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You have forgiven them. You thought this would be the end of your misery. Still, you are stuck in that one moment when things went wrong. Why can’t you get past it?
Mistakes do happen. Throughout your life, things will go wrong, and it doesn’t always matter who is to blame. Even Queens or Pharaohs made mistakes, and history forgave them.
People mistreated you, they were mean to you and still you managed to forgive them. Yet, you can’t seem to move past what happened. Why are you stuck?
Have you forgiven them? Yes.
But did you forgive yourself?
Why is it hard to forgive yourself? Why can’t you do it?
How do you actually go about forgiving yourself? What steps can you take?
1. Once upon a time, you felt safe. Even if it was during your first breath and then it was gone. For one moment in time, you were safe. Who was there? Was it just you? Was there someone else with you? Go back to that place.. if it was too early, stop and think of your favorite person. How do you feel when you are with them? Go to that moment. Relax in that sense of security. And now the hard part, make a list of five of your best traits.
2. Are we there yet? Nope. More traveling coming up… think of what you are forgiving yourself for. Go back to the moment you realised things were off, the first hunch you didn’t pay attention to. Write down what was happening. What did you do wrong? Were you lacking the skills to deal with it? Was it peer pressure that made you go along, against your better judgement? If you didn’t know how to deal with it, we need new tools… If you knew, and felt pressured into it, then we need to learn that the aftermath is sometimes worse than the pain of the moment.
3. You need to stay with the guilt. It is not fun, and I would love to say there is an easy fix.. but even if there is, it wouldn’t help you. If I gave you an easy way out, it would only mean you’d repeat it next time someone pressured you into something. Keep in mind, shame and guilt are very different emotions. Shame makes you avoid the thoughts, become violent towards yourself or others, do what you can to distance yourself from what actually happened. Guilt will help you think clearly of your actions, and help you not go down this path again. Guilt means taking responsibility for your actions. You can now understand you have the option to not repeat them and you may act in power.
4. Even if you forgive yourself, the feeling won’t last for long if you don’t make sure you did all you could to repair the damage. Go above and beyond, do what you can to make things better. Once you have, you can sleep knowing you did your best and got the best result possible. Only then you have arguments against your inner critic, only then you can say ‘I did all I could, now let me be’.
5. Renew yourself. Learn your lesson, so you don’t repeat it. I’m not sure how the saying goes, but you get the same demon in another body every time you don’t learn from your mistakes. And I truly believe this. Stay with your lesson, make a conscious choice next time you come to this crossroad. Move forward and learn another lesson or repeat it, and suffer all over again.
Finally keep in mind that forgiving yourself and changing your ways does not mean others will see it. It’s ok. If you had known what you did would cause so much pain to others and to yourself, you would have thought twice. And even if you had known, maybe there was no way around it, with the information and options you had at that moment. Keep the lesson. Let go of the rest. Do not repeat in the future. You did what you had to do, breathe deeper next time and think of another plan.