Getting Over past mistakes: the Art of self-forgiveness
We have all done some stupid things in the past that will feel ashamed even to imagine we did it. That’s the power of conscience. That you feel remorse about your past mistake is an indication that you are morally upright. While regretting our past mistake is a good indication that we have improved, overly dwelling on it can be agonizing and deprive us of our inner joy and happiness.
You have to know the difference between guilt and shame. Guilt is when you admit that you erred and you are willing to amend your ways. Shame is when you condemn yourself for the stupid things you did in the past and feel worthless for doing them. Are you struggling to let go of your past? Do your past mistakes continuously hunt you and make you feel worthless? Then this article is just perfect for you. Here are some tips to help you heal your mind and get over past mistakes;
- Embrace your imperfection
- Understand that you are not alone
- Be lenient on yourself
- Criticize, don’t condemn
- Change your mindset
- Practice self-love
- Turn a new leave
Embrace your imperfection
The number one reason many people fail to let go of their past is creating unrealistic expectations of themselves. You made a mistake, fine. Erring is an indication that we are mortals after all. You are not perfect so is everybody else.
All the heroes and heroines you see today have probably done something worse than you, but despite their misdeeds, they were able to let go of their pasts and forgive themselves. Know that you are not perfect, no matter how much you strive for perfection, you will always err occasionally.
Assess your past; you probably did your best in that time although your best might end up not good enough, that’s not the end of life. There is a great future ahead of you, do not allow the pains from the past to deprive you of the joy of the present and the bliss of the future.
Understand that you are not alone
We tend to believe that we are the worst person in the universe. Forget about it; you are not alone. Mistakes have no regard for educational background, affluence, exposure to financial status. Understand that you are not the one with the worst past, you are far better than many. While this is not in any way to create self-justification, it is to show you that no one is flawless.
The difference between you and people that have successfully got rid of worst past is that while you are beating yourself, they are mastering the art of self-forgiveness and apply it at the right times. Also, you have to be careful when people want to devalue you because of your past. Let them know they have a past too and that we err differently doesn’t make any mistake more gross than the other. Do not let them get to you.
Be lenient on yourself
If I may ask you? What would you do that can make you forget your past? Is there any way you can atone for your mistakes? What about a thousand lashes for your stupidity? The truth is, regardless of the punishment you physically and mentally subject yourself to, you won’t still be able to let go of your past unless you make conscious effort to forgive yourself.
Why not apply some leniency to yourself? After all, you did it when you were yet to be this morally sound. It’s not every wrong that you can right; you need to let go of the ones behind your control. Take a chill pill, pamper yourself a bit. You deserve some leniency!
Criticize, don’t condemn
We have explained the difference between guilt and shame briefly. Shame comes when you focus on condemnation – when you rubbish yourself for doing wrong rather than criticizing your action. Doing wrong doesn’t turn you into a bad person, as far as you can feel remorse, ask for forgives and let go of your wrongdoings. Stop subjecting yourself to condemnation. Condemnation devalues you and makes you lose your self-esteem.
Change your mindset
Forgiving oneself and forgiving others is a function of mindset. To be able to master the art of self-forgiveness, you have to embrace a positive mindset about yourself; your personality, beliefs and what you stand for. Cultivate the habit of thinking positively about yourself.
Rather than dwelling on all your past mistakes, focus more on all the positive things you have done in the past; from the simple act of helping an elderly person to cross the road, helping a strayed dog reconcile with its owner to more significant ones like rendering a financial assistant to your partner of donating a portion of your income to the motherless home.
Recount all your past good deeds and write it down. Always remind yourself that you are a good person that did something terrible and has felt remorseful about it, and then move on.
The golden rule is, “Love your neighbour as you love yourself.” This implies that the key to loving your neighbours is to love yourself first. Have you ever noticed that you find it easier to forgive someone you love? Take, for instance, some ladies are in an abusive relationship, and yet they chose to endure the pains and to suffer rather than checking out of such a relationship.
The reason for this is the love they have for that abusive partner. While growing up, your siblings were probably the most annoying set of people you have ever come across in your lifetime. You are willing to overlook their mistakes no matter how painful it might be; this is because love was in action. Why not summon the courage to show yourself the same affection you show others? It will help you a lot to live a more fulfilling and prosperous life.
Turn a new leave
Now that you have mastered the art of self-forgiveness, the essential thing to do is to change for the better. Mistakes are bound to happen but before you jump into making any decision, know if it is the best thing to do or if avoiding it will serve you better. Uphold your moral beliefs and don’t allow people to push you to do things against your will.
Don’t let your past mistakes deprive you of your happiness; you have punished yourself enough, forgive yourself and let go. The world needs happy and guilt for a better future.
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