How to Forgive Yourself and Let go of Regrets
We often hear the phrase “treat yourself” throughout the year, but we hear it considerably more around the holidays. Treating yourself to tangible things might increase your happiness for a brief amount of time, but it’s important to know that we can also find meaning in things that will boost our self-esteem.
The best way to boost your self-esteem and reduce stress is by learning how to forgive yourself. By being forgiving of yourself, you can then accept yourself and be more responsible for your life choices. Self-forgiveness is the willingness to believe that you are worthy of love, respect, and great success. There are dangers when we fail to forgive, and these dangers might have the potential to limit our relationships with others and ourselves. A failure to forgive yourself might have the same consequences as holding grudges on others. Grudges or regret might lead to emotional bondage, uneasiness in your spirit, and induce uncertainty surrounding your relationships.
Forgiving yourself can be a difficult experience, as we tend to hold ourselves to higher standards. The act of self-forgiveness changes the energy and the physical structure of your cells and DNA. When you experience guilt, it can begin to close off important systems in your body that are responsible for healing. Guilt and regret are both very powerful emotions that represent feelings of resentment and might lead to self-punishment. The lack of forgiveness is emotionally and physically damaging.
When you have a hard time forgiving yourself it might lead to emotional, mental, and physical damage. Sometimes the most difficult person to forgive is the one you face in the mirror. Some common emotions that challenge self-forgiveness are feelings of unworthiness, unresolved trauma, focusing on the past, placing blame on yourself, fear of failure, and regret.
The past cannot be changed, and the future depends on the decisions you make today. Here are some ways you might be able to help yourself or others in the journey of forgiveness:
- Acceptance. Acknowledge that you are a human, and know that every human makes mistakes. You are not a bad person, but one that needs grace and forgiveness. Take responsibility for your own healing.
- Learn from mistakes. Try to learn from your mistakes. Take the time to focus on the message, and understand the lesson being shared with you. Mistakes are an opportunity for growth.
- Take risks. Be willing to take risks. Try something new to help you find yourself again. Seek methods like therapy or creative outlets to channel your feelings. This will help you process and begin to move forward.
- Visualize the future. Picture yourself free from guilt, regret, and self-condemnation. Start by setting goals with your healing process. Visualize what your life would look like if you were free from regret.
Be intentional in new and improved decisions that might begin to open up opportunities for forgiveness and a happier future. Take time for yourself and your own healing.
If you or someone you know is struggling in the process of letting go, Centerstone can help. Call 1-877-HOPE123 (1-877-467-3123) for more information.