Forgiving yourself

by - March 08, 2020

Pale blue graphic with gold stars

One of the feelings I have typically found the hardest to cope with are those of guilt. When you feel awful you have hurt someone (unintentionally) or made a bad decision. But, over the years I have learnt to better cope with it and accept the fact that we all make mistakes.

At some point, it is inevitable that we let someone down, disappoint or hurt them. It can be really difficult to deal with, especially because you can feel that they have given you their trust. However, you like everyone else are human. You will make mistakes, you will sometimes act in a way that you regret later. It happens to all of us. Making a mistake and accidentally hurting someone is not something you should feel bad about forever. What is so much more important is that you learn from it and use it to grow

If you have done all you can, it is not on you. 

If you have done everything you could to make it right, have apologised and genuinely hurt someone unintentionally, but they will not forgive you, it is time to let it go. It is on them and not you anymore. Someone who is not willing to accept that you will sometimes get it wrong and will hold you to it forever is not someone worth being friends with or even having in your life. If they carry on trying to make you feel bad for something you have already apologised for and tried to make it up to them, then it could be a sign you need to distance yourself from them.

We all make mistakes. 

No one can claim they have never screwed up. It happens to all of us. Some people will make bigger mistakes than others, but we will all make mistakes. No one is perfect and can say that they have never done something they wish they hadn't done - something they regret. Don't hold yourself or let someone hold you to a standard that even they could never meet. In the exact same way, you may have unintentionally hurt someone, sometimes people have unintentionally hurt you. 

One mistake does not make you a bad person. 

Since we all make mistakes, doing something wrong does not make you a bad person. No one is wholly good or bad. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Good parts and not so good parts. We all have flaws. The point is that on balance, you are a good person. That you try your best to the best version of yourself that you can be. 

You deserve it just for yourself. 

Feeling guilty all the time is no way to live. For your own inner peace, and closure, it is important you see your mistakes as life lessons. Something to learn, not to hold on to and feel awful about. At the end of the day, it is the way you respond to a mistake that means so much more than the fact that you made the mistake. How you react, how you carry yourself and grow from it is what defines you.

Letting people down is for me one of the most difficult feelings to deal with. But, we were born to be real, not perfect. A mistake does not define you. You can move forward from it and a mistake doesn't make you a bad person. 

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