Many people find that it is often effortless to forgive others compared to forgiving themselves. When we make a mistake, the guilt and remorse may become an extremely heavy burden that we often bear physically. However, by considering why self-forgiveness is troublesome, the actual act may come easier.
Having a conscious means doing something wrong or committing and injustice immediately results in triggering an internal alarm likened to a quick shockwave. The incident gives rise to guilt, sadness and regret. Our mind might also retrieve every negative situation in which we played a part. Try as we might, we often cannot forgive our self for the indiscretion. Forgiveness becomes a reality when first recognizing the negativity attached to the situation. Consider these thoughts as mental garbage and take out the trash.
Escape the Past
We often view our lives as a continuum of past, present and future. For a number of reasons, it is often difficult to rid ourselves of past events. Unless an injustice done to us has become part of our identity, we do not have a problem forgiving the guilty party. However, when we commit an act, the event becomes embedded as part of us, which is why letting go becomes so difficult. By accepting ourselves as a human being who performed to the best in a previous moment, releasing the past is less anxiety ridden.
You Cannot Hide
The majority of people are raised to know right from wrong and expect consequences or punishment for inappropriate actions. So when we commit an act that we view as wrong, the self-punishment begins. We must come to terms with the fact that we are fallible human beings with vulnerabilities on a life-long journey of learning. Take ownership and admit to yourself that you blew the situation. Learn from the situation and move on.
Caring deeply or loving someone is also often a factor that makes forgiveness less difficult. We know them well enough to have a history of their best qualities and goodness. Yet we do not give ourselves the same benefit. On the other hand, when someone that we may not particularly like causes us harm, we know that we can readily forgive them and dismiss them from our life. This is not an option when dealing with our self-inflicted pain. By learning to appreciate and love ourselves, we are then more likely to practice self mercy.
Alter Thought Processes
Accept the fact that you are not better or worse than any other person. With this awareness in mind, you must then believe that you too deserve forgiveness. You have the right to pursue happiness and to carry on free of the continuing burden of guilt.