Make amends with your past so you can walk with your head held high.
– KEYS SOULCARE
“We can make ourselves miserable or we can make ourselves strong. The amount of effort is the same.” — Pema Chödrön, Tibetan Buddhist teacher, writer, spiritualist
Forgiveness is hard — especially when it comes to forgiving ourselves — but it’s an essential part of our journeys. Learning to self-forgive is a soulcare practice that gives us the opportunity to become a better, more authentic version of ourselves. Here, we’re sharing five ways to channel self-forgiveness in the name of moving on with integrity, accountability, and self-love.
Forgiveness can sometimes feel like a “get off the hook” free card when all we want to do is wind back the clock and get a different outcome. But, when we look at forgiveness objectively, we see the simple truth: forgiveness is simply a means to move beyond situations we can no longer change. In other words? Redefining forgiveness as a release rather than an escape is always a good first step.
Feel Your Feelings
Expressing and accepting our emotions can (intentionally or not) leave us feeling guilty, embarrassed, or just plain “meh” about ourselves. Guess what, though? Even if you’re in the “wrong,” you’re no less deserving of emotions! Try talking things out with a professional or trusted friend. Spend some time journaling or writing letters. Positive outlets don’t just refocus our energy — they’re an inner cue to self-forgiveness, too.
Apologize Without Expectations
Making amends may not always feel possible, but by letting go of expectations — that includes regaining someone’s trust, acceptance, or actually getting forgiveness — we can make an apology a step towards accountability. Getting specific about our wrongdoing(s) and giving space to those harmed or impacted without pressure or guilt is a true apology. It can be public, private, verbal, or written depending on the circumstance — but it should always come free of excuses or requests that make it about us rather than the transgression at hand.
Learn From Your Lessons
Rather than ruminating over the past, move forward with the lessons you learned. Take what you now know and apply it to your future actions. Incremental changes in behavior keep us from dragging past regrets into the future. Honoring apologies with action (regardless of who’s watching) frees us up for healthier new patterns. (Not to mention, it frees up our spirits in general.)
Let it Go
Easier said than done, right? Still, replaying our mistakes never fixed them — and it certainly never made life “better” for anyone involved. Finding yourself on WTF repeat? Serve yourself a little compassion. Owning up to fear, jealousy, anger (and everything else) is just another way to hold space for being human. (And, the last time we checked, we were all guilty of that!)
Self-forgiveness is heart-work, but it’s hard work! How can you offer yourself more compassion in your day-to-day routine? Share in the comments!