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Forgive Yourself

A recent caller to my radio show told me that although she could forgive other people easily, the hardest thing to do was to forgive herself.  In thinking about this very common problem, here’s what you have to consider: Everything that you’ve done in your life up until this moment, you had to do. The proof of this is that you did it!

Everything you did is over now. You can’t take any of it back. In The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, the poet says, “The Moving Finger writes: and having writ,/ Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit/ Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,/ Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”

The fact that we can’t erase the past says something to us. We are called on to forgive ourselves, to honor what is past, to love and respect it. Look back and say, “That’s what I needed to do, that’s the person I needed to be at that time in my life. I did that, and I’ve learned from it. Now I can move on.” 

Take the present moments you have now and use them in joy and love—not in anguishing over what you should or shouldn’t have done or how you weren’t good enough. You were the person you were supposed to be then so you could become the person you are now. You needed to do the things you did in order to find out how you didn’t want to be. Rather than cursing the past, bless it and forgive yourself entirely. When you know that all of those experiences were a part of the divine design of your life, you can afford to forgive.

So many things that I did in my life, I look back and think that I would never do those things today. And yet all of my past actions have contributed to helping me be the man I am today. Say to yourself, “I had to be that person and I’ve learned from him (or her).” Forgiving yourself is every bit as important as forgiving other people. You did the best that you could, given the conditions of your life, and you can’t ask any more of yourself or of anyone else. Forgive yourself and welcome love back into your life. When you can do this, a kind of balancing occurs. Rather than atoning for sins with guilt, you are more committed to promoting joy and service. You will begin to do what you originally came here to do.



Melissa says:

I am inspired by this, but still struggle when it comes to mistakes I have made with my children. When you make a mistake that may cause long-term damage to your child – how can you forgive yourself? To me, that is different than forgiving a mistake you made that was more about you – not about someone else. Help?!

honeyapl says:

I passed up an opportunity that is now no longer available to me. I believe the opportunity was part of Divine design, but not my stupidity. Now my innocent son is going to suffer. I have a hard time believing that was part of a plan. I believe we are presented with good things and it is up to us to take or refuse them. It’s called free will.

karen says:

Thankyou, i am learning to forgive myself slowly and this really helped ty so much.How do i hear your radio show? Take care,

PeaceLover says:

Thank you so much for this post Wayne. I have struggled with self-forgiveness and allowing self-care for a very long time. I really appreciate all your words. Thank you. I am currently blogging about my journey on my website worldpeaceisinevitable, writing and sharing really helps with my clarity and understanding.

Brenton says:

Your words have been immeasurably benificial to me, however, this particular bit couldn’t have come at a better time. I am in the midst of altering some less than desirable aspects of myself and getting past the initial detest to their very existence has surely proven to be a challenging task. Thank you for your constant love and support.

George says:

I am exactly where I need to be today. It took every experience, positive and negative, I ever had to get here. Therefore, why would I ever think that whatever is occuring today is the first thing in the man’s history that is not exactly what it is supposed to be? I can now to embrace the present, forgive the past and look forward to the future.

Bettina says:

These words have really made a difference, thank you so much!!!

Boja says:

Thanks for your words, as always they come at the perfect time. I agree forgiveness can be difficult but it can be done, its forgiveness, and when you know better than you do better. Thank you!

Kim says:

Trying to forgive the attorney I work for. She stole $ from me by not paying my fed taxes re payroll. 2-years worth of delinquencies. Will not apologize or acknowledge. I’m trying to forgive despite, but it is difficult. She breaks the law, and I’m suppose to just forget. Help!

richard says:

Dr Dyer
Thank you for helping me to forgive myself and love me for who I am. I have listened to Excuses Begone in my car 100 times of more. I had hate toward my father and had to learn to love to let go. I buried him last year after many year of abuse. I forgave him in order to grow

Kenneth says:

I have forgiven myself and acknowledged my past as a series of building blocks to who I am now. I have done that through your precious words, Dr. Dyer, and I will forever be grateful.

