Forgiving Ourselves

posted June 16th, 2011 by Janet Graham - 2 Comments

A friend sent me a note recently asking whether I had considered writing about “forgiving oneself”.  In her words: “Those of us who are doers set such high bars for ourselves – over time it is tough to deal with the baggage of “misses” and in order to move forward one has to learn to forgive oneself.”


I have been feeling some regret and disappointment looking back over my life and career and I have talked to others who are feeling some of the same things.


When I received this note from my friend, I remembered an exercise I had completed years ago which was profoundly liberating! The words may seem a little “woo woo” to you.  Regardless, I encourage you to feel their essence.


“If we are to become deliberate creators, flowing whatever we may call “the good life” all about us, then we must learn to approve of everything we’ve ever done. Everything! We’ve got to stop seeing every little thing we did as a mistake or blunder, or even as an embarrassment. We must – we absolutely must – learn to release the guilt. How? By remembering everything we ever did, we did for the experience of it.”


“Regret, guilt, remorse; call it what you will, that energy is the most destructive, useless, stagnant energy of the Universe. That kind of energy brings a halt to everything, including your life!”


“True self-acceptance is saying to yourself – in spite of all the awful things you’ve done, in spite of all the things you feel guilty for, in spite of all your faults and imperfections, in spite of all your little secrets and fearful uglies you’re terrified to admit to yourself – ‘It’s all right, it’s all right, it’s all right'”


My friend’s note reminded me of the importance of forgiving ourselves.   It is almost impossible to experience the joy of the present when we continue to experience the shame, disappointment and regrets of the past.  It is another reminder of the importance of treating ourselves with gentleness and compassion!!


I am looking forward to a sweet summer filled with love and warmth and sunshine and joy!! In order to experience it fully,  I will forgive myself and when I forget and fall back into old comfortable behaviours and ways of coping, I will forgive myself again!  I am choosing to leave behind the shame and regret and disappointment and hope to replace it with gentleness and compassion.  A life filled with joy is my fondest wish for myself and it is my fondest wish for you!!













Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in career experiences

2 Responses to “Forgiving Ourselves”

Comment from sjg4
Time June 18, 2011 at 9:32 am

There is another part to forgiving ourselves. Forgiving is always tied to the past. So if one truly wants to forgive oneself you have to start living in the “Now”.
This conditioning is based on a strategy of living called “Mindfulness” which is a concept that makes living and being mindful of all you do, in every minute the life force behind living. It supports the concept of not worrying about your future as well. For more details regarding Mindfulness Based Living please see resources by Jon Cabot-Zinn, the true expert in this field. (I’m taking a refresher course in August 2011 in Edmonton.)


Comment from Ted
Time June 23, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Mrs Nixon,
As always a well-written post! You are very courageous and kind to share with us your thoughts and stories regardless of how personal they might be. There is great learning in sharing. Thanks!

When I was a boy, my grandparents would often talk about what could have been, if we had done this and that…moved here, took that job, married this person, bought that house…and even then I knew this was an unproductive exercise for me and I swore never to do it…and I just don’t do it. Everything happens exactly the way it is supposed to and for the time it is the best that can be. Not to say I like how it is at all times, but very aware we are the creators of our worlds and must get on with it, thanks for the reminder.

Write a comment

You need to login to post comments!