How many times have you determined that somebody deserves your forgiveness? What even made you determine that someone was worthy enough for your forgiveness? They say often it is the ones closest to us that hurt us, perhaps because they know that our love will be gentle with them and gracious, and generally they aren’t wrong. Over and over again, you have forgiven so many who have done you wrong, but have you ever treated yourself with the same grace?

You above all else deserve your own forgiveness. It is easy to be our own worst critic, to let every mistake or regret build up in order to “never commit them again”, but if you never let those things go you will never be able to truly move forward, freely. Think of all the mistakes in your life you have made, the small ones from when you were five, to the larger ones that you made in young adulthood to now. Think about the ones you regret and the mistakes you wish you could take back, and then do the most ridiculous thing ever, thank them. Thank them for the lessons that they brought you, thank them for the contrast they brought into your life.

If you can give forgiveness so easily, when did you decide that you yourself did not deserve it? Let me be the first to tell you that it is not selfish or ignorant to accept your own undoings. To keep punishing yourself for things that the rest of the world has already forgotten is a waste of your precious time in this beautiful world. Whatever it is that you cannot let go of, pain or guilt, invite it in for coffee, hear it out, and tell it to have a good day. Holding on to the guilt just hinders you from growing into the person you are meant to be. The fact that you are even this sorry shows the beautiful heart that you have, so why are you so hard on yourself?

Society gives us this expectation or ideal of what a good person is: the loving, courageous, humble, heroic figure; and when you make a mistake we automatically become our biggest punisher. Stop being your own warden and let yourself out of this prison of guilt. We are all human. That’s the biggest part of life, trial and error. When it comes down to it, mistakes and failure do not exist, they are all just lessons. Even the hardest ones to learn are shaping you into exactly who you need to be. Stop being so hard on yourself, you deserve your own forgiveness and love more than anybody else.