I have studied many ways to self-forgiveness and have found this to be the definitive document on the why, who, how and where of forgiveness.
Recovering members of 12-Step fellowships, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-anon, ACOA, Gamblers Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, may find this helpful.
It is important to forgive ourselves for our own confusion and unhappiness. It’s important to forgive ourselves for our own failures and stuckness––for the dreams, desires and visions that did not come true. If it seems that we may go unfulfilled in the ways we expected or strived for, we must be especially kind to ourselves in self-forgiveness.
It is also important to forgive ourselves for the wounds we carry and the harm we caused others. Through the medium of prayer or meditation, or perhaps just letting a note of birdsong cut through, we can find compassion for ourselves in the midst of insufficiency.
Self-forgiveness is ultimate friendliness to oneself.
And it’s also one of the most difficult courtesies to extend inwardly. If someone else hurts us in some way it is often easier to accept their apology and to forgive him or her than it is to forgive ourselves for the same infraction.
Self forgiveness is part of the climate of kindness that arises when the heart begins to open. Kindness cuts through perfectionism and judgementalness. It’s not that we become so lax that we fail to do good work or to hold just standards; but co-existing with precision and rigor, both kindness and forgiveness must be very close at hand. Otherwise our social systems quickly fall out of balance.
Full text available to download in PDF format at; Forgiveness Wheel is a trilogy of reflections on forgiveness by Richard Simonelli, a freelance writer and staff associate and media specialist for White Bison Inc.