How to Forgive Yourself!

Updated: March 2, 2020


Are you your own worst enemy? Do your regrets and pains run through your mind like a broken record? Are you still beating yourself up for saying the “wrong” thing, getting a parking ticket last month, or eating that tub of ice cream last night? Do you know how to forgive yourself? 

There is so much information about the healing powers of forgiveness but do we take the time to forgive ourselves? Of all the emails I’ve received from my audience over the years, self-forgiveness and how to practice it has been in the top 5 of all topics. And, it seems that almost every reading I’ve done, especially mediumship touches on something that the person has to forgive themselves for.

Here’s a great question to think about:

What if you treated your most cherished friend just as you treated yourself?

For many of us, that friend better watch out for punishing, nagging, and emotional abuse! I bet you would never say to another person what you say to yourself.

Self-forgiveness is a commitment to love yourself no matter what. Self-compassion is your true nature, while excessive self-criticism and self-condemnation are learned habits of your conditioning. Not only is self-forgiveness important for healthy self-esteem and creating a great life, but it also strengthens your connection with your inner voice and the Divine. Without it, we aren’t completely open to our higher selves and intuition. We also cannot fully accept someone else into our lives. It keeps us moving forward, fully awake, and connected to the world around us.

Forgiving yourself involves taking responsibility for who you are and what you do, but also knowing that you did the best you could at the time. And, you can make amends and really make the changes you need once you surrender to that fact. Then, you did that, but today you know better so you can be better! And, No matter how much we punish ourselves and analyze what happened, we cannot change the past. We’re all human; none of us are perfect. Let me say that once more:

We must all be accountable, but perfection isn’t an option.

I’ve often said that growth and transformation moves from the inside-out. Self-forgiveness is truly one of the ultimate steps to transformation. In my weekend retreats and online seminars, I lead participants through personal inventories of what they need to forgive themselves for. Once the work is done and we’ve let go of the past, we’ve opened ourselves to a whole new level of possibilities and are ready for a whole new way of being.

For example, I completely transformed my own life when I finally forgave myself for choosing all the wrong men. After years of beating myself up for picking men who initially seemed great but then turned out to be unhealthy partners, I realized I was still operating out of a wounded part of my psyche. I had to let go of regrets, especially when it came to my relationship with my mother and my experience being raped. In a nutshell, I felt I had been a terrible daughter and I also felt that it was my fault for the sexual abuse because I was too afraid to fight back. When I realized that I did the best I could at the time and had to stop being imprisoned by the past, I finally met a healthy and supportive partner. I had to forgive myself for clinging to the identity of the victim.

I’ve also found that self-forgiveness is a process. I’ve been teaching about forgiveness for years and have forgiven myself for so much of my past, but I always reach a new level of understanding when I do my own exercises again.

And, remember, self-forgiveness also has nothing to do with being selfish. In fact, it’s the reverse. When you accept, respect, and love yourself, those positive benefits automatically spill over into the world around you as acceptance, respect, and love for others. And it leads you to be able to make amends for the past, and really change so that the energy you put out into your own life and into the world is empowered with love and compassion. Self-forgiveness is a true act of power.


Make a list of what you regret or are still holding onto. If you blame yourself for something, who can you make amends to? Meet with that person. Or, if it’s not possible to meet with them, write them a letter. (You may or may not mail it.) If you must make amends with yourself, write a letter to yourself. Affirm that you did the best you could at the time and you’re forgiving yourself and moving forward.

Also, remember that acting differently is a method of forgiving yourself. You can BE the person who no longer holds onto that old story!

In Service and Love,


Showing 27 comments
  • Jane Emily Mathers

    Thank you, excellent. I am, doing some of these things. Free from regrets, only, focusing in the now, what can I do in the now? Stsy in now.

    • Jessica

      Thank you Colette for sharing this.
      I love you

    • Patti Cole

      Thank you, Colette, from my very heart and soul. This is such a comfort to me. I’m reminded of your exercise with the mountain. I will always remember the strength you have afforded me through your wonderful insights and guidance. God bless you. Thank you.

  • Ruchi

    Thanks Collette , I did resonate with a lot of insights here .
    Helped in objective reflection and better understanding of patterns .
    Thanks so much 🙏🏻

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for this. I struggle with forgiving myself and need this reminder

    • Nell

      Beautifully said…self forgiveness🎁

  • Mary Ann

    Thanks always Colette for sharing & teaching. You are such an inspiration. This post was excellent!

  • Shelley

    Love this post, thank you Colette!

