Self-forgiveness is essential not only for intentional healing journeys—like those from substance abuse or mental health issues—but in life in general. Even if you often allow yourself to forgive other people, sometimes it feels like forgiving yourself is off-limits, especially if you tend to have patterns of perfectionism and a loud inner critic.
Shifting the Expectation
You may find yourself feeling disappointed in yourself because you did not meet your expectations. Although it may feel easier said than done, and easier some days than others, self-forgiveness is an essential part of any recovery process.
It may help to evaluate the standards to which you hold others compared to the standards to which you hold yourself. You may come to realize you are being an unfair critic of yourself. Remember—you are human too. Perhaps you can allow yourself to shift the expectations you have for yourself from being perfect to being human. When you expect perfection, you may be let down. When you instead expect a good result with human error factored in, you may be happier in the end.
Anchoring in Acceptance
Acceptance is the cure for anything you resist, both in your life and in yourself. When you come to experience a part of yourself that did not meet your expectations and therefore feel hard to forgive, it can be powerful to accept what is rather than resist and try to change it. This causes you to accept yourself, rather than deny yourself of your humanity.
How to Forgive
Forgiveness is interesting because there is not anything you have to do to forgive. Rather, it is something you choose.
To make forgiving yourself feel easier when it is hard, it may be helpful to think of someone you find easy to forgive. No matter who this person may be, connecting a part of yourself with whatever makes them easier to forgive can help you find forgiveness for yourself.
Forgiveness may feel uncomfortable at first, as it is an act of self-compassion. It might become more comfortable with time through shifting your expectations of self, practicing acceptance, and choosing to forgive in order to experience liberation, healing, and freedom.
Self-forgiveness is a radical act of self-compassion and self-care. It is essential to experience healing and recovery from substance use and mental illness. At Avalon Malibu, we recognize how difficult it can be to practice self-compassion and are here to support you in learning what this looks and feels like through practicing acceptance and forgiveness. Our team of professionals is here to support you as you take strides in your healing. If you are ready to begin your journey, call Avalon Malibu today at (844) 857-5992.