Self-Forgiveness

Namaste Jesus

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The idea of forgiveness can be found in many different faiths, but what of self-forgiveness? Is it just as important? More so? If so, how best to achieve it?
 

Senthil

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Certainly differing world views make it so some have to deal with more guilt than others.

I view it as each experience being a lesson, and that all people make mistakes. I'll self-talk, and say, "Look, I've erred, and I'm not going to repeat the same error again."
 

wil

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Let it go...simplified..

Whatever decision or action that was made in the past was the best one...best action you thought of at the time... It is hindsight... New information...that causes you to regret that past mistake...had you had the information...if you knew then what you know now you wouldn't have done that...

Simply let it go...apologize if you harmed anyone...and move on...

Not forgiving will hold you back from being who you wish to be...
 

Aussie Thoughts

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The idea of forgiveness can be found in many different faiths, but what of self-forgiveness? Is it just as important? More so? If so, how best to achieve it?
Self forgiveness is paramount. From a Christian perspective, short of siding with the anti-christ, any and all transgressions, past, present and future are forgiven through Jesus. His dying on the cross guarantees it. Dang! Sounded like a bloody Baptist Minister just then. Any road, regardless of whether or not that's part of your doctrine, there's but one thing that stands between you and receiving Divine Forgiveness. That is, not forgiving yourself. It completely blocks the path. It's the most destructive force there is. Let me get back up on the pulpit for a moment. God loves us. His forgiveness is automatic, but we can not receive it until we forgive ourselves. Can I get an Amen? Sorry folks.... couldn't resist. It's pretty early here.

Seriously though, what's done is done. There's no sense beating yourself up over it. You know, half the time we beat ourselves up over nothing at all. That big transgression we think we've committed is only so in our own minds. God probably didn't see it that way, but even if he did, if God's willing to forgive us, who are we to deny it by not forgiving ourselves? I should think that to be the bigger transgression.
 

StevePame

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You know, half the time we beat ourselves up over nothing at all.

I've found that to be the case in my life. I've tried to adopt the approach of letting it go and moving on, having learned from past lessons.

Whatever decision or action that was made in the past was the best one...best action you thought of at the time...

I know you're going for the simplified approach, but I know there have been times when I have made a decision or action that, in the moment, I knew wasn't best and still committed it. Those are the ones that I have the hardest time forgiving myself for down the road.
 

wil

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t, I knew wasn't best and still committed it.
I still don't buy it.... Yes I've done utterly stupid things...hateful things...hurtful things... But I still say..at the time I weighed the options....and made what in that moment... Looking at the penalty and the repercussions....and made whatvi thought was my best choice... (Later I learned simply the path of least resistance or weak attempts to delay...were not valid reasons)
 

Ahanu

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The idea of forgiveness can be found in many different faiths, but what of self-forgiveness? Is it just as important? More so? If so, how best to achieve it?

Forgiving others is impossible when I don't possess self-forgiveness. For this reason I think self-forgiveness is preeminent.

In my opinion, the best way to achieve self-forgiveness is through self-forgetfulness. Say I experienced greed in the past, acted on it, and feel self-hatred for this act that I take responsibility for. I can say with the Buddha: "This is not mine; this is not what I really am; this is not my self." The key is in the term self. I must search for my true self.
 

Nick the Pilot

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If you make a mistake, say you are sorry, promise never to do it again, then move on. And if you can, try to rectify your wrong and make it right (undo the damage you did, and help people through the unhappiness you have caused them).
 

Namaste Jesus

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Forgiving others is impossible when I don't possess self-forgiveness. For this reason I think self-forgiveness is preeminent.
Very true. As Aussie says, "Self forgiveness is paramount" without it, nothing, because our own self-loathing takes center stage and renders all else null and void.
I knew wasn't best and still committed it. Those are the ones that I have the hardest time forgiving myself for down the road.
Yeah, that's the ones I have trouble with too.
if God's willing to forgive us, who are we to deny it by not forgiving ourselves? I should think that to be the bigger transgression.
Oh just great. Something else to worry about! I'm kidding, I'm kidding and yes you can have an AMEN and a GOD BLESS. Thanks for your post by the way. I really needed to hear that.
 

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Whatever decision or action that was made in the past was the best one...best action you thought of at the time...

