Forgiving Yourself for Making Mistakes
All too often, it’s easy to give yourself a harder time for the mistakes or missteps you may have made, in spite of finding it rather easy to forgive others for their transgressions. This is because, a lot of times, we as humans tend to view ourselves far more critically than we do those around us. After all, we know we should know better, but we don’t know that other people should. In spite of that, and perhaps precisely because you know you should know better, forgiving yourself for your mistakes is a major step toward better mental health.
Making Peace with Ourselves
The reality is that there are a number of missteps and mistakes that we make throughout our lives, some really big, some really small, but none of those things should hold us back from making peace with those mistakes, with other people, or with ourselves. It’s also important to recognize how unforgiveness of yourself might manifest in your daily life. You might be unhappy about a decision you made to help a neighbour who always seems to need something but is never available when you do. Maybe you feel frustrated because you’re allowing toxic relationships to sap you of your energy. The root of these emotions may be that you feel taken advantage of, but by allowing yourself to be taken advantage of again and again, you may feel not only resentful towards others but also resentful towards yourself. By forgiving yourself for falling into old traps and failings, you can begin the road to better mental health.
It seems so hard…how do I start on the road to forgiveness?
During the lockdown, you may have had the chance to reflect on your life and the many successes and failures you’ve had along the way. If you recognize that you are still punishing yourself for past mistakes, then the first thing to do is to learn to practice self-compassion.
If you’re wondering what, exactly self-compassion entails and how one goes about practicing it, you’re not alone! Many struggle with this. Part of self-compassion is learning to be gentle with yourself. None of us are perfect, and we all make mistakes. The reality is that we are all prone to making mistakes. Learning to be gentle with yourself, to accept yourself for who you are, fault, flaws, gifts, and talents alike, is the most important thing you can do to begin the process of healing. Treat yourself with mercy and grace. Accept that people may not always see things from your perspective, and you may not
Self-Compassion can often mean letting go. Embracing that another person may view you as the villain and accepting that that’s okay. After all, you may have people in your life that you view as the villain too. You may be wondering what that has to do with forgiving yourself, but oftentimes the hard part of forgiving yourself is recognizing that the past is past, and the future calls to you. By being compassionate with yourself, embracing and accepting yourself, you can begin the process of self-forgiveness. You can also think about it like this: treat yourself like you would treat your best friend.
Our trained counselors and therapists are here to help as well. You’re not alone on this journey at all. If you struggle with self-forgiveness and self-compassion, let us be your guide to self-discovery along the way. No matter where you find yourself in life, our staff are prepared to help. Schedule a consult today with our Intake Coordinator.