How Good Are You at Forgiving Yourself?


Are there skeletons in your closet?

It’s a sure bet there are – even the best of us have made mistakes and accumulate a regret or two along life’s way. Part of the human experience includes learning and stumbling on our own track. Those dark spots in our past can be as simple as a cross word or gossip session. But some of us have packed our closets with deceptions and intentional acts that have hurt others. Despite the significance you’ve attached to your blunders, there is hope for a bright and undaunted path forward.

That sense of guilt and shame that goes with doing something we know isn’t right for us is initially what we need to self-correct. Just like when a child’s eyes flood with tears and their bottom lip quivers once they are caught in a lie.

Fast forward to our adult selves. Once we gain a bit of life experience, we may have a collection of shameful events stowed up in our memory that we recall all to easily. That is important to recognize. Ruminating over past regrets and letting them extinguish the light in our souls is only a form of more punishment. Let’s face it; you’ve probably lived out your consequences and endured enough. You may even be serving an internal and eternal sentence for events that happened years ago.

During this season of year’s end, why not acknowledge what may be holding you back and put some energy into lightening your load. Guilt and shame are not meant to last forever and it is high time you cut yourself some slack.

Forgive yourself. It’s a remarkable feat to forgive others at times, but forgiving ourselves is an even steeper hill to climb.

The expectations we hold for ourselves and the disappointment we feel for past decisions can culminate in long lasting disruption to our futures. In fact, suicide ideation is deeply connected to carrying the weight of guilt and shame far too long.

It is possible to lighten your load and find peace within. Identifying behaviors you regret and examining how you’ve learned from those experiences can get you on the path to finding the authentic you. Make amends if you haven’t and adjust your perspective. We all fall short. Even those we idolize throughout history have some superb blunders in their lifetime.

Letting go of the past frees you to look at your future with hope, even excitement. That outlook will lead you to make better decisions and practice self-care. Learning to trust yourself builds confidence that no one can take away from you.

Work to rewrite the harsh narrative scrolling through your head. You may have done something you feel bad about and have learned from it. That experience adds a depth of maturity that can strengthen you, allowing you to grow into the person you are meant to be.

Take time today to begin sweeping out your closet so you can boldly step into a beautiful tomorrow.

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