Forgiving Oneself

by Janie J

Yes, there is a purpose behind our actions when we say something that we later regret! This is quite a normal occurrence and definitely something that we as humans NEED to do in order to learn and grow.

No, I do not beat myself up about past poor performance. I learned long ago that such actions do not serve any purpose, except to make us feel worse.

Instead, I learned to forgive myself and move on. I vow to ‘learn the lesson’ and not repeat my behavior. When I was younger I remember clearly having to make a big, life-changing decision and the mantra in my head went like this: “I am making the best decision I can at this moment and I will live not to regret it later.” This mindset has served me well over the years.

Another example of behavior I ‘learned’ from was as a young mother. I said mean things to my kids, feeling it was my role to correct any and all behavior. Now I regret those unkind words and have learned there are ways to correct a child’s behavior by complimenting them on the ‘good’ behavior (even if it is difficult to find) and then gently correcting their ‘bad’ behavior. This works well with employees or co-workers also.

I learned from my former spouse not to bark orders about his chores, but rather to ‘ask’ in a kindly manner if he would be able to perform certain chores. This works well with others too.

In general, one must learn to recognize their mistake, forgive themselves, (i.e. learn the lesson), and try to incorporate this new behavior into everyday action. Lastly, remember that God or your higher power only requires us to do our best. Sometimes learning to do your best requires making mistakes along the way.

 

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