4 Ways to Forgive Yourself and Find Peace

4 Ways To Forgive Yourself and Find Peace. Understanding your human nature in order to own your mistakes, achieve self-forgiveness and not dwell in the past.

 

4 Ways To Forgive Yourself and Find Peace. Understanding your human nature in order to own your mistakes, achieve self-forgiveness and not dwell in the past.

We sometimes, or perhaps, way too often, make bad decisions. Then, we have the tendency to blame someone else for the outcome or even blame it on God and say ¨God, why did you let that happen to me?¨ I know the feeling, I´ve been there. For 2 years, I kept wondering why God was allowing me to go through such a situation, heartbreaking and all. Until one day, I realized He warned me, He did let me know it wasn´t a good choice, but hey, Andrea ¨knows best¨, right? And then BOOM! A terrible decision was made and it was my fault, nobody else’s. I chose not to listen to anyone, including God.

Needless to say, the outcome of making that bad decision, was indeed terrible. However, as terrible as it was, it taught me a lot. It made me a better person, it made me grow (emotionally, spiritually, economically) and making that decision, has shaped me into who I am today. Now, for me to be writing about this and see the positive side-effect of this bad decision, I had to go through a process of forgiving MYSELF. And yeah, it´s a process. It´s not something you achieve overnight. You have to learn to let go (you can read more on the importance of letting go here) and be at peace with yourself. Here are four ways to forgive yourself and find peace.

1. Accept the past

We need to understand that the past is in fact, the past. Unless we have a time machine that can take us back in time in order to re-do something, we better accept it. Nonetheless, the past is a lesson, not a sentence, not a place of residence. Hence, why we should accept it, embrace it, and move on. If anything, the past is a great teacher, so we should just let it be exactly that: a wonderful, sometimes crude,  teaching experience.

Accepting the past is the first step towards forgiving yourself. By accepting the past, you lift a huge load off your shoulders, but more specifically, off your mind. By doing this, you prepare yourself for a new and different perspective on life.

 

2. Stop punishing yourself

This seems to be recurring when we regret a decision. We pretty much punish ourselves for it. By¨ punish¨ I don´t mean whipping the crap out of yourself or doing ¨time out¨ on a corner. Nope. It´s more of a mental thing we do and beat ourselves internally for a bad decision made. This needs to stop, for real. You need and have to accept you did the best you could at the time when you made the decision.

Punishing yourself is only going to make matters worse, not better. So why do we continue to bash ourselves for something we did wrong? It´s called regret. And boy, do we dwell on it. We focus too much and pour large amounts of energy into that feeling, into that closed door. Let´s face it, the past is like a closed door…there´s nothing we can do to open it. Sayonara! Adiós! Here´s a little enlightenment from Alexander Graham Bell:

¨When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.¨    

Instead, we should focus on what´s ahead. Pour your energy into the ¨opened door¨ which will be saner than focusing on something you literally can´t do anything about. Harness that regret into an experience. Because that´s what´s really about. Identify what makes you feel regret and then learn from it, see it as an experience that taught you well and finally, stop dwelling on it. Take the good, leave the bad.

4 Ways To Forgive Yourself and Find Peace. Understanding your human nature in order to own your mistakes, achieve self-forgiveness and not dwell in the past.

3. You´re only human

So here´s the thing…You´re human. Humans make mistakes. It´s natural, it´s normal. And for crying out loud, do not play the comparison game. We often compare ourselves to others, usually to those we look up to and say to ourselves ¨Clark would have never made the same mistake I did¨ or ¨Louise is smarter and wouldn´t have made such a poor choice¨, etc. Like it or not, you are you. And that´s wonderful! Embrace being you!

There´s always something good in a bad situation, in a bad decision. You just have to actually think about it and assess the situation properly. And by properly, I mean learn from it and then move on. Take that lesson, cherish it and get on with your life. Nobody is perfect. Let me repeat that: NOBODY IS PERFECT. So, when we screw up,  learn the lesson, make amends, and move on. Making a martyr of ourselves due to our own mistakes isn´t going to help us or anyone around us.

4 Ways To Forgive Yourself and Find Peace. Understanding your human nature in order to own your mistakes, achieve self-forgiveness and not dwell in the past.

4. Bye-bye guilt!

Self-forgiveness involves getting rid of harmful and/or shameful feelings, and this includes guilt. Condemning yourself for what you´ve done in the past, for the decisions you once made, only leads to the destruction of your own self. Now, guilt can trigger a positive effect on you when that guilt becomes a compelling reason to fuel a positive change in you.  As defined by Psychology Today, guilt and its handmaiden, shame, can paralyze us–or catalyze us into action. Appropriate guilt can function as social glue, spurring one to make reparations for wrongs. Excessive rumination about one’s failures, however, is a surefire recipe for resentment and depression.

So you see, in order to properly thrive in one´s life, you must get rid of any guilt feelings. Especially that guilt that becomes excessive and incessant, since it can be very detrimental to your health.

And Finally…

Forgive yourself and be at peace with yourself. Like I mentioned before, we are human, we make mistakes. Making mistakes is what allows us to continuously grow, evolve, and most importantly, learn.

