Girl, Get It Together: Forgive Yo' Self! | 4 Ways to Practice Self-Forgiveness
Hey loves! I know you all were expecting a #ManeCrushMonday today but I’m going to switch it up a bit. Plus, I’m rocking a protective style right now so no hair related post either. I do have something in the works though. Today, I’ll be introducing y’all to my Girl, Get It Together segment. In this segment, I’ll be sharing my truth and areas in my life that I’m progressing through. First up, let's talk self-forgiveness!
I’ll be honest, I have not always been the best at forgiving myself. Forgiving others seemed to come with ease but when it comes to me...another story.
Living in shame, beating myself up for my mistakes, and replaying failures over and over again was easy though. I could make the simplest mistake and let it ruin the rest of my week by dwelling over something that I couldn’t hit the rewind button on.
I didn’t understand that forgiveness is a process. You couldn’t just say it, there were some actual steps you had to walk through.
I didn’t realize how bad hanging on to my hurt was keeping me in bondage. It was affecting my health and happiness.
I didn’t understand that I wasn’t created to be perfect. God created me to be fearfully and wonderfully made not perfect or failure-free (hence why I remind myself constantly of Psalm 139:14). He created me to make mistakes but he didn’t make any mistakes when he created me. Nor did I understand that there were lessons in my mistakes. In fact, our best lessons lie in our mess-ups.
My lack of self-forgiveness was affecting those around me too. The way that we forgive ourselves shows up in the patterns of how we forgive those in our lives. I may have said that I “forgave” someone but my actions would show otherwise. I wasn’t truly being forgiving at all and would hurt them because I was hurting. Sadly, those actions would just continue to feed into my unhealthy cycle neglecting to forgive myself.
Through a lot of learning and ugly crying sessions, I’m finally to the point where I choose to be free of my shame. I don’t have to hold on to that hurt any longer. My life is much more valuable than my failures.I deserve to be joyful and at peace. It’s still a process but I’m getting there and that’s what matters. I even forgive myself for not practicing self-forgiveness. Here are 3 ways to practice self-forgiveness:
1. Show yourself some grace and love! Warning: This is corny but it will help, lol. Stand in the mirror and tell yourself, “I forgive myself”. Say it over and over until you' believe that you’ve been forgiven. Make it even more special by giving yourself a hug too. You can even incorporate other sayings such as, “All humans makes mistakes.” The most important thing is that you believe you are forgiven.
2. Get it out your head and onto paper! Grab a piece of paper and write down the mistake/failure you made and then on the other side write out what you learned from it. You can write out how to avoid the situation the next time around or how to handle it better. Turn that negative into a positive. This especially helps when you can’t seem to get your mind past things.
3. “Refuse to revisit what you can’t revise” I learned this gem from from Dharius Daniels (check him out!) After you shown yourself some grace and realized some ways you can improve next time, don’t go back to dwelling. It’s not doing you any good constantly going back to that place, especially if it’s holding you back from living life. You have so much to look forward to so don’t continue to revisit what you can’t change. You are not your past.
4. Don’t allow others to keep you from forgiving yourself. I struggle with this one quite a bit. We can’t allow the judgment of others interfere with our process of self-forgiveness. Anyone who is holding on to your past doesn’t deserve to be in your future (another gem from Dharius). If you’re doing the work to learn and do better that’s what matters the most! Self-forgiveness is for you not them.
One thing that has helped me is knowing that God has already forgiven me, so why can’t I? We don’t have to be shackled by our past. We are all human and make mistakes, what matters is that we do the WORK to learn & progress. As India Arie says, “To choose life is to choose to forgive.”