Advice on Forgiving Yourself: The Courageous Step Inside.
Dear Andrew. . .
I just read your recent newsletter, “How do you forgive someone?” You gave an awesome response, but now I am wondering, how do you forgive yourself?
Much like forgiving someone else, forgiving ourselves requires us to step into a larger identity than the one we are currently in. It requires us to admit our wrongdoings and commit to becoming someone better than we were before.
Forgiving ourselves can be scary because our former identities, the ones we held onto for so long, usually never survive. To forgive effectively, we have to admit that we are no longer the people we once were, nor do we want to be them anymore. We must realize that these former selves are simply a shadow of the people we are meant to be and the only thing left of them are ashes.
We must look at these ashes left behind and make something new from them; an identity that is larger and more honest than the one we previously had. Stepping into this new identity can sometimes be lonely. Sometimes the people we wronged are not ready to forgive us and other times the people we once surrounded ourselves with do not understand.
Regardless, we must move on. We must walk this new road whether we are alone or with others. We cannot live in the shadows of what we ‘think’ could have been, even when others think otherwise. If something else was meant to be, it would have been but it did not unfold that way. We must accept that today was meant to happen and that our only ‘real’ choice is to carry on.
To move forward, we need to take that first courageous step, not in front of us but inside of us. That courageous step towards becoming the more compassionate person we know we are meant to be. The person who is not only compassionate to others but also to themselves.
To forgive oneself is like stepping into a portal that at first looks like an entrance to another world, but that in reality is the first step home. It is to stop telling ourselves the story of how things should have been and to start writing the story of how things will be from now on.
The act of self-forgiveness is not passive. It is something we must put effort into every day. It requires that we accept our past as we step forward onto a new, evolving frontier. A frontier that will guide us into becoming someone bigger and more genuine than we were before. Someone who, in their hearts, hopes to never make the same mistakes again.
Questions for Andrew?
If you want to ask me something, feel free to respond to this email or any others from me, or you can also ask me via Instagram.
If your question is not selected or answered, please do not feel discouraged. This does not mean your question is not beautiful or worthy. I try to choose questions that I have personal experience in and that I feel I can honestly answer. Unfortunately, I do not have an answer to every question I receive. I am still learning and the answers I write are simply some of the most important lessons I have learned so far. Through this newsletter, my goal is to keep learning and to share with you what I find. I hope you come along with me on this journey because I ‘know’ it is going to be a good one.
Finally, remember sometimes there is no right answer. Sometimes the most important thing is simply being curious enough to ask the question.
I uploaded a new IGTV video where I narrate my recent letter: How to Love Yourself.
To watch the video, click here.
To listen to previous podcast episodes, click here.
For a copy of my poetry book, click here.
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