  • Sandra

    Divine timing ❤. I am on a road trip with a friend to Montreal today and brought my Crystal Spirit deck. Along the way I pulled a card asking for our highest good for the day ahead. Rose Quartz. Beautiful❤ speaking of self love…I think Spirit has a message in there for me. I enjoy your blog Colette. Thanks so much for sharing. Ox

  • Teresa

    Thank you I so needed to read this this morning

  • collette

    Thank you so much for dotting the i’s Colette.. I have been beating myself up over things that were beyond my control and couldn’t let go but your reading today shook me up and made me realize that without forgiving myself I would never find complete peace or happiness.. you are an amazing and intuitive giving person that helps me each time I read one of your lessons . Thank you so much for sharing your gift with everyone.

  • Anonymous

    Wow very true and emotional for me. Thanks for the reminder and I’ve been flashing these last weeks on the forgiveness I must do for myself. Some of these things I was really not aware that I was feeling about myself !! Thanks Colette!

  • Ted Fields

    love you for that

  • C.Mamo Kim

    It’s a life long process too; that’s important to know. Mahalo for the work you do.

  • Renee Sugar

    WOW!!!! This is a very relevant and life-shifting topic. I can honestly say that I have been plagued by perfectionism for as long as I can remember . I was never satisfied. The end result was judged, criticized and usually rejected firstly by yours truly. The standards were exacting, and asked for skills that I hadn’t developed yet. Shooting beyond, often left me feeling disappointed and discouraged. The cycle was one which created a lose/lose rather win/win. 

    Spot on when you say love your neighbor as yourself. I didn’t know how to love myself. Maybe a turning point was after I had been struck by a jeep, my right arm was broken. The rehabilitation was painstaking, requiring many months of physiotherapy. I was clumsy, uncoordinated, and had no manual dexterity. The surgeon told me that my right side would never be the same as it was before the accident. As a very creative soul who had played the piano and painted for many years the skills that I practiced required hand/eye coordination which I had very little control of for quite a while. I didn’t know if I would ever play the piano again. This was a major loss. The good news was I was still here, ALIVE.
    Long story short; I had to change my mind about HOW I approached everything. Through this major rebuilding process, I developed more patience than I ever imagined possible. That was another piece of the equation. Love is patient, kind. OH!!! Really? I didn’t know about that part.  Over the years I have mellowed and have learned to relax. I enjoy the process, rather than the pressure of aiming for perfection. I now take pride in the development, and the learning curve that is a part of growth. Attempting, stumbling, making mistakes all part of the journey.
    ” Very little grows on jagged rock, be crumbled, be ground so wildflowers can grow where you are. You have been stone for so many years; try something different. “

  • Deborah Saunders

    Self forgiveness is not easy. But I continue to work at it hoping to free myself of the memories of the past that don’t serve me. With Spirit I’m creating a new story that includes forgiveness and hope. Thank you Colette for reminding us.

  • Lorraine Maloney

    Thank you I truly needed to hear this.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Colette ,
    Great advise like always .
    Have a wonderful day .

  • Brenda

    Beautifully explained thank you 🙏

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Colette loved your reading I chose number 4 very nice to love and light to you xxx

  • Tracey

    It’s hard to read your message and see how much my own Trauma has resonated. I have tried to forgive everyone except myself. Even the man who took my childhood away. I forgave him for what he done. But get so stuck on the why did he do it? How did I manifest that? Why did I bring it into this life for a lesson. I feel from childhood I had so many multiple traumas and no idea why and it’s led to toxic partners, friends and inner conflict. Time for it to go.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much Collette! All of my past mistakes keep playing over and over again in my mind and I still feel the sting of them. I just feel so ashamed at making so many dumb mistakes, doing things I would NEVER dream of doing now! Even though I have confessed and asked forgiveness, I know I have been forgiven, but I have such a hard time with self forgiveness. Two nights ago, again the reruns started, and I prayed that I would know how to forgive myself. Your article was a tremendous help to me. An answer to prayer, again many thanks to you!

  • Nila (UK)

    Slightly confused in the UK:
    Firstly let me say, I am devastated that I am not to be seeing you this Saturday in London, but totally understand (and you don’t need my forgiveness as per the theme);

    Key problem: Whichever pack I pick a card from, it’s advising me that it’s, ‘time to let go’; Death and renewal’ etc- spirit would like me to let ‘something’ go for the highest good, but what?

    I have various folks in the road & things I am pursuing – but just not sure which one of those things it pertains to (and I have been specific .. & trying to use the questions you suggest) but left feeling slightly confused. Can you help? Any guidance on how to utilise your cards to steer me?

  • Nancy Briscoe

    This message is very timely for me, I’ve been in the process of understanding past issues and relationships and how they have affected my entire life, and thusly been able to accept why I’ve done certain things and felt certain ways. With this new understanding, I believe I am finally at a place in my life where I can forgive myself, and be a bit more kind to myself! Thanks so much for the nudge in the right direction! Namaste!

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