Couldn't disagree with this more. Okay, I thought about it and I can disagree with it more! ;) Seriously though, this simply is not so Wil. There are all too many times people make anything but the best action they could think of at the time. People make the worst decisions on purpose for a host of reasons. Hatred, jealousy, anger, and all those dark emotions.

Should people allow themselves to self forgive when they have done terrible things on purpose? With intent to do harm? Be if physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual harm. Seems a simple self forgiveness is not appropriate in such a case. There first has to be some repentance, and I don't mean of the theological nature. Even if it is as simple as promising to yourself you will never do that thing again - and sticking to that promise would be the minimum requirement.

Not that people do not do harm with intent and allow themselves self forgiveness with an excuse, because they do. I don't consider that self forgiveness though. Rather self deception.
 

Aussie Thoughts

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There are all too many times people make anything but the best action they could think of at the time. People make the worst decisions on purpose for a host of reasons. Hatred, jealousy, anger, and all those dark emotions.

Should people allow themselves to self forgive when they have done terrible things on purpose? With intent to do harm? Be if physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual harm. Seems a simple self forgiveness is not appropriate in such a case.
I agree with you there mate, but actions done with clear malice and forethought fall into a whole different category from what NJ was talking about in the OP. Forgetting to tighten lug studs resulting in a wheel falling off a car for instance is very different from deliberately loosening the bolts.
 

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Couldn't disagree with this more. Okay, I thought about it and I can disagree with it more! ;) Seriously though, this simply is not so Wil.
Sorry, Wil, but I have to agree. It sounds like an exercise in self-justification.
 

Thomas

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The idea of forgiveness can be found in many different faiths, but what of self-forgiveness? Is it just as important? More so? If so, how best to achieve it?
A little less pride?

Clearing one's conscience?

Or, if that term offends, just clearing the ground?

'It's not my fault' has been humanity's excuse from the beginning, and the amount of effort people put into interpreting Genesis 3 is a testimony to human ingenuity and creativity!

Those who suffer self-blame often beat themselves up over what they think the other – God, the community, whoever – thinks about what they've said/done. Better to go to the other and say, 'can we clear this up and put it away?'

Those who offend without giving a flying •••• don't give a flying •••• about what anyone thinks, and rarely suffer self-doubt. It's those who are self-focussed who tend to put themselves through the wringer.

The main issue is man is a communal creature. The shamen understands this very well. 'Clearing' is a rite of passage, of sorts. It's a necessary process. No man is an island, and all that ...

... And, of course, the point is to be a little more other-focussed and not so much self-focussed. Man has never been so ego-oriented as he has become in the West over the last century or so ... the old virtues of humility and detachment are unfashionable at the moment.
 

wil

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. Forgetting to tighten lug studs resulting in a wheel falling off a car for instance is very different from deliberately loosening the bolts
We can use that example.... I didn't say your decision or action was most moral, most ethical, mist compassionate.... I said you contemplated the situation and with the knowledge you had at the time...(br it greed, jealousy, hate...or maybe even inebriated... Clouded judgemnet) you weighed the options and picked in that moment what you thought was the best decision. (Maybe someone can tell me why you'd pick less than the best decision?). Of course ten years, weeks, days or nano seconds later you may have discovered the error in your ways....but in that moment...you did what you thought you should have done.
 

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I see what wil is saying, human nature is a musky subject too me so I don't really have a position myself. I do wonder if there really is a true "clear thoughted" self or if we are just more or less sad/happy/angry. Someone who has deliberately loosened the bolts also need to come to terms with what they have done, no?

As usual I also agree with what Thomas is saying...
 

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but actions done with clear malice and forethought fall into a whole different category from what NJ was talking about in the OP.

Really? I'm not sure how you came to that conclusion. The OP comment seemed to be a very generic one about self forgiveness. I agree with what you said from your perspective, of course. A mistake made by accident is not at all what I am talking about. And if that was the limit of NJ's post, I misunderstood.
 

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I do wonder if there really is a true "clear thoughted" self or if we are just more or less sad/happy/angry.

Do you really wonder about this? Being in a state of helpless emotional reactions, sad/happy/angry, etc. is not human nature. Why? Because we are not emotional machines with no programming to decide how to react to our emotions. Humans have the ability to quantify and qualify our emotions. We have the ability to think! I am angry because of 'X . More importantly people have the ability to decide how they are going to handle 'I am angry because of 'X'. There are hundreds of ways to decide how to react to emotional stimuli. We are not autonomons.
 
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