How do I FORGIVE myself?

Photo by Evan Kirby on Unsplash

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! As we crossed into the new year, I noticed a lot of people making the never-been-effective-new-year resolutions. This year, it seemed everyone was on the bandwagon of ‘letting go of toxic people’ ‘cutting of A,B,C’ and ‘loving themselves more’ which I applaud. It dawned on me that of all the 12 or more resolutions I kept seeing, no one mentioned forgiveness and unforgiveness.

It will amaze you that even the choice to cut off toxic people may have been made from a bitter heart. Much more than ever, I believe we should have in our ‘resolutions’ FORGIVE MORE, MAKE ROOM FOR FORGIVENESS & LET GO OF EVERY IOTA OF UNFORGIVENESS I HAVE HELD ON TO. PS: I would definitely share on why forgiveness has been strong on my heart lately #nextpost

So in my mentorship group, I asked that we hold on for two days on our Q1 plan which is focused on ‘Fulfilling Purpose God’s Way’ and instead ponder on forgiveness so that we can let go of those little foxes and every weight that so easily besets us. I asked in the group that we kick off with questions on forgiveness and one of us asked ‘How do I forgive myself?’

Hmmm!! I was not expecting it because too often when we think about forgiveness, we think we need to forgive others but many of us also struggle with forgiving ourselves. So here’s my response and I’d love to here yours too in the comments below:

The reason why we find it hard to forgive ourselves is because we are playing a shame story in our head that says “I’ve been bad, I’m a very bad person, oh see how stupid I have been” and with the way the mind works, the more you analyse the situation the bigger ‘your perceived stupidity/foolishness’ appears and so you keep condemning yourself over & over again. The sad thing is with condemnation and shame, you are held back from doing many amazing things in life.

What you need to remember is this. 
1. Doing a bad thing does not make you a bad person, we are all prone to make mistakes. We learn from them and move on. Each mistake is a lesson in life and it teaches us to have compassion on others when they falter.

2. You are not your mistakes. You did a bad thing. You are not a bad thing/person. It does not mean that is how you will keep repeating the mistakes over & over again even if other people in your life think so.

3. Find a space where you can be vulnerable about your mistakes and if you are afraid of repeating the same mistakes, get accountability in that space.

4. Remember that Christ does not condemn you and has forgiven you
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1

“The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭103:8–13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Open up before GOD, keep nothing back; he’ll do whatever needs to be done: He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭37:5–6‬ ‭MSG

“I — yes, I alone — will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:25‬ ‭NLT

Finally, God forgives us once we confess and repent of our sins but as long as you continue to magnify your sin — you don’t believe that God’s word is true and the devil continues to rejoice. That rejoicing belongs to you, rejoice for you are free indeed in Christ.

Memorise these scriptures as you work through forgiving yourself so that when those thoughts of condemnation arise, you repeat God’s word out loud to yourself.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22–23 NIV

This Ted Talk by Brene Brown also helps us understand how shame holds us down.