Annie has had her fair share of challenges in life. There were times when she had to deal with some difficult people in her life. There were also times when she had to make big personal and professional decisions for her life.
Sometimes there’s no definitive way to deal with difficult people or situations, and sometimes there’s no way of knowing which choices and decisions are best for us until we try them out and learn through experience.
So she did whatever she knew best at that time. Our subconscious mind tries to protect and preserve us by responding in ways it has learned up until the current moment.
There were also times when Annie knew or at least had the instinct of what she should or shouldn’t do, yet she did the complete opposite because she couldn’t foresee the consequences of those actions.
Now she feels regret and guilt for her past actions. She wants to move forward with her life but she finds herself stuck in the past. She often thinks to herself:
“If I knew what I know now, I would never do that thing.”
“I wish I realized it earlier.”
The weird thing about life is that often the only way we learn to navigate through life is by making mistakes, LOTS of them, and sometimes really BIG ones.
The wisest people are often said to have made the most mistakes or had the most negative experiences. Most of us wish to grow wiser, more knowledgeable, and more skilled at handling life, but the irony is, there is no flawless or perfect way to get to that intellectual and spiritual level.
It can be a messy road up the hill.
At one point, Annie realizes that she is stuck in this pattern of beating herself up, and it dawns on her that she must start working on forgiving herself for the past. Self-forgiveness seems to be the only way to move on in life.
What is the best way to forgive yourself?
The biggest thing that gets in the way of self-forgiveness is negative self-talk. We often beat ourselves up by recreating the scenarios from the past in our minds and wishing we did or said something different.
We keep repeating the clips of memories from the past over and over to the point where our mind and body start to relive it vividly. All the emotions of pain, anxiety, guilt or anger come up as if we’re actually in that situation right now.
The first step to start forgiving yourself for the past is to shift your focus toward the present moment and replace the negative self-talk with positive affirmations for self-forgiveness.
Below you’ll find 41 affirmations to forgive yourself which are carefully designed while being mindful of the psychological process we go through when we are struggling and finding it hard to forgive ourselves.
Before we dive into the affirmations, let’s briefly touch upon the 4 stages of self-forgiveness.
Maaria Mahmood and Hadil Nour mention the 4 R’s of self-forgiveness in their article which sums up the phases and process of self-forgiveness perfectly.
The 4 Rs of Self-Forgiveness
Take responsibility as a mature adult for your actions. Accepting and acknowledging your share of mistakes and realizing what you could’ve done better.
Feeling regret and guilt for our mistakes and wrongs is completely natural, in fact, necessary. The emotions of regret and guilt have a very important purpose. They are there to push us to make positive changes in our lives and commit to never repeating the same mistakes again. Use remorse as an agent of positive change in your behavior.
No matter the magnitude of our mistakes and wrong-doings, there is often something we do to make amends. Even when there is nothing that could practically make things better, there is always a choice to start doing the right things now.
After realizing and trying your best to make amends, you’ve probably learned some major life lessons. Write them down somewhere. Use those lessons to make your future better by growing as a person.
41 Affirmations for Self-Forgiveness
1. I realize and fully acknowledge my mistakes and shortcomings without any resistance.
2. I take full responsibility for all my actions and behaviors.
3. I allow myself to learn from my faults and grow as a person.
4. Every mistake, shortcoming, or bad experience leads to a more refined version of myself.
5. I allow myself to grow wiser from my experiences.
6. I kindly and gently direct my focus away from dwelling in the past and toward making the most out of the present.
7. Dwelling in the past and missing out on the present moment is yet another mistake that I can’t afford to make anymore.
8. I am a human being after all and no human is free of flaws.
9. I have grown exponentially wiser from all the mistakes and errors I’ve made in life.
10. Every human deserves forgiveness as long as they realize, repent, reform, and commit to change.
11. I will make my life better from this day forward.
12. I will not allow myself to be paralyzed by regret. That will only stop me from making amends.
13. Every day comes with new opportunities to make the most out of life.
14. I let go of any thoughts and habits that lead to self-sabotage.
15. I let go of any resentment I have for myself.
16. I allow my heart and mind to be kind and gentle to myself.
17. I will only be able to truly love others when I forgive and love myself.
18. It’s unfair to hold myself accountable for things that are out of my control.
19. There’s a reason behind everything. I choose to focus on the purpose and wisdom behind what happened in the past.
20. I let go of any internal resistance that has kept me from moving on in life.
21. I allow myself to heal from my past.
22. I fully accept my past and present while letting go of the wish that things would have been different.
23. Everyone deserves a chance to better themselves. I allow myself to start over as I create a better present and future.
24. I will be able to show more kindness and compassion to others when I am kind and compassionate to myself.
25. I channel my emotions of regret toward creating a better and stronger version of myself.
26. I use the lessons I’ve learned to bring joy, relief, and compassion to other people.
27. I allow myself to release all the burdens of guilt, shame, and regret.
28. I stop expecting perfection from myself.
29. I fully accept my imperfections and honor my progress.
30. I am worthy of self-forgiveness and I am deserving of peace and happiness.
31. I peacefully give myself permission to forgive and to heal fully.
32. I am worthy of my own compassion.
33. I allow myself to make some errors and even mess things up, as I progressively grow into a better version of myself.
34. I let go of anything that I use to hold against myself, either consciously or unconsciously.
35. I forgive myself fully and completely.
36. If I didn’t make those mistakes, I wouldn’t have learned. It’s all a part of God’s Divine plan.
37. I accept my weaknesses and shortcomings, as well as my strengths and all good qualities.
38. Nobody is perfect. It’s unfair to expect perfection from myself or from anyone else.
39. The best thing I can do to make amends for whatever I’ve caused is to start letting go of the past and put my energy to create a better present for myself and the ones around me.
40. I will redeem myself and make up for my past actions by doing the right thing from now on.
41. One day I’ll look back proudly at my redemption arc. I’m going to make sure of it by taking action today.
How to Use Affirmations for Self-Forgiveness?
Read these affirmations quietly the first time and let each affirmation sink in, then repeat them out loud the second time around.
Note down your favorite affirmations from this list and repeat them daily for at least a couple of weeks. Alternatively, you can bookmark this article so it’s easier for you to come back to these affirmations whenever you want to read them.
You also focus on one of these affirmations at a time and repeat them several times throughout the day, such as when commuting to work or while you wait for your appointment, or even when doing your chores.
If you’ve always had trouble letting go of the past, or letting for of guilt, anxiety, and hurt feelings, feel free to check out the 75 Affirmations for Letting Go of Past, Hurt Feelings, Anxiety & Guilt.
Hope this article has served you in some way, shape, or form.
Take good care of yourself. Talk to you soon!