Definition: Self-forgiveness is the act of choosing to be free. Taking the lessons and letting go of all the emotions, trauma thoughts, beliefs and past events that cause me harm, and for those I am not ready to release directing kindness and patience towards myself with an understanding that self-forgiveness is a process.

The emotions we feel when someone causes us harm are instinctive. They may include fear, anger, grief and these emotions if not addressed can take use to an undesirable place causing upset to your mental and physical wellbeing. The wise actively seek to walk the path of forgiveness knowing they will achieve inner peace and freedom. We can reach a point of forgiveness by applying compassion with the understanding that this person is just like us operating from a place of fear. Fear of losing something – pride, happiness, health, relationships, power, money, possessions etc.

We can work towards forgiveness by acknowledging that they are seeking happiness in their life just like us, they are trying to avoid suffering in their life just like us; and they are learning about life just like us. Forgiveness is a process and it is impossible to predict when full forgiveness will occur.

Shift your thoughts now to a time when you’ve hurt another – either intentionally or unintentionally. Notice how much harder it is to direct forgiveness to yourself. We lose sight of the fact that we are imperfect like everyone else. We lose sight of the fact that these events are to teach us and perhaps others lessons, these events occur giving us opportunity to grow our souls.

Many of us linger in this space – unable to go backwards and fix the mistake and unable to move forward attached to the emotions, trauma, thoughts, beliefs and events from the past. This behaviour is self-destructive and many stay stuck in this cycle. This can take many forms: rejection, guilt, shame, abandonment and at the extreme hate towards one’s self.

The impact of not forgiving yourself is that unhealthy beliefs form which limits your behaviours and choices in the future – self-sabotage. Many people will not ever allow themselves to progress in an area of their life again after having a negative experience.

For example a woman who has had an unhealthy relationship and has not unpacked this and forgiven herself for making a choice that led to much hurt may avoid future intimate relationships because of issues of self-trust over her ability to attract a good partner; a woman who has terminated a pregnancy for whatever reason may actually have difficulty conceiving because she feels guilt from the past; a mother who holds guilt as a result of a choice she made that has had an impact on her child may live for many years experiencing sadness and pain wondering what would have happened if she made another choice keeping her stuck in a never ending cycle of self-abuse.

Guilt is one of the heaviest emotions. You can sit there forever, lamenting about your choices, feeling bad about yourself and not one bit of that guilt will do anything to change a single thing that happened in the past.

The results if left unaddressed can have huge impact on the mental and physical wellbeing. When you seek inner peace and freedom from this cycle of negativity held from the past with the same compassion and understanding you give others you are demonstrating love and forgiveness towards yourself – permission for a brighter future.

Self-forgiveness is a process, it doesn’t just happen when you choose to forgive yourself. Take the time every time something rears its head for healing and connect with yourself until that issue is resolved. It does happen and overtime you will know and experience the freedom of true self-forgiveness.

Tips for self-forgiveness:

  1. Connect with yourself- make time to connect and converse with yourself about the event or the reasons why you are having difficulty forgiving yourself.
  2. Compassion – come from a place of compassion when analysing your thoughts with the perspective that you were doing your best at the time with what you knew.
  3. Let go of the pain, self-judgement and self-sabotage – sometimes a physical act in this regards helps such as writing a letter to the persons involved and to yourself releasing the hurt and burn this; or a visualising you letting go of past; visualising that your are able to sit in conversation with the other person and both parties apologise for past events, forgive each other, let go of the past and be thankful for the lessons.
  4. Be present – this allows you to move forward and if negative thoughts from past events start to play in your head just gently say to yourself ‘thankyou, but this has been dealt with. It is over. It is done.’


Take care of yourself

Love from me



Karen Ormston is a Professional Life Coach, Intuitive Guide and ThetaHealing Practitioner. Owner-director of Petite Soul Sanctuary.

Photosource: @floretflowers