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Healing Guilt Through Self-Forgiveness

One of the important lesson in life is not to love yourself, but also to forgive yourself, letting it go even if it matters to you.

Photo by Gabriel Benois on Unsplash
Photo by Gabriel Benois on Unsplash

We screw-up sometimes, part of living and life lessons, messing up with others and also with ourselves, but why is forgiving others is so much easier than to forgive ourselves? It’s always easy to forgive others, as their footsteps are just passer-by in our life, not staying long. The only character is our image and our strong voices that are deep-rooted in our mind, reciting us the bad memory that we want to get rid of, instead of forgiving ourselves. I started to re-examine my practice towards self-forgiveness when I read the newsletter from Thrive Global about forgiveness.

“Forgiveness comes in many forms, from letting go of anger and resentment to moving on from past mistakes. While moving from anger to forgiveness can be very challenging, it can also be very rewarding.
We want to know: How do you forgive yourself and others?”

This is interesting, I said to myself. Self-forgiveness has taught me to be easy and calm with myself as I walk through my life. I recalled an encounter happened few months back, on practicing self-forgiveness, it was a typical day after work.

[The Lost]

Back home after dinner, placing my watch on the shelf as usual.

“Oh my, where’s my rings?” My wedding ring and my 5 years anniversary ring, both were no longer seen on my fingers.

Searching my bags and my pockets (not there).

First thing popped-up into my mind was “Oh no, I placed them in office, I must go and get them back”.

[It’s my Fault]

With feverish haste, I drove to office, hoping both the rings waiting for me safe.

My long desk, washroom, not a sight of them.

“Gone, no sign, I couldn’t find the rings, I lost them”. With a heavy heart, chunky breath, “ok, gone” I told myself.

While I am harshly self-criticizing myself, wondering how could I get rid of the lesson.

I put my hand down to my pocket and I felt something solid in circle.

That’s my 2 rings.

Oh, both rings were in my pockets (all these while), I must be so hurry and flurry just now till I missed the rings in all my search at home.

[The Learning]

Feeling great relieve, seriously, I told myself “What a relief”

A relief of getting the rings back? Yes

A relief of able to trust my self-management skill? Yes

Yes, but there are something else….

A relief of able to forgive myself? Oh Yes, Yes, Yes. That’s it, that’s how I am feeling now. Relief of able to self-forgiving.

Smiling, appreciating The God, loving myself, started again on my way back home, holding firm my gratefulness and important lessons.

[My thoughts on Self-forgiveness]

Self-critique may be helpful in healthy doses, becoming more self-aware and achieving growth through introspection, when things get taken in excess it may become self-criticism. We are not perfect being, we could jump into a fall short or misstep anytime. Our emotional fitness depends on our ability to rebound to our beautiful state, reduce hurt and anger.

Practicing self-forgiveness has reminded me to smile and acknowledge where my mistake is or have been, while allowing space for me to grow better where I am heading. Below are 3 techniques that hold good for my self-forgiveness practice.

1. Positive self-talk

2. Be kind to yourself

3. Take mistakes as learning opportunities

The world most remarkable power is forgiveness. Self-forgiveness is the first step to enhance health and relationship with ourselves. Remember, forgive does not mean you are putting it down, it just mean you can move on better, faster.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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