Forgiveness of self is a form of kindness we extend to ourselves for the mistakes and wrongs we all commit as we bumble our way through this life – and we all bumble. Many of us are way too harsh on ourselves. Relax, this is your first go-around in life. It’s never too late for a do-over. Give yourself some slack for being inexperienced at life and for learning. Would you make those same mistakes now, in hindsight? No? Then good – you learned something! As a psychologist I only really worry when I see a new patient who keeps making the same bad choices over and over. You are not like that —  most of us learn from our mistakes and avoid repeating them in the future. If you do keep doing the same mistake over and over, then simply stop doing them or get professional help – it is nothing you can’t recover from. Far too many of us engage in daily self-blame over things we did in the past. Can you change what happened years ago – or yesterday – by wishing you could? No. But you can change today – where each of us lives – in the here and now. Learn to be content with where you are right at this moment. For today all of your needs are met, right? Perhaps not all your wants, but all of your needs are met. You have food, clean water, shelter? Congratulations you have more than many! Be grateful for what you have and forgive yourself for whatever happened in the past. So long as you have learned from and stopped repeating your past mistakes, everything is ok. Learn to be kind to yourself. We can’t truly be kind to others while harboring anger and hurt feelings towards ourselves. Have you forgiven yourself for past mistakes? Do you need to?

Ron Hill