Stephanie says:

After 14 months sobriety, I drank. I felt… finally.. I am past that darkness in my life, but then last month all my should of beens and not good enoughs keep pounding against my soul blocking me from Source. But I see now I never could forgive myself for my past and I have always felt broken. but today I feel whole for the first time. Thank you.

ali Mohsenian says:

Thank you indeed for your great words.
Human being is representative of God in the earth. God forgive our faults and every new day is a gift from God that present to us. So we can be a new and good person each day and it seems that we just are born.
Ali from Iran

L. Harriet says:

I have just arrived home from your ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC talk in Toronto! There were so many touching moments, your message, inspiration, god-self, and the tender greeting of love of flowers from the family who now dwells in your old home, away from home. You are a light and I send you many blessings of gratitude! Sweet dreams! xo Harriet

Amelie de Vera says:

Learn from your mistakes, don’t let it drag you to self pity, instead use it to become a better you. It’s from learning through those mistakes that we become a better person.

Thank you for the good read.

Verna says:

How timely. Thank you. I just love it when the right message appears at a perfect time.

Bless you!

Barbara says:

Thank you for this timely post, Wayne. My partner just passed on a week ago and even though I know it was a higher power, I have been feeling guilt and remorse that I should have been able to save him.

steve says:

I will try this, i keep waiting for the ones, who i want to love me again. To live without past regrets. I end up giving in to their sorrows thinking, showing my love letting them feel it, Is the key to fix them and give me my family back. It doesn’t ever fix. I can’t keep hurting the ones who love me to get the lost loves to be.

Mucunda says:

eres ectraordinari amigo w

Mucunda says:

I had to be that person and I ve learned from him

Eve says:

Thank you for this wisdom! So needed and inspiring. And a belated Happy Birthday to you! By the way I LOVE your Hay House radio show!! :))

Jussi says:

You’ve got so right, again Wayne! Thank you for you comforting words – you hit just to the burning point inside of me. How can it be so hard to forgive yourself?? After reading your post I feel a lot of better, anyway! Thank you.

Wayne Fennimore says:

I volunteer in a county detention center counseling inmates in recovery. Many of the imates have trouble quitting drinking and/or drugging. The biggest stumbling block is that they find it hard to forgive themselves. Once they see that they are divine beings, they can forgive themselves, reading a copy of Your Sacred Self gets them started.

Joseph Wadas says:

Forgiveness of others begins with forgiveness of self. Love of others begin with love of self. Love of self requires forgiveness of self. Forgiving ourself is the single most loving thing to do for ourselves. Thank you for the reminder! Namaste!

june says:

Truer words were never written. Such a simple thing to do, forgive oneself, yet so hard to do. Thank you for your insight. And happy belated birthday!

Gcinashe says:

Thank you very much. This is a work in orogress in my life but I am making bigger strides now.

Kathy Prodigo says:

Wow, I was just telling someone today that I am now so grateful for all the experiences I had to go through to get where I am today. Now, 4 years ago life was hell and I could see so way out. See what a little wisdom can do. Every day is a new lesson and I look forward to every day 🙂

Caroline says:

Happy belated b-day Wayne!:) This really hit home for me..but have a question:i’ve forgiven myself , but am afraid to let love in because through some of my lessons , I got burnt, How do I heal that the non trusting part of me so that I can let love in? (and taken advantage of and abused because I allowed too much trust in that person)

Heidi says:

Thank you for this post. Someone pointed out to me that I seem to be struggling to forgive myself, and finding that they were true, I have been grappling with how to cope and move on. Your words brought insight and wisdom and a push in the right direction. Thank you!

JILL says:

God told me one day that He gave me my past not to dwell in and stay stuck in but rather to use for reference, memories, love, wisdom, laughter, and joy. The day I figured out I could not change the past was the day I started paying real close attention to my present. Jill

Vicki says:

I read this writing and felt my whole body let out a huge sigh. Thank you for reminding me not to be ashamed of who I was or what I did in the past. These are things I needed to do to get me to this very spot where now I know better, can do better and will love myself more for it. Bless you Wayne.

Willam says:

Thats very true.You got it right.The way to forgive ourselves is to let go.Your explanation is very understandable. We had to be the kind of person at that time to become what we are today.
Thanks very much I got it.

Yadira says:

thanks for your words. They came in the perfect moment of my life. forgive myself is very difficult but it not impossible.
God bless you!

Jim Haley says:

Thank You Thank You Thank You Happy belated birthday Wayne.