What is self-forgiveness?

Hi everyone :wave:t2:

Today, I’d like to share a bit about forgiveness, more specifically self-forgiveness. We’re quite used to hearing about forgiving others or asking for forgiveness, but there’s also the kind where we can learn to forgive ourselves too. :pray:t2:

Sometimes we think that self-forgiveness means that we skip the ‘feeling bad’ stage but it’s about actually working through feelings of self-resentment and then relieving ourselves of those feelings once they’ve served their purpose of motivating us to make amends. If we’re to only clear ourselves of negative emotions and shower ourselves with positive emotions, this is actually a ‘pseudo-self-forgiveness’. True self-forgiveness involves owning our mistakes and include a focus on the other when we caused harm to someone – by seeking to make amends with the person we’ve wronged and to recommit to our values (as it means a reduced chance of the ‘offense’ happening again).

So, here’s how self-forgiveness looks like:

  • Opening to pain: which means being present with the distress of what happened.
  • Self-compassion: which means we allow our hearts to melt with sympathy for the pain, no matter what caused it.
  • Wisdom: which means we begin to recognize that the situation wasn’t entirely personal, but was the consequence of many interrelated causes and conditions.
  • Intention to forgive: which means thinking along the lines of “May I begin to forgive myself for what I did, whether I realise or not, to have caused me pain”.
  • Responsibility to protect: which means we commit to not repeat the same offense, and to stay out of harm’s way as good as I can.

In the meantime, do let me know what you think about this or share any questions that you might have about self-forgiveness too. :slightly_smiling_face: