you

Robina fazal
Member

Thanks…DiRiseborough💖💐for a beautiful and worthful article on forgiveness.. Absolutely forgiveness primarly important for our Souls ease and our lives moral ,spiritual,Social all activities to run smoothly ,Stable ,with confidence and positive energy…So we can love ourselves more ,can carry on our life with enthuiasum..peace of soul,mind and body…Yeah it’s not so easy to forgive ourselves for our mistakes and to Let go our past and to forgive the people who love ,care and respect but because of their grudges,illnesses,weaknesses and own benefits hurt us at times and cause us panic..they from heart not so bad..Their purposes are to make use of our capacities and capabilities to run their life safe..they take refuge in our sensitive.. big heart..they feel relaxed that we are caring and helping them purely with out demanding…They want us to devote our lives for them..although they know our desires ,wishes capacities….They feel we are their property..their wealth..The Gold Sparrow.. They gave us comforters.. positive good life…but not letting that Sparrow Sung her Songs in the meadows ,in the valleys with her full full of desires to be in nature,to be close to life..to gain her Sinlge breath relaxed and fresh.. to roam about and be in the life’s blessings to achieve her passions and to love herself more and to spread her love every where with intention to ease souls.. so her life gain real purpose and strength..She the Bird..She the Sparrow hurt some time those people who she love and care but at once feels guilt and asks for forgiveness…and sorry as She can’t tolerate hearts to feel pain..So She takes their pains and pressed and respect and love them more…Yeah She have to forgive her self for some of her Mistakes She did in her past life that cause pain in her heart as She Didn’t mean to do that mistakes but loneliness…Unfullfilent ..anger..worry.. let her Soul and mind free for some times ..She felt ease in the recreation hours..and did some beautiful mistakes.. that let her heart soothing but her Soul in pain…She tried all are life not to be so free ..so relaxed..that any mistake can be made..As She supposed to sacrifice her Soul for good purposes to care her family ,her relations in best ways even they don’t understand She is s Soul ..so sensitive who’s seeking for love and beloved.. She have to work hard and be positive and productive ..So to do these works..She have to forgive the mistakes she made not because those mistakes were bad or blunder..they cause pain and ache because those mistakes gave her temporary happiness…Peace and love..but She can’t linger them on…you may think it’s ridiculous..why She’s saying those were mistakes.. mistakes are mistakes..😀😉Ha.Ha.aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa it’s another phase of life…that we have to be some time forgive any good loving sensation in our hearts to be more a strong and healthy Human being.. Love yourself and love.care..respect All..it’s life…..Amen

Cheryl Bailey
Guest
Cheryl Bailey

I blame myself for the deaths of my beloved dogs and cats when my home burned three years ago because I didn’t think to go open the back door before I left to go for help. Most of their bodies were found at the back door. I see them in my dreams I miss them so much some were 10 years old and older up to 16. After the suicide of my son in 2004 and the farming accident death of my husband in 2013 they were all I had. Tears are streaming as I write this. How on earth do I ever forgive myself for their deaths

evelyn soneja trimidal
Guest
evelyn soneja trimidal

i don’t know if i can ease your pain…but during that time when your home burned, you were in a panic to ask for help, you forgot to open the back door. you can’t be blamed for that coz the mind when in panic,can only take too much. you can’t be expected to think of everything. we’re just human…we forget, we commit some ommissions. it’s time for you to let go…way time for you to forgive yourself.i wish you peace of mind.

chell
Member

Wow I can relate to this article I once was so bitter I forget to love and forgive myself which kept me in that horrible spiraling trapped unworthy sence self love and forgiveness to our mistakes do heal and open doors back up again I had to forgive thing people didn’t apologies for which is so hard but I realised I’m always going to be with me not them I dersve some peace and freedom so I stud back had a heartly talk to myself thankfully I pulled though that stage now I don’t point fingers I made me better instead thank you for sharing its extremely helpful also I’ve got recap at how not to fall back down into that category again god bless you for all you do for your guidance love and support and knowledge

Nicholas J Cobos
Member

Yes! A good friend once told me that, forgiveness is for YOU not for them. Forgiveness is your way to personal peace but it’s not a get out of jail free card for them. It just means you are going to accept what is and…well..not play a part in the story or game anymore.

Jo Davis
Member

I love the simplicity of this article! Thank you for reminding us that even when we have hurt others, continuing to spin that story just hurts us more. Allowing others the opportunity to forgive us, the act of doing this regardless of the outcome is so very kind. It is all a part of owning a new beautiful story. Well done Di Riseborough!

Barbara Vercruysse
Member

Thank you so much for this beautiful article!!! Sharing on my page <3

Applepea
Member

Indeed! We faced in a situation sometimes its not easy to way out. But still we face the fear. Forgiving and forgetting is the the way for our lives. Its not easy but we must. I have also some issues of forgiving myself. Its time for me to let go of the things that I can’t control. Thnks fr the lovely message and its inspires me a lot.

Stephan O'Leary
Guest
Stephan O'Leary

Why am I forgiving myself I was a victim it started before I could even walk. They used to put Whiskey in my baby bottle I was probably an alcoholic before I could talk this is no joke a very sad story one that I have lived with for 53 years being passed around like candy being molested by family members until I was 13 when I ran away never looked back. Almost daily sometimes several times a day the Gory details I probably shouldn’t share just yet I thought I did pretty well forgiving everyone. But I think you’re right I will have probably some kind of closier. Messed me up so bad that I had seizures. It’s starting to really get to me I’ll have to get back to you on this. Please try and understand. What I will say is when it starts that young you don’t know if it’s bad or good you don’t know if it’s love or hate it’s just something that happens. When you start to figure out how horrible it really is. It’s very frightening you become consumed with escaping. I’m stopping for now it gets painful

Tiffany Newsome
Guest
Tiffany Newsome

Self – Love is the best kind of love there is!

Lalie Nieto
Member

Self FORGIVENESS generally comes easy for me but it becomes tougher when i know that there are people who still holds a grudge against me or are still condemning me. But tough as it seems, it is imperative to give this special gift to oneself otherwise you won’t be able to move on. No matter what is happening around You, be extra gentle, compassionate and loving to yourself, flaws and all. And of course, learn from your lessons and strive to correct them. And in case you fall into a relapse, just pick up the pieces again. Just keep on forgiving yourself no matter what. “People make mistakes not because the are bad, because they are human”-SR 🤗
Thank you Di, Bryant and Jenni 💕🦋 Sharing this 😍

Diane Hawthorne
Guest
Diane Hawthorne

The only way to grow is to forgive yourself for each and every bad decision you have made. You don’t have to forget because those decisions made you who you are today. This is no easy feat, but with conscience effort you can move on. I’ve been there done that and have the tee shirt. I use my bad decisions as examples for others to demonstrate that what you see is work in progress.

Alison Anderson
Member

The hardest thing I find is being able to forgive myself and stick to it. I did something so wrong it had catastrophic consequences and for over 17 years I have been unable to forgive myself. The consequences of my actions unfortunately cannot be undone, I will never have the chance to know if my friend has or could forgive me because she is no longer with us, she is with God. I cancelled going out with her on a night out using a lie for the reason because I was stupid enough and selfish enough to be having an affair with a married man and was with him that night. It wasn’t until two days later when I got to University that I was called to the faculty office to be told that she had taken her own life on the night/ early hours of the next day that I had cancelled her. I’d I had not been so very selfish and disloyal that night then maybe I could have stopped her. Although I knew she had mental health issues and had stood by her many times before, I had no inclination that night that she was down or considering going to take her own life. If I had I would have spent every waking moment with her to help her see that she had all to live for and made sure she got professional help. If I could take back that night and my irresponsible, selfish , cruel actions then I would for anything in this world!
I try so hard to tell myself she would have done it anyway or at another time but letting her down like that was so unforgivable I have never found a way to forgive myself.
I’m sorry for going on but if there is any advice or help I could get out of thisI would be eternally grateful! The only thing that has ever come from this apart from my continuous guilt is I couldn’t take my own life and do the same to any of my friends and family because of the pain I would cause them

