How To Forgive Yourself

May 14, 2018

Is it possible to learn how to forgive yourself?  Especially if, for most of your life, you have struggled to do so?  Forgiving others may come easily (depending on the person and the situation), but I have found that many of my clients find it especially difficult to forgive themselves. Forgiving yourself requires that you […]

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Is it possible to learn how to forgive yourself?  Especially if, for most of your life, you have struggled to do so?  Forgiving others may come easily (depending on the person and the situation), but I have found that many of my clients find it especially difficult to forgive themselves.
Forgiving yourself requires that you practice self-compassion and  self-love, which are very much interconnected.  Forgiving yourself is not something you can do one time,  by saying, “ok I want to forgive myself” and then you do some work and you never think about it again.  Honestly, it’s something you have to work at over and over again.  Today, I’m going to share some strategies that can help you do just that.
First, think about how much this situation is distracting you and taking you out of your everyday life.  Why do you think it is so hard to forgive yourself in this case?  

Journaling To Forgive Yourself 
One way you can try to answer that questions is through journaling.  I’ve said it once, and I’ll probably say it a million more times, so bear with me! 🙂   It’s just really wonderful to have a place where you can process all your thoughts and write everything down without fear of having to censor yourself in any way.  Journaling allows you to “say” what’s on your heart without worrying what anyone else will say or think.  If you are at a loss for how to start, write about why you’re having trouble forgiving yourself; maybe think about a time in your life when that first started for you.  Was it always this way from the time you were a child?  Do you remember another time you had trouble forgiving yourself easily?  Do you feel like there are (or were) people in your life who withhold forgiveness from you?  And did that, perhaps, play a role? By asking yourself questions like these, you can really get to the root of why it is hard to forgive yourself.

How Therapy Helps You Forgive Yourself 

If journaling isn’t your thing (some people love it, but some people don’t), that’s totally fine.  However, in that case, it would be beneficial to talk to someone about what you’re experiencing.  Talking to a therapist is an especially good idea; it’s a safe space for you to say whatever you need to say and process through your feelings.  I may be slightly biased (as a therapist myself), but I believe therapy may even be more helpful for this particular circumstance.  Why?  Because therapists will ask you the questions that you might even be afraid to ask yourself.  
Friends, therapy doesn’t have to be a life-long commitment, either.  Many times therapy can just be an as-needed thing, something you do when you feel you have something to process through privately, and with a professional.  Obviously, certain problems require more intensive therapy but for most people, by and large, just checking in with a therapist is a really good idea to maintain your good mental health. 
Figure out what would be best for you, but I firmly believe having a place where you can go and say anything, and have that therapist then ask you questions that maybe your closest friends would never ask you will really help you understand why you’re not forgiving yourself.  Then, and only then, will you be able to show yourself compassion and forgiveness.  

Forgiving Yourself Requires Support
So yes, this is may sound like a big push for therapy.  I’m ok with that.  After all, it is Mental Health Awareness month; this may be the perfect time to take that first step and make that first appointment.  Going to therapy doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you; it simply means you are willing to do the hard work of leaning into what you are feeling and experiencing, uncomfortable as it may be.  
We have to end the stigma around mental health and that is my sincere hope whenever I publish a blog post or do an Instagram or Facebook Live. We all have problems and difficult emotions at times; let’s not allow stigma to hold us back from making that appointment with a therapist, if needed.  
Lastly, allow me to share a few other blog posts about self-love and self-compassion, which you may also find helpful.  

Let me know if you have additional questions or concerns, my friends!  As always, I’m all ears!  Have an amazing week and I hope to catch you at my Instagram Live on Thursday at 3 pm (EST).  

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