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The Magic of Forgiveness: How to forgive yourself (and others)

Updated: Jul 28, 2019

I’ve been practicing meditation, mindfulness, cultivating skills and spirituality, and developing material for a while now, putting it into practice, it’s really starting to take shape. I sound surprised. I am surprised. And impressed.

But I, like everyone, fail more than I succeed. I often neglect my own practice, I find other more ‘important’ things to focus on. I snap at the ones I love. I allow emotions to take the wheel.

I’m a very forgiving person in general, I don’t often cling to anger.

There are days I fall off the forgiveness wagon and become so upset I feel perhaps I’ve fallen all the way back to square one.

Of course there are situations that will make us angry, but it’s so damaging to hold onto that anger. Forgiveness isn't a cake walk, either. However, science tells us how incredible it is fr the brain, so when and if possible, let's try to forgive.

Tips for forgiving yourself (and others) and letting go.

  1. Allow yourself to feel angry at the situation rather than at yourself.Or someone else. It’s very easy to hold onto toxic feelings about ourselves and others, but actually it’s the situation (and the replaying over and over and over in our heads) that affects us. Say to yourself “I forgive myself for making mistakes, I can find a solution to this situation.” It might not solve the problem, but it will remind you that shit happens, and you’re not so bad, really.

  2. Remember that shit happens. – Some things in life are just too inevitable, and some not so much, but once something has happened all we can do is move forward. Time travel would be great, but alas if you can’t get your hands on a flux capacitor you’ll just have to live in the present. It’s very easy to say and not so easy to do, but try to remind yourself; "what’s done is done and now we go forward."

  3. Don’t give yourself so much credit. – The world is a crazy place, and those of us in it are even crazier. You are not alone in slipping up, you’re not the first or the last person to make that huge mistake, you’re not alone in your faults and follies. Yeah you messed up. But the world doesn’t care. You (and maybe some others) care a lot, but time will take away the sting, and forgiveness will take away the heartache. You’re not alone here.

  4. Don’t think too much. – Its easy to say “forgiveness will take away the heartache”, but what TH does that actually mean and how TH do I do that? First, breathe. Don’t let forgiveness be another cause of stress. Just repeat some affirmations, avoid focusing on what it means to forgive; rather focus on being kind to yourself. If being kind to yourself is tough right now, find something that makes you happy and do it. Exercise, sleep, eat something delicious, take a walk, meditate, call your mum. The headspace needed to forgive will soon come and you’ll be in a position of gentle power.

  5. Remember that you are amazing. – How cool is it that the earth is around 4.5 BILLION years old and we get to be a walking, talking evolved conscious being there upon it?! How freakin’ cool is that!? Which means, in all of those billions of years and strands of DNA evolved from our ancestors’ ancestors’ ancestors’…we get to bear witness to all that exists. That’s pretty amazing. And you are an important part of it all. Of course you’re gonna make mistakes. Of course WE are. The important thing is to remember we are all learning, every day, more about ourselves, the world around us, life as we know it. Cut yourself some slack. If we had it all figured out, what a boring existence it would be indeed.

  6. Lastly, love yourself. – A good friend of mine always says “Live your best life”. I love that. To hell with what anyone else thinks. You are wonderful, and you deserve love. Give yourself love. That’s the most natural and beautiful thing I’ve learned so far in this life; love IS the answer. Practice it. Share it. Receive it. Believe it. Live it. Live Love.

If all else fails, listen to some soothing music, and repeat these words:

“I forgive you. I love you. You are enough. You are human. You are not alone. I forgive you.”


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