Friday, February 5, 2016

You Fucked Up: How To Forgive Yourself

First, one of my favorite quotes: "Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." For me, these words are the absolute epitome of what anger does to an individual if left unchecked. That said, what if the person you are angry at is you? Then what?

So many our issues in life, when we really dig down deep - all of our anger, our hurt, our fear - is because we are mad at ourselves. If you ever get to the point that you realize that you're really angry at yourself, how do you move forward? How do you address the anger? How do you forgive yourself?

The answer is different for each of us, but there are always common threads. You have to find those threads and start pulling. Because if you don't, you're the one consuming the poison. And it could consume those around you.

Similar to the addiction steps, you have to admit you have a problem or you did something that is a problem. Take a really hard look at yourself. Acknowledge, "I did a terrible thing. It does not mean I'm a terrible person." Making a mistake, no matter how bad it is or it seems, does not make you a terrible person. Mistakes make you human, and humans, well, make mistakes. Own your mistake. Be accountable. Then start to let it go. You have to take what you know in your thoughts to be true and convince your heart it's true. That's the hard part! Helpful Link: Forgive Yourself.

We are often our own worst enemies, and it is especially true when we are angry at ourselves. One way to keep the crappy thoughts from ruling your mind is to vocalize the thoughts out loud. Talk to a friend, family member, or a therapist. Just talk and get your thoughts out in the open. Take the thoughts and give them life by voicing them. Many times, once your words and thoughts have life, they actually become more realistic, easier to handle and grasp, and you find some perspective. The giant abstract mountain of shit might actually be just a real-life medium size hill of crap. This alone can help lessen the guilt you feel. Helpful Link: Talk about it.

Once you have a grasp on the actual size of your anger at yourself - and at what the root is - it is time to work on forgiving yourself. You have to do it, and you might have to do it again and again. You have to forgive the person you were at the time the thing happened. Have a conversation with your former self - out loud, in a letter, or through journalling. Talk to Old You and tell Old You you hate what you did, but you understand and you forgive. Give yourself a break. The truth is you are ever growing and changing, and you learn from each experience. This is key: You have to forgive yourself because, chances are, you are not really that person that did that thing that you hate so much. Then, you have to get up tomorrow and forgive yourself all over again, because sometimes we royally fuck up and it takes a long time for forgiveness to come and to stick. Helpful Link: Forgive.

You are worthy of forgiveness. You deserve to be forgiven, and you deserve a second, third, fourth, or one hundredth chance. You did a terrible (or not-so-terrible) thing; however, you are not a terrible person. Now believe it. Helpful Link: Affirmations.

Forgive yourself and then learn from your mistakes... Then move forward. The reality is you will fuck up again. Practice forgiving yourself and letting go so you are better at it each time! And don't drink the poison.

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