Forgiving ourselves for our mistakes, missteps, and misalignments is often a challenging task. For so many reasons, we hold onto every little thing we’ve done “wrong”. We use our mistakes as ammo against ourselves, as proof we aren’t good enough, and as a reason to bash ourselves with criticism. We cling to what we’ve said, done, or experienced in a way that frequently doesn’t make room for truly moving forward, for growth, or for self-compassion. We might think that forgiving ourselves means excusing our behavior or avoiding responsibility.
Here’s the thing: self forgiveness doesn’t mean we let ourselves off the hook, avoid personal responsibility, or refuse to confront our own behaviors, actions, or experiences. Instead, forgiveness means we hold space for, honor, and sit with what has happened in our lives, recognize what lessons we might have needed, understand that we may not have known then what we know now, and allow ourselves to move forward without the heavy burden of holding onto all the ways we’ve been imperfect in the past.
We can learn from past experiences and let them go at the same time. We can hold onto what we might want to take forward and release what no longer serves us at the same time. We can admit we aren’t perfect and choose to show up differently next time at the same time. We can own our actions and allow ourselves the chance to make more supportive choices at the same time. We don’t have to constantly hold our mistakes over our heads, as if being reminded of them all the time will help us grow or keep us in line. Truthfully, what helps us grow IS self-forgiveness, because it creates room for something new to exist and take up more space. It empowers us to move forward and know we are *more* than our past.
What do you need to forgive yourself for? What are you deeply holding against yourself? What have you had difficulty releasing? Where in your body are you storing mistakes of the past, and what would it feel like to set them free? What is it like to even *think* about forgiving yourself? Forgiveness is a practice and it often feels challenging, so be gentle with yourself as you reflect here. Sending you ease, my friends. 🌷