Perfectly Imperfect: Can I Forgive Myself?

Everyone makes mistakes and the hardest thing to do is to forgive yourself, learn from the mistake, and move on. It’s hard because the process of forgiving involves acknowledging that you did something wrong or had negative thoughts, and no one likes doing that. Forgiving yourself doesn’t only apply to when you did something wrong to another person, but also when you do something to yourself. Our mind is so powerful, it can make us believe stuff that may not necessarily be true. I’m guilty of it and I’m sure most people are too.  To me, self-love is the love and respect you give to yourself. It’s a journey of self-acceptance. No one’s perfect and once you accept that,  you can start forgiving yourself.

Is it true that the more miserable you are, the happier you appear on social media? In an article by Tracy Clayton, host of the Buzzfeed podcast Another Round featured a tweet that said, “I’m curious. if you’re comfortable doing so, post a picture of you that you shared on social media where you were having a really tough time in life even tho you look perfectly fine in the picture.” This article started a big discussion. People that looked happy in pictures, confessed to being at the lowest point in their life when they posted it. You might think it’s an exaggeration, but is it?

On social media, people brag about their personal and professional accomplishments and it’s easy to compare your life to theirs. It doesn’t feel great to be constantly comparing yourself to something you saw online, but don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Forgiving yourself for having negative thoughts is hard. We need to be ready to change and admit that we did something wrong. Being able to forgive yourself can improve your outlook and your ability to relate to others, and yourself, in a positive way, according to VeryWellMind.com. It also mentions the 4 R’s of self-forgiveness: responsibility, remorse, restoration, and renewal. Responsibility to own up to our actions, remorse because guilt is not bad, restoration to rectify your mistakes, and renewal to find a way to grow as a person. These 4 steps encompass what we should go through whenever we feel like negativity is taking over our mind and body.

Own your mistakes-- denial won’t get you anywhere further in life except into deeper trouble. Forgiving yourself is not a matter of condoning bad behavior or bad thoughts, but a way of accepting and learning from past mistakes. It’s not a sign of weakness; instead, it shows how strong you are and takes you a step closer towards loving your imperfect self.

 

So how do we stop crushing our spirits and start being kind to ourselves? We should begin by accepting our flaws and embracing who we are. Maybe your mistakes are worse than just comparing yourself to people on social media or thinking that you’re not smart enough because you got a low grade in a class. Maybe lives were ruined, and people were hurt. But all that not forgiving yourself does is depriving you of the ability to learn the valuable lessons that your mistakes hold. Think highly of yourself, be kind, and ask yourself: what should you forgive yourself for?