What Self-Forgiveness Means For You
Being able to practice self-forgiveness is being able to separate yourself from who you are and the mistakes you made. Self-forgiveness allows you to more easily forgive others more easily, learn from your choices and find ways to make amends.
“Having a clear definition of forgiveness, and what it means to you personally, is an important first step” according to license marriage and family therapist, Keir Brady. Forgiveness can be defined as a reflection on a mistake or poor choice you made that may have caused harm. Forgiveness is a process What self-forgiveness can mean for you is choosing to give yourself with compassion and understanding. By giving compassion to yourself, you are learning from the experience, accepting responsibility for your actions, and growing in ways that will encourage effective change, and greatly enhance your emotional well-being.
Why You Should Practice Self-Forgiveness
Forgiveness is a process that takes time but it is important to practice self-forgiveness because:
- It will help you release negative emotions + personal energy blocks.
- Create an opportunity for growth, meaningful change, and improved emotional well-being.
- Allows you to better move forward and align with your purpose.
Below are several journal prompts to get you started on how to practice self-forgiveness inspired by Keir Brady Counseling Services.
6 Journal Prompts for Practicing Self-Forgiveness
1. Acknowledge Your Feelings
When practicing self-forgiveness, you need to set aside time to focus on your feelings without judgment or denial to better understand what occurred. Label your emotions and allow yourself to feel through them.
2. Acknowledge What You Did
Recalling what happened and taking ownership of your part in it allows you to gain insight into why it occured, and allow you to better acknowledge what behaviors and actions lead to the problem, to take the steps necessary to make effective changes and avoid the problem occurring again.
3. Apologize For Your Actions
Apologizing to yourself and others, instead of finding fault, can help you let it go sooner. If you hurt someone and are unable to apologize for it, writing down how you would tell them your sorry to can help keep you from ruminating on it. Offer a sincere apology by admiting what you did wrong, explaining your reason for it, acknowledging the pain you caused, and how you aim to make amends.
4. Focus On What You Learned
Learning from your mistakes leads to growing and healing. Learning could be a tough part of the process, but this is truly the first step to forgiving yourself.
5. Make Meaningful Changes
You have learned from your mistakes. Now it is time to make some changes. Actions speak louder than words. To help prevent from hurting again, hold yourself accountable by taking the steps you need to make impactful, lasting changes.
6. Also Practice Compassion
When forgiving yourself, treat yourself with kindness and acceptance by practicing compassion. Show yourself love the way you would to your loved one by giving yourself a second chance. Remember, you are not your mistakes.
Forgiveness is Self-Forgiveness
“Practicing forgiveness is self-forgiveness.” Words of wisdom from Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith.
Forgiveness can be hard. While forgiving yourself may not be easy, it is essential for your emotional health. When someone has hurt you, it can be difficult to let it go and move on. But forgivness can be easier to do when you start forgiving yourself because it is often much easier to forgive others than it is to forgive yourself. If you are struggling with self-forgivness, seeking professional help can help. It is not all about forgiving and forgetting. When you are able to practice self-forgiveness, you’re given an opportunity for important growth, meaningful change, and improved overall well-being.