Frankie
Guest
Frankie

I am always surprised when I hear someone say they have a hard time forgiving themselves. Forgiveness must start with self forgiveness. We carry all kinds of burdens around. Some are burdens we carry because of love and we don’t mind lugging them around. With that being said, let’s off load unnecessary burdens like forgiveness of Self.

baya elbey
Member

i totally agree self love and forgiveness is the key to a beautiful self acceptance and self satisfaction. thank you so much for posting this helpful article.

chell
Member

self love is the most important because without it you cant fully give back and your own soul needs what you give out around you my past has been for 12 years unbelievable hard and its hard to drag yourself from rock bottom twice, i do need to forgive more mainly for my own piece of mind its when i trip now and then and just reading and intaking the tooled information in this article helps alot more than you know thank you for sharing

Jan
Guest
Jan

Thank you for those words, I had a relationship I thought was going somewhere, but found out the other person didn’t see it that way, although he did at the time, then he stopped texting me and ringing me ,now I don’t hear from him at all, i blamed myself thinking I had done something wrong, but now realize it’s not me but him. and I have to have more respect for myself.

Helen Doe
Member

How about if you were the victim?
Your abuser hid behind a religion for decades. At the age of 10 you hold it in for 2/3 years, then it all flood’s out, your parents believe him, hi is one of them…he is married to your big sister. Then 3 decades later the police come to you for help because other girls have come forward.
We go to court…he goes to prison. YOU become a septic article on your family for bringing their God’s name to shame. You try to take your life but your Husband finds you. So you hate him for that.
Disowned by my family I was told by the police my mum had died. I was stopped from seeing my Dad. My sister wrote a letter and got him to sign it.
They even tried to have his funeral in secret.
How do I forgive a lifetime of hurt. Please tell me because I did nothing wrong, they all did.

evelyn soneja trimidal
Guest
evelyn soneja trimidal

here’s a food for thought for everybody….if you love someone very much to the point that you lose yourself, why not turn that love around and focus it on-YOU? you’re willing to love others with all your hear- why not love yourself with all your heart?i’m now trying to do that to myself-i’m not being selfish…i’m only trying to make myself happy for a change…for so long, i’ve focused my attention on other people,serving them, showing them i love them…and in return being left alone when they no longer need me…now, that love will be centered on me…i’ll try to experience how it feels to be showered by that love from myself…

Indie Childs
Member

Self-forgiveness is so important. When I did my personal inventory when I was recovering, it was an eye opening experience. To truly forgive yourself is such a wonderful thing. It is not easy. Once you finally really forgive yourself it is wonderful and very freeing.

Freida Gran
Guest
Freida Gran

Thank you so much. I really needed this today. Again, thank you.

Beatrice Hernandez
Member

Beautifully written and a powerful lesson that one never realizes is necessary.
So true it is easier to forgive others than oneself..
My Father felt guilty for being a soldier during WWII.
He felt it was a sin to take another life.
He explained how he confessed this sin to the Catholic priest. The Father explained he was in a battlefield and had no choice.
He never felt like a Hero and kept his medals at his Father’s home.
Remembering how it affected his life helped me understand how difficult life can be.
My Father was a very religious person and
always asked that we forgive the most terrible acts committed against us.
This is something remembered from my teen years. It doesn’t mean we are Saints it just makes life better for oneself.
It is a painful process if you hold all that inside of you all your life..
We all make mistakes and need to learn not to repeat them.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and
lessons….