4 Tips on How to Love Yourself Enough To Forgive Yourself

Updated: Apr 10



Love is like a rose, beautiful and delicate. However, to attain it from which it dwells, one must encounter the thorns that were built to defend it. Trust, communication, vulnerability, honesty and patience are the thorns we must endure to build a loving relationship with ourselves and with others. The bond born of these is strong, vibrant and wholesome.

At times, in our haste to hold on to the rose that is love, we damage its delicate petals and bruise the stem that gives it life. We shield ourselves from the thorns in hopes that we can have the beauty of the rose without ever embracing the thorns. These moments leave us insecure, unresponsive, guarded, dishonest and impatient. These moments are marked by regret for which we seek escape.

When I began my journey of self-awareness and self-love, I fixated on moments I regretted the most:

  • The times I let myself down and allowed my insecurities to define my value

  • The instances in which I failed to show kindness and compassion to myself

  • The times I resisted change under the guise that it would push me further away from love

  • The negative thoughts I allowed to cloud my mind, and the judgment I placed when I spoke to myself

  • The times I felt guilty for wanting appreciation and understanding from anyone other than myself

Regret warranted forgiveness but I did not know how to achieve it. These are four tips that allowed me to love myself enough to forgive myself.

1. Understanding that forgiveness is a process and not a single defining moment

Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you. What we often misunderstand is the means - deciding to forgive is not defined by a single moment but rather a series of events of internal dialogue, debate of perspectives, discovery of limits, and rediscovery of strengths. Therefore forgiveness, much like self-love, is a journey of exploration through a series of meaningful actions, marked by gradual changes, and conducive to a desired objective that is always evolving. This is a convoluted way of saying you are not simply forgiven but rather must continue to exercise forgiveness with yourself.

2. Forgiveness is beautiful and ugly, it is peaceful and haunting, it is not quintessential

Images of forgiveness often focus on love and healing, and a journey rewarded by peace and release. When I imagined my forgiveness - I was standing at the edge of a cliff, taking in deep breaths of fresh floral and greenery, feeling light enough to be carried by the wind, yet still enough to be unmoved by it. In reality, I was swimming in my tears more often than I was embracing the peace. I gasped for air in panic more than I breathed with a sigh of relief, and when I felt I had arrived at my destination it was revealed another journey had just begun. Maybe it was my human nature to go on the defensive that made my journey of forgiveness arduous: when I encountered negative emotions I tried to numb how I felt if it caused me pain and discomfort. When I could not silence how I was feeling, I entertained self-criticism, sought to assign blame, and even spoke unkindly of what I was once fond of. But I also had moments of epiphany then that took the weight of guilt and regret away. It was...beautiful and ugly, peaceful and haunting, and not the quintessential experience I set out to find.

3. Resist the compulsion to replay the events you cannot change

Engaging in the "shoulda, coulda, woulda" dialogue is often a trap one falls into when they are left wondering about what might have been. We replay the moments in detail, hoping to justify the excuses we made for why we said what we said or did what we did, with no resolve. This unfortunate loop prevents us from growing past these moments of regret. Without growth, we are unable to fully embrace the version of ourselves that is healed and better for it. Stop the replay...when you find yourself starting to replay events you cannot change, redirect your focus to something that encourages release - breath exercises, a quick workout, or a creative project. When we actively choose to move forward and find release, we unlock a version of ourselves born from forgiveness.

4. Forgiveness requires patience and compassion

Forgiveness takes time, and therefore requires you to be patient with yourself. It is a process not an event. So, take the time to show yourself some kindness and compassion while you navigate this process, and remind yourself you are worthy of forgiveness. You may find yourself struggling at some stages of your journey... be patient. When you come to realize there are forks in the road... trust yourself. If you falter in your pursuits... stay encouraged.

The only way to advance in the journey to forgiveness is to be kind and compassionate with yourself.

It is with these 4 tips that I have come to understand that forgiveness is a means, and an end to loving oneself. It is not always easy but it is rewarding.

Bonus tip: There are tools you can utilize to facilitate your journey of forgiveness. Check out our “IT IS TIME TO HEAL VIBE COLLECTION" at www.ciccoaroma.com


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With care in mind,

Madonna

Cicco Aroma


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