I think we hold ourselves to these impossible standards because of our need to be wanted.
Our need to be liked, to be loved, to be admired, becomes the driving force behind the things that we do and if we slip from the path of “perfection” we have to admit not only to others, but to ourselves that we have flaws. That we are fully capable of making mistakes that we have deemed in our minds as unforgivable. But when we make these mistakes, instead of seeing them as moments to grow, moments to rest and contemplate, or moments to learn, we get lost in the worm whole of never being enough and never being able to forgive ourselves for it.
The power of self-forgiveness is to be able to absolve yourself of guilt and shame. Not to forget the past but to use it to inform your future. To release yourself from the strength holds of perfection and to allow that messy human that you are to design her own path that was ,truly, only intended for you.
When you forgive yourself you grant yourself permission to heal.
Which is exactly what you deserve.
5 Ways to Practice Self-Forgiveness
1.Make peace with the situation
It happened and there is absolutely nothing you can do to change it. You can play the scene over and over again like a broken record or you can accept that no matter how many scenarios you wished played out, the one that actually did is the only one you get.
2. Be honest with yourself.
Yes, you did something you are not proud of. You may have hurt someone in the process. There is guilt and shame there. Let it exist. If you bury it and pretend its not there it festers and can possibly grow into something that makes you make the same kind of decisions again.
3. Learn something from it
It may seem like this catastrophic event has no redeeming factors, but how do you think people make lemons out of lemonade? Life happens in the messy and unfocused and you will never know how to be the person you want to be without experiencing the person you don’t.
4. Forgive the child inside of who is doing the best they can
The child in you wants to feel safe. Most of the time when we make decisions that hurt other people, it has more to do with the insecurity and discomfort we are feeling in ourselves. We want to feel alright. We don’t want to be left behind. We are still learning how to make decisions that serve our best interest. Aka, adulting.
Self-forgiveness is not an overnight process but what makes it easier is to know and truly believe that you are every bit deserving of it. That you deserve to move on, to feel good about who you are, to love who you are.