As humans, we make mistakes. Some mistakes are small, like forgetting an ingredient in a recipe. And others are life-altering mistakes, like deciding to move to a different state when you’re not ready because you think that’s the best decision for you at the time. Thanks to Facebook memories, I’m reminded of that particular mistake I made in my life and rereading those statuses, I vividly remember how miserable I was during this time.
This was during my early twenties, when I thought I knew what I was doing, but in reality, I was lost. I was completely lost. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life; I had no plans, goals, or sense of direction. The decisions I made at the time were based on someone else, and that is what is so hard for me to forgive.
When we are young, we think we know everything; however, we know nothing. And when I look back at that period in my life, I always down-talk to myself and say how foolish I was. I also regret certain decisions I made. Sometimes I wish I could do it all over again. But then I am reminded of one blessing I did get, my daughter. And I start to think, “if I had not gone through what I did, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t be the person I am today, and I wouldn’t have learned the lessons I learned.”
When the topic of forgiveness comes up, it’s usually about forgiving others. Forgiving the hurt they caused us, forgiving their betrayal, or forgiving their unfaithfulness, and it’s preached that forgiveness is for us – not for them, which is true. But what about forgiving the hardest person to forgive, yourself? What do we say about that?
I believe forgiving ourselves is the hardest because we are our own worst critics. We think about the situation or scenario over and over again, even years after (like me). Sometimes we change to scenario into what we wish we would have done or said differently. It’s harder to move on from our mistakes, and we get stuck in this regret, beating ourselves up. But the same way we forgive others, we have to forgive ourselves.
We must be compassionate, empathetic, kind, and understanding towards ourselves to forgive ourselves, which we aren’t the majority of the time. God easily forgives us – as we confess our sins and repent, but why can’t we forgive ourselves as quickly as God does? He doesn’t hold our mistakes over our heads as we do ourselves. It says so in 1 John 1:9 (NIV), “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Healthline.com gives 12 tips on how to forgive yourself, and one of the tips is to journal because this can help develop self-compassion. You can write yourself a letter to identify self-sabotaging thoughts, or you can list things you like about yourself to help boost your self-confidence. Another tip they give is to take your own advice. Many times, it’s easier to give advice to a friend than to ourselves, so one good way to practice this is by pretending your friend made the mistake you did – what would you tell them? Take that advice!
I want to leave you with another encouraging Bible verse – Psalms 103:10-11, “he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;.”
Is there something you need to forgive yourself for?
Be kind to yourself.
With Love, Heidy
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