Certain times in life can have us feeling drained, emotionally sore, and uncomfortable in our skin. One feeling to prevail this way is being unable to forgive yourself. Be it a small remark that you wish you held back, or a big, booming mistake you’d cringe to name—learning to forgive yourself is a necessary tool for a healthy self-image.
Forgiveness and Self-Image
Your self-image is like the filter which you see the world through. A lack of self-forgiveness can leave this filter clouded, causing a shortage of clarity that can lead to a further decline in positive perception. This affects what we perceive, not only outward, but also internally. It’s essentially a circle of doom for our relationships, ability to cope with life’s difficulties, and our sense of self in general.
We know that forgiveness in our relationships with others is imperative if a relationship is to survive adversity. Why would our relationship with ourselves be any different? It’s quite literally the only relationship we can never walk away from.
If you’ve decided it’s time to forgive yourself, bravo. You deserve it, no matter what you’ve done. It is okay to fail. Here are some steps you can take to follow through.
Make Amends Where Necessary
If you’ve legitimately wronged another person, don’t drag yourself through the dirt for it. If you already have, throw that bit into the forgiveness pile. Compartmentalize your wrongdoings into a space where they have been received, processed, and integrated into the way you move forward.
Don’t neglect the work, though. If there’s a deal you need to make with yourself, make it. Only you will know how. If it’s something you need to share, come clean, or work out with someone else—do it. Do it in pieces or all at once, but do it. Make your apologies with confidence that you’ll be better going forward. Then, be better.
Tell Guilt to Go Home
Did someone say: out of proportion? Forgiveness is all about proportion when you consider it. It’s observing a negative aspect in proportion to what could or should have been. Take those opposing angles, and flip them. Shrink the ratio of what’s preventing you from finding forgiveness. Do this by working through it, tying up any loose ends, and sending it on its way.
What this does is instill a confident authority in yourself to move forward regardless of feelings of guilt. Anger from others is often unavoidable, but guilt from others is unacceptable. No one deserves to have things held over their head. If you’re doing this with yourself, isolate if there is something specific you must do to move on. Then, decide that guilt has no place in healing.
The Case for Taking Your Time
If you feel you need time to heal from something, or you’re feeling the brunt force of someone else who needs to heal, breathe. Work through it. Sometimes forgiveness takes time, and that is perfectly okay. If you find this is the case, be patient. Do this by showing yourself kindness and tuning into your self care practice.
No, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Could it be destroyed in a day? Probably, but not without a rippling effect that would expand past the ruins. It’s often this type of impact that makes forgiveness such a tedious task. In time, the severity of situations lifts, and life makes way for evolution. Forgive yourself, and evolve well.