We all screw up in life.

Something that came out of our mouths just wrong. Cutting off someone in traffic. Losing our temper at a most embarrassing time. An indiscretion in a relationship or a seemingly simple flirtation that went too far. A harsh word spoken to someone we love.

We are human – full of flaws and full of mistakes. That’s just how it is and even with the best of intentions we will often fall short.

And after we point the blame at others (“Well HE cut me off in traffic first …”, “My old boss was just a jerk anyway…”, “My ex was just an ass and deserved it…”) at some point reality reminds us that *WE* are to blame for our part of the equation.

Can you relate?

In reality these “human” moments not only hurt those on the receiving end – we hurt ourselves when the cycle of beating ourselves up becomes a pattern of negative self-talk and limiting beliefs.

“I’m so stupid! I don’t deserve to find a good job after being fired… ”

“I don’t deserve to be loved because I had an affair…”

“I was so insensitive to my friend that she ended our friendship – no one will ever want to be friends with me again…”

“I don’t deserve good things to happen to me because I messed up 20 year ago…”

Maybe these are extreme examples but how many negative tapes are playing in your self-talk mantras? How many limiting beliefs do you have about yourself because of past mistakes?

And please, let’s not make this a discussion on how a slip of the tongue is not as detrimental as having an emotional affair. This post is about forgiveness and the importance of forgiving ourselves.

We all have a past and we all have made mistakes – some are slight, some unintentional, some intentional and some monumental. But it’s what we learn and how we move forward that makes us either a product of our mistakes and stuck in the past or a product of our mistakes and growing to our greatest future.

Need steps in making those first steps to self-forgiveness?

  1. Make your amends when you need to. Yes, even is the event was 20 years ago. Offer an apology and mean it. Can’t contact the person you hurt? Write a letter to them, for yourself. Write out those feelings and emotions. Process, feel, make peace.
  2. Seek help moving past your mistakes if you need to. Yes, counseling. Find one you trust and work through this when you are feeling stuck.
  3. Be mindful of how you speak to yourself and why. The negative tapes that play in your head? The names you call yourself and the way you hold yourself back? This may be a sign that you need professional help as suggested in step 2.
  4. Learn from your mistakes and grow in strength of your hurts and downfalls. You are unique because of your experiences – the good and the bad. Embrace that within yourself.

You, beautiful one, have a lot to share with this world. And being stuck in a cycle of dimming yourself because of your past is dimming the world of the light that only you can shine and share.

Now its your turn to share. No, you don’t have to share your mistakes – but share what has helped you move forward in forgiving yourself? Leave a comment below or join me on my Facebook page.
photo credit: swanksalot via photopin cc