UNDERSTANDING THE CONCEPT OF SELF-FORGIVENESS
Updated: Oct 19, 2020
I remember in my difficult times, how I had all this built up anger over many different people and the way that they had treated me. I thought that it was all about them. Yes, they had hurt me, but I was also hurting myself with my low self-esteem and self-love. Yes, I really hated myself. My hurt was so incredibly deep, and I just brought this forward out into the world. I really needed to forgive myself, but I did not know-how, and I really did not think it could be done.
Self-forgiveness is not about letting yourself off the hook nor is it a sign of weakness. The act of forgiveness, whether you are forgiving yourself or someone who has wronged you, does not suggest that you are condoning the behaviour. It means that you accept the behaviour, you accept what has happened, and you are willing to move past it and move on with your life without ruminating over past events that cannot be changed.
We need to accept the responsibility which means to accept what happened to you and show compassion for yourself. Facing what you have done or what has happened is the first step toward self-forgiveness. It is also the hardest step. This way you can avoid negative emotions, such as excessive regret and guilt.
As a result of taking responsibility, you may experience a range of negative feelings, including guilt and shame. When you have done something wrong, it is completely normal, to feel guilty about it. These feelings of guilt and remorse can serve as a springboard to positive behavioural change.
While guilt implies that you are a good person who did something bad, shame makes you see yourself as a bad person. This can bring up feelings of worthlessness which, left unresolved, can lead to addiction, depression, and aggression.
Making amends is an important part of forgiveness, particularly when the person you are forgiving is yourself. So, to move past your guilt is to take action to rectify your mistakes.
Everyone makes mistakes and has things for which they feel sorry or regretful. Falling into the trap of rumination, self-hatred, or even pity can be damaging and make it difficult to maintain your self-esteem and motivation. It is a matter of finding a way to learn from the experience and grow as a person.
People who have suffered abuse, trauma, or loss, may feel shame and guilt even though they had no control. This can be particularly true when people feel they should have been able to predict, and therefore avoid, a negative outcome.
Letting go and offering yourself forgiveness can help boost your feelings of wellness and improve your image of yourself. Self-compassion is associated with higher levels of success, productivity, focus, and concentration. The act of forgiveness can also positively impact your physical health. Having a compassionate and forgiving attitude toward yourself is also a critical component of successful relationships.