How To Forgive Yourself


As a parent I have about a million opportunities to screw up everyday.  When I do, it can be important to do a little self-forgiveness so that I can move on to the next challenge without the weight of guilt around my shoulders.  We all make mistakes (in parenting and otherwise), so naturally are all in need of forgiveness at one time or another.  Sometimes we seek forgiveness from others, but it’s from ourselves that forgiveness is also desired.

Some ideas about how to forgive yourself and move on:

Be Intentional. When thinking about forgiving yourself a transgression, it can be useful to be organized about it. What is it that you have done? Why would you like to forgive yourself? What will that forgiveness mean in the long term? Writing these things down might also be useful as a way to keep your thoughts clear and organized.

Make a moment out of it. Give yourself the time and space to really think through what forgiveness means, and then give it to yourself. Instead of trying to accomplish this difficult task while driving kids to soccer practice or making dinner, try carving out some time just for yourself to sit and process it all. Preferably time when you won’t be interrupted – but instead have the luxury of spending some real, quality time with yourself.

Let yourself move on. Forgiving ourselves doesn’t mean we have forgotten what we have done, but it does mean letting go of the anger, guilt and shame associated with event. It will likely take some practice, but true forgiveness means allowing yourself to move on from the past with improved knowledge and behavior.

Want to read more about forgiveness? Check out my posts:

What Is Forgiveness?

How to Forgive Someone

Parts of this post originally appeared on Personal Development Genesis.