You have to forgive yourself.
I have read this in so many books and heard it on so many movies. But what does it mean? How can you forgive yourself? Can you tell yourself “I’m sorry”? I don’t think it’s possible. Unless you have multiple personalities…
So, why do people say this? How am I supposed to follow such advice?
Perhaps better advice would be: You must accept forgiveness. Though I cannot actually forgive myself, I can withhold forgiveness from myself by not accepting it from others. If I refuse to accept forgiveness when it’s offered, I will never feel forgiven. It’s that simple. You have to really want forgiveness and realize that you need it. Then, you need to ask for that forgiveness. Finally, you need to — you have to — accept that forgiveness. Accept the fact that you have been forgiven, it’s history now, there’s no need to feel guilty about it anymore.
Most important, if God has forgiven you — even when a person refuses to — you are forgiven by the One who really matters. End of story. Now, you just have to accept that and get past it. Quit living in the past and dreaming of “what if”. You did something wrong, made a mistake, but you can’t change that. In His eyes you are forgiven.
So, stop trying to “forgive yourself” and just ask others to forgive you. It’s more effective.