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Learning To Forgive Ourselves

2 min read

Whether you believe in Karma or not, you can’t deny that our life is the result of actions and consequences. But have you ever wondered how we make decisions? It’s not an easy process and that’s why sometimes you should learn to forgive yourself for your past.

According to experts, we often repeat our mistakes because our feelings and instincts interfere with our choices. At midlife, we may face some regrets but if we want to move on in life, instead of beating ourselves up, we should think about our faults as a learning experience.  We all mess up sometimes. Knowing we did the best we could with the tools and knowledge we had at the time, will help us move forward.

Fred Luskin, PhD, director of The Stanford University Forgiveness Project says that the biggest obstacle to self-forgiveness is our tendency to wallow in our own guilt.

Forgiveness is a tool with which we face what we’ve done in the past, acknowledge our mistakes, and move on. It does not mean that you condone or excuse what happened. It does not mean that you forget- says Luskin.- There’s a season for our suffering and regret. We have to have that. But the season ends; the world moves on. And we need to move on with it.

Holding onto resentment and being unforgiving increases our stress levels and takes a toll on our well-being, too. The good news is that we can learn skills to become more constructive and effective in accepting our errors and, in the process, grow as an individual.

Self-forgiveness can be defined as the recognition that everyone, including yourself, makes mistakes – he explains-, that blame and shame can be replaced by making amends and developing better ways to behave, and that your grievance story can be changed and relinquished.

However, learning to be self-forgiving is a skill that requires practice. Don’t rush: over time, you will be able to notice and appreciate how much pleasure can be found in a simple moment, how much there is to be grateful for in everyday life, and how much the world needs you and your special gifts and talents, no matter what your past.

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Guilt is such a visceral feeling, it can manifest in all sorts of painful ways and carried it even longer, it can begin to alter our perception of ourselves and take a significant toll on our confidence and mental health. Consider the whole self-forgiveness operation as a system reset button. It’s time for a new path.

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