Forgive Yourself – Everybody Makes Mistakes

by Jayne Kopp on June 7, 2010

Have you ever battled with trying to forgive yourself and found it impossible, even though you know everybody makes mistakes?

I have… and quite honestly I feel one of the hardest challenges in life is learning how to forgive yourself.

I, for years had a fairly uneventful life in the “heavy conscience department”. Life was good, normal, smooth, etc., and fairly even keeled. Then I dropped an almighty clanger!!

Being a sensible person, (my opinion), it was a hard pill to swallow when I had to take a hit and realize I’d dropped the ball and had to deal with my own shortfall. What I didn’t know at the time is how long an impact it would have on my life and the lessons that would follow.

I spent a number of years feeling guilt and shame. I battled with constant mind-chatter, hashing and rehashing the things I could have done differently, should have done, would have done… but didn’t! Finally I beat myself to a pulp to the degree that I had to put a stop to it and lay it all out and re-analyze it for what it really was.

What I learned is:

    1) Often the way you see things are far worse than the rest of the world. You are likely the only one on the planet stewing over the situation. While you pull yourself down and hammer out ways to forgive yourself, others probably already have and are carrying on with life without a second thought!

    2) You have to put feelings into perspective and look at things for what they are. Realize that we tend to blow things up to be bigger than they are.

    3) Be cognisant of all your good points and realize they are not erased or nullified due to one mis-judgement. Your good still exists. There is more to you than said issue.

    4) The stone once thrown is impossible to reverse. Regardless of how hard you think about it, and dwell on it, the worry won’t change it. (So don’t waste time!)

    5) By beating yourself up or even pushing yourself into depression, you are only hurting yourself.

    6) Indiscretions should be left at the altar in my humble opinion. If God can forgive you, who are you not to forgive yourself?

**Everybody makes mistakes. Look at Sarah Fergussen! Good Grief… she’s has a tough road to hoe. I frankly don’t think she’s a bad person. I think she just suffered from one momentary lack of judgment. She is facing deep regret and remorse, not to mention embarrassment. Thankfully she knows there are people in her life who love her unconditionally (and rightfully so)… this is keeping her strong. I am sure people love you unconditionally as well.

Side note: Unfortunately my shortfall wasn’t anything to do with bribing someone for half a million pounds LOL…sadly, that opportunity has never presented itself in my world! I’m not of much interest to the paparazzi lately either, so didn’t have to deal with the media!

**Joking aside… my real point is that she will weather the storm, the frenzy will calm and once again her many good points will shine through.

I believe it’s often harder to forgive yourself than it is to forgive others possibly due to holding such high standards for your own actions. Consequently personal disappointment creates deep feelings of regret and remorse which in turn can blow things out of proportion.

We tend to forget we are human and that everybody makes mistakes. By refusing to forgive yourself, you are effectively preventing yourself from moving forward and possibly helping others in the same situation.

They say everything happens for a reason. I’m not so sure about ‘everything’ however I feel many lessons are meant to be learned by mistakes. You have to look for these lessons sometimes, but once found they can reshape your life in ways you’d never imagine.

**The most important part of making a mistake is to own it. If your issue has hurt someone, never underestimate the power of apology.

**Secondly, learn from it. Look at the lessons learned, think about your feelings and never judge others for their shortfalls.

**Third, self-forgiveness doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. It doesn’t mean you can forget it either. Take heed of the lessons and don’t do a repeat!

Then, very importantly but likely the most difficult: Love yourself, forgive yourself, remember to help others in the same boat and then move on and enjoy the rest of your life

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Sandra May 9, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Jayne, I agree. It is hard to know that others do not feel the same as we do. I am going through this and will have to come back to re read the post when I feel down. Lots of good information and points you make.



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