“Forgive yourself and the whole world will forgive you.” ~ Luminita D. Saviuc
If you find it hard to forgive yourself for the mistakes of the past and all the things you think you have done wrong, I want you to know you are not alone.
It’s a trap in which many of us have fallen. But just because we fall it does not mean we can’t get back up and rebuild ourselves and our lives. Here are 6 powerful and effective ways to help you forgive yourself even when you think you can’t.
How to Forgive Yourself Even When You Think You Can’t
You can travel the world in search of someone who is more worthy and deserving of love and forgiveness than you yourself are and you will never find them.
Just as a small child is worthy of their parents’ love, compassion, and forgiveness, so are you. You deserve to forgive yourself and you can forgive yourself right and now by realizing that you are worthy!
Embrace your worth.
Make peace with this idea that who you are is far greater and more noble than all the mistakes of the past and the things you think you have done wrong. And give yourself permission to let go, forgive and be free.
2. Forgive yourself. Your feelings lie and so do your thoughts.
“Man say that the senses are strong. But the mind is stronger than the senses; the understanding is stronger than the mind; and strongest is the Self.” ~ Bhagavad Gita
If you find it hard to forgive yourself, chances are you have given your senses more power over you than your own Self.
But don’t worry, a lot of people do that.
In this so-called modern world, the majority of people are slaves to their moods and senses. Thinking that each thought matters and that every feeling is a great treasure, they defend their thoughts and feelings as if their lives depended on it.
But guess what?
Feelings do lie, and so do the majority of your thoughts. And even though your senses might disagree, the truth of the matter is that your peace, love, and freedom is to be found, not in holding onto those many negative and self-defeating thoughts and feelings, but in letting them go. As Lao Tzu wrote it so beautifully in Tao Te Ching (500 BC),
“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond the winning.” ~ Lao Tzu
3. Learn to consciously think for yourself.
A wise man once said that wisdom is avoiding all thoughts that weaken you. How true that is.
To be able to forgive yourself and feel worthy of self-forgiveness, you have to learn to ignore those thoughts and feelings that keep harassing and traumatizing you, insisting that you are guilty, and deserving of eternal punishment.
How do you achieve this?
By getting into the habit of thinking your own thoughts and generating your own feel good feelings.
Instead of thinking: I am guilty, you can think: I am innocent.
Instead of thinking: I deserve to be punished, you can think: I am free from the mistakes of the past and their consequences and I now embrace my innate innocence.
By rearranging your mind and cultivating thoughts that no longer weaken but rather empower you, you will begin to feel feelings that are more in alignment with who you truly are. And those old and fearful feelings will no longer find a room within your mind, heart, body, and life.
Just because you have a thought, it does not mean it is true. And just because you feel a feeling, it does not mean you have to defend and hold onto it as it it were true. You can drop it. You can let it go.
It takes practice. But just as it is so beautifully written in the I Am Discourses,
“Do you know of anything worth attaining that does not take practice? Persevere…” ~ I Am Discourses
Persevere. For innocence is written all over you. And the more you use this muscle, the stronger it will become and the easier it will be for you to realize your innocence and discover that you are worthy and enough.
4. Fear condemns and love forgives.
One of my favorite lines from A Course in Miracles goes like this:
“Fear condemns and love forgives. Forgiveness thus undoes what fear has produced… It is the means by which illusions disappear.” ~ ACIM
Fear condemns and love forgives. Forgiveness thus undoes what fear has produced, returning the mind to the awareness that love is truth and fear is not. And in this great awareness there is no room for the illusions of guilt, fear, punishment, and shame.
Always remember that fear is nothing but an illusion and so are all of its children: guilt, shame, apathy, anger, etc.. Therefore, to refuse yourself the gift of forgiveness is to continue to keep yourself hostage to the illusion of fear which feeds on your insecurities, guilt, shame, and the need to punish yourself.
Let go of blame and shame and free yourself from the prison in which fear has placed you by offering yourself the gift of your forgiveness.
5. Being human is not always easy.
To know your Self is to love yourself. To love yourself is to forgive yourself. To forgive yourself is to realize that being human is not always easy.
Life on planet Earth can feel like a madhouse at times. Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. Some days you’re happy, some days you’re not. And even though the tendency is to judge and punish yourself for your imperfections, if you let go of constantly hurting yourself and embrace a more loving and compassionate attitude towards yourself, you will discover that you aren’t as bad as you thought you were.
You are only human. And being human is not always easy. So please, love yourself, forgive yourself and be good to yourself. Because without your light and love, the world will be a much darker and fearful place.
6. Use your heart’s intelligence to forgive yourself
“Positive emotions such as happiness, appreciation, compassion, care, and love not only change patterns of activity in the nervous system; they also reduce the production of the stress hormone cortisol.” ~ Doc Childre
One of the easiest and most powerful ways to get to a place where, not only can you forgive yourself but also fall in love with yourself, is to learn to use the healing power of your Heart.
You do this by taking slow, deep, and conscious breaths while at the same time focusing on the area around your heart center and imagining your breath flowing in and out your heart. (2-3 minutes should be enough. But you can make it longer)
According to the Heart Math Institute, this will immediately calm you down and reduce the intensity of stress production in your body.
As you breathe in and out through your heart, make a sincere effort to activate a positive feeling like love, appreciation and compassion. And continue to breathe them in and out through your heart to create coherence and bring a sense of inner peace, balance, and harmony all throughout your mind, heart, body, and life.
Do this for at least 5 minutes twice a day (AM and PM) each day and watch miracles happen.
This is an exercise called Heart Coherence that I personally learned from studying with Heart Math Institute. It’s simple yet incredibly powerful. And if you practice it daily, you will see that for yourself.
And these are the 6 powerful ways to help you let go of any feelings of guilt, shame, anger and resentments and finally forgive yourself. May you practice each and every one of them as you see fit and may you free yourself from the illusions of fear which tell you that you are guilty and never enough.
You are love!
You are worthy!