So, before saying ´till next time´, you need to know that I am not a licensed psychologist or an expert on the subject. What I´ve written is based on my personal experience and my journey on owning my mistakes and forgiving myself. For this reason, I´m including a few extra links where you can find more in-depth information (written by experts) about self-forgiveness and don´t miss out on completing this crucial step in your life. So, without further ado, here are the links:

  1. How to Forgive Yourself and Move on from the Past by Matt James Ph.D.
  2. The Healthy Way to Forgive Yourself by Juliana Breines
  3. 10 Ways to Forgive Yourself and Let Go of the Past by Megan Hale
  4. 12 Ways to Forgive Yourself-No Matter What You´ve Done by Ellen Michaud

I sincerely wish you all the very best. As always, I´d love to know your comments on this or if you have any questions, don´t hesitate to leave a comment below or shoot me an email at andrea@moonlightsweetness.com

Till next time! Cheers y´all! 🙂

33 Comment

  1. I feel guilty all the time. It’s so much easier to forgive others than myself. – Corey

    1. Nooo, please don´t feel guilty! But I get you, it is hard to forgive oneself…it´s harder than forgiving others but forgiving yourself and getting read of all the guilt is necessary to be at peace and to fully enjoy today. Thanks for stopping by. Sending you my best wishes and wishing you a fantastic week!XO

  2. Thank you so much for starting my morning on the right foot with these words of inspiration. <3

  3. 21flavorsofsplendor says: Reply

    Love this! I’ve been guilty of holding on to my mistakes and guilt way to long. After we acknowledge our mistakes and missteps, we have to ask God for forgiveness and then forgive ourselves. Because like you said, God warns us and we choose not to listen. Then after we’ve asked for forgiveness and forgiven ourselves it is so important to let go of that guild and more forward.

    1. Exactly! We ask God for forgiveness but we continue to punish ourselves for it when by His grace, we’ve already been forgiven. So there’s no point in not forgiving ourselves and carry unnecessary guilt. I’m so glad you liked this post! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  4. Love your quote cards! And great resources!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  5. So many good truths in this post! I think a lot of people are their own worst critic, and realizing we are just human and no is perfect is the mind set to peace like you said!! I hope you have a wonderful week! XO

    https://www.theweekenderafashionfieldguide.com

    1. Hi, Jessica! Thanks for your input. I completely agree with you! It’s important to acknowledge we’re only humans, own our mistakes, learn from them and move on. Dwelling in the past is of no use as it only makes the present “heavier”. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  6. Forgiveness is so important in helping us move forward! Great post!

    1. Absolutely! Moving forward is the only way to actually getting somewhere! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  7. I read that when you forgive, you do it more for yourself than to let the person who is being forgiven off the hook. It is to let yourself be free so that you can move on and be happy and healthy

  8. AMEN! Need to remember this more often. Especially that I’m just a human and don’t need to do everything to please others.
    Much love xxx

  9. I really need to remember this. Forgiveness is so so so hard, especially for ourselves!

    1. Yes, it’s very hard, but oh, so necessary if we want to move forward and have peace. Thanks for reading! 🙂

  10. Definitely needed to read this this morning! Thank you for your lovely words. I definitely need to try to be kinder to myself sometimes!

    1. I’m so glad you found this post inspiring and of help!That made my day! And yes, don’t be so hard on yourself. We all make that mistake, especially as women, but you’re amazing! Never forget that! 🙂

  11. Stop punishing yourself is advice you will often here from em during coaching sessions. We cannot move forward if we are stuck in a loop of negativity.

    1. Exactly! If we’re stuck on the negative aspect of our lives we cannot move forward. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  12. Great tips! It’s hard to remember Im just human!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  13. Such good advice! When I made the decision to leave my job to be a SAHM, it was a very difficult decision for me to make. I had a boss tell me to continue to look forward and not look back and know that I made the best decision for myself in that moment. It’s really helped me to remember that on the difficult days. Not exactly “forgiving myself” but along the same lines as your tip for “accept the past”.

    1. I’m so glad you found this post useful! And yes, it’s important to accept our past and take the best from it, instead of dwelling on it. You made a brave decision! Kudos girl! 🙂

  14. Reading this opened my eyes… If I don’t live in peace with myself, who will? These tips will also make some anxiety (powered by guilt and regret) go away, for sure. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed reading this! And yes, it’s very important to forgive yourself and be at peace. Others see you as you see yourself so having inner peace is essential for living and enjoying the present. Thanks for reading! 🙂

  15. I’ve recently been thinking about the concept of guilt catalyzing rather than paralyzing. Accepting our weaknesses and allowing for mistakes – and then learning from them – really is the way to go. Thank you for the reminder.

    1. Exactly! Totally agree with you! It is necessary to learn from our mistakes and the move on. Dwelling on them isn’t healthy and keep you stuck in the same place. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  16. Yes! Pour yourselves into an open door-great words. We can’t change what has been done but we have a choice of moving forward. Too often we dwell, re-live, and rehash what is in the past. but that’s futile, theres nothing we can do about it now. We have to learn to carry on, and forgive.

    1. Exactly! Wise words, girl! Living in the past not only keeps you from actually enjoying the present, but it’s also detrimental to our health. Thanks for reading! 🙂

  17. These are things I try and practice daily. Sometimes just for the remembernce of the fact that things do get better.

    1. I’m so glad for you! Kudos girl! That’s the way to go! Thanks for reading! 🙂

  18. I felt so at peace reading this beautiful, relatable post. I have a tendency to live in the past and dwell on feelings of guilt/blame and this post was such an important reminder to focus on the future and what’s up ahead. Thank you for the uplifting, healing vibes <3

    Sophie | soinspo xo

    1. Hi, Sophie! I’m glad you enjoyed reading this post! Living in the past makes no sense at it keep us from really enjoying our present time. It’s important to forgive ourselves and just let go. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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