Forgive Yourself to Forgive Others.

BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|

Forgive… A word that just reading it generates memories, preventions, fears, etc., that perhaps we have not yet faced. Therefore, we must understand the importance of forgiving, because it will help our emotional wellbeing and, the coexistence with the others.  

According to Cambridge Dictionary [1] , forgive is “to stop blaming or being mad at someone for something that person has done, or not punish them for something”. Merriam- Webster Dictionary [2]  defines it as “to cease to feel resentment against (an offender)” and, according to Greater Good Magazine [3] , “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, regardless of whether they actually deserve forgiveness”. 

So, why it is important to forgive? According to Abigail Brenner [4] : when you forgive someone, you forgive yourself, forgiving gets you out of victim mode, forgiveness frees you, forgiveness helps your health, forgiving helps you move forward on your spiritual path. On the other hand, Johns Hopkins [5]  affirms that “the act of forgiveness can reap huge rewards for your health, lowering the risk of heart attack; improving cholesterol levels and sleep; and reducing pain, blood pressure, and levels of anxiety, depression and stress”. 

Mayo Clinic consider some benefits of forgiving someone (similar to Johns Hopkins) as healthier relationships, improved mental health, less anxiety, stress and hostility, fewer symptoms of depression, lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system, improved heart health and improved self-esteem. The same resource affirms, “It can help free you from the control of the person who harmed you. Sometimes, forgiveness might even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you”.

That is why, Timothy J. Legg, PhD, PsyD., recommends 11 tips to forgive ourselves:  

  1. Focus on your emotions
  2. Acknowledge the mistake out loud
  3. Think of each mistake as a learning experience
  4. Give yourself permission to put this process on hold
  5. Have a conversation with your inner critic
  6. Notice when you are being self-critical
  7. Quiet the negative messages of your inner critic
  8. Take your own advice
  9. Quit playing the tape
  10. Show kindness and compassion
  11. Seek professional help

That is why the invitation is for you to take advantage of the new year to forgive yourself, from your heart, so that you can forgive others and then you will see how your emotional wellbeing improves.







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