Forgiveness Day: You Need Learn To Forgive Yourself Before You Can Forgive Anyone Else
Forgiveness Day is observed on June 26th each year. Typically, forgiveness is thought to be an action that you give to someone else — someone who has hurt you or wronged you in some way. However, there is a more empowering form of forgiveness: as a gift you give yourself. While this type of forgiveness is the most important, it is more often than not the most difficult to achieve. As individuals, we are our own worst critics. It is so easy for us to get into our heads, and over-analyze or second-guess any given scenario. We think about all the things we should have done differently.
Being able to forgive yourself is a continuous process. It is a part of your story that gets written and rewritten with time. Life happens. Some things are beyond our control, and mistakes are made. The important lesson is to learn and grow from those experiences, and not be bogged down by the “would have”, “could have”, and “should haves” from the past which most certainly can be overwhelming. It is so easy to get into a rut in that place, as thoughts from various directions swirl around in your mind. It is vital to have an outlet. Whether that be a friend or any person you trust, or just trying to get things out on paper as a way to make sense of them and move forward.
Here are some questions that might be helpful to ask yourself and write down as a way to start thinking about finding self-forgiveness:
- What do you think you need to forgive yourself for doing?
- What do you think you need to forgive yourself for not doing?
- What is the cost of continuing to carry these regrets?
- How will forgiving yourself change your life?
- How will it help you to move forward?
By writing these questions down, and taking the time to answer them, you give yourself the opportunity to acknowledge what happened in the past and decide what changes you hope to make in the future.
Journaling may not be the thing that works for you, but try to send go these questions as you are working for your own process. Some people may like to run, do yoga, meditation, or be out in nature just to name a few ideas. Find something that helps to provide you with a sense of calm in order toward a place of self-forgiveness. This may not be something that is going to come easily or quickly, but it most certainly will be worth it once you keep plugging along. Try to find your own way of marking your milestones to see how far you come if journaling is not your preferred method.
One of the powerful things that forgiving yourself provides is the opportunity to be more mindful in the present moment.
People often have a difficult time being present or open because they are either worried about the future or regretting something about the past.
Throughout the process of self-forgiveness, you begin to replace the need to anticipate the things that cause you to feel fearful, with the willingness to accept opportunities as they present themselves. The more open you are able to become, the easier it gets over time. It begins with stepping outside of your comfort zone little by little. Think of something that you want to achieve. In the past, it may have seemed unattainable. Envision the steps that it would take to achieve that goal. Recognize that your underlying fear may come from a previous situation or circumstance.
“Forgive Quickly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that made you smile.”
As you take the steps to move forward in achieving a certain goal, remember that there are multiple paths that can be taken to get to where you want to be. Take the time to celebrate each milestone as it comes no matter how small it may seem.