Counselor's Corner: Steps to Forgiving Yourself

I usually can forgive others easily, but forgiving myself is another story. I tend to be harder on myself than others. Perhaps I believe that I need to punish myself, and with enough "suffering" I can let go of what I did. Maybe you can relate to this.


Forgiveness is often defined as a deliberate decision to let go of feelings of anger, resentment, and retribution towards someone you believe wronged you.

When you struggle to forgive yourself you can feel unworthy, paralyzed by your past, and find it difficult to forgive others.



Use these action steps below to start the process of forgiving yourself. For the steps below you will need a journal, pen, and perhaps a lighter or matches and a place to burn what you are going to write out.


Forgive yourself as you do others


Action Step 1:


With the definition above about forgiveness, do tend to do this for yourself? Or do you replay your mistakes and sins? Do you have anger towards yourself or even self-hate? Do you feel that you can't truly enjoy your life because you have to "beat yourself" up for letting others down or not be what they need you to be?


Action Step 2:


Holding on to negative events increases your stress level, and lowers your enjoyment of life. What are you holding onto in your life that you just can't seem to forgive yourself? Write it out, and if you have already asked God to forgive you, then by an act of faith tear or burn what you wrote on that piece of paper. This is a symbolic act as Christ forgives our sins and shortcomings when we confess them to Him, and He remembers them no more.



Forgivness calms stress levels. Studies have shown when we forgive (including ourselves), we can reap rewards for our health-lowering the risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, pain, depression, anxiety, and stress.


When you struggle to forgive yourself you can feel unworthy, paralyzed by your past, and find it difficult to forgive others.



Show yourself the same compassion and grace that you would give to others. Forgive yourself for not being perfect, but a flawed human who makes mistakes and is in need of God's grace and forgiveness.





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