How to Write a Forgiveness Letter to Yourself

You know how moms wish we had more energy, more sleep, and get more done? What if I told you there’s a tool that can help you get all three… guaranteed?

You’d probably be skeptical, yet excited, and eager to try it out. Well, it’s not a magic pill, but rather a tool we all resist: forgiveness. And self-forgiveness is the most important type of forgiveness for moms.

I have transformed my life and literally created miracles in my life by simply being more forgiving, and practicing self-forgiveness. I’ve also witnessed many moms all around the globe create a life they love just by being willing to set themselves free of the poisons we call shame, guilt, and resentment.

Today I want to share a liberating exercise that will help assist you in your journey to release unresolved hurts that are draining your energy, so you can be more positive, more present, and more productive – in all areas of your life. It’s called a self-forgiveness letter, and it simply consists of writing a heartfelt a forgiveness letter to yourself. 

Write a forgiveness letter to yourself | Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM

I once had a young mom in one of my workshops who was not only apprehensive to write a self-forgiveness letter, but she actually flat out told me it was “the silliest exercise she’d ever heard of.” I also thought it would be a waste of time the first time I heard about it, so I knew where she was coming from.

I kindly thanked her for her feedback and I was convinced she wasn’t going to even try, but it turns out, she ended up writing several pages and admitted to the room that she felt so blocked, stuck, and unhappy and that she felt she was finally free of the negative emotions that were stunting her personal growth. 

What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it. Gabo quote

My favorite author of all times, Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez (Gabriel García Márquez) once said: “What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it,” and writing self-forgiveness letter is going to help you gain perspective and remember what has happened in a way that doesn’t obstruct your divine identity or your divine connection. 

Do’s and Don’ts of A Self-Forgiveness Letter

The secret to self-forgiveness is to offer oneself the same compassion and support we would offer to someone we love unconditionally. To write a forgiveness letter to yourself will feel more natural when you imagine you are talking to a dear friend you care deeply about who is struggling with the same concerns or has treated herself in the same ways.

Another way to write a great self-forgiveness letter is to write it from the perspective of a friend (real or imaginary) who is accepting, forgiving, and wise. This friend loves you dearly and has a deep respect and admiration for you.  

Here are some recommendations you can follow to facilitate breakthroughs and make the most of this self-forgiveness experience:

  1. Do create an peaceful environment where you can have uninterrupted time alone with your thoughts, and tune into your intuition.
  2. Do meditate on a clear intention for writing your self-forgiveness letter whether it is to experience freedom, release the past, feel lighter, feel more peace, or anything that is in your heart. 
  3. Do focus on issues that tend to make you feel bad about yourself, on perceived mistakes and inadequacies, or those things that hinder your happiness. Be specific.
  4. Do use pen and paper and write it longhand, continuously and in an uncensored way.
  5. Write in the second person, “you.”
  6. Don’t use self-hatred, self-shaming, or self-condemnation language.
  7. Don’t use your writing to justify your actions, but do show understanding.
  8. Do recall how you felt before, during, and after the event (disappointed, hurt, guilty, angry, ashamed) and why you felt that way.
  9. Do write as many drafts of your letter as you wish, focusing on communicating your authentic thoughts, feelings, beliefs, opinions, emotions, and judgments in the most vulnerable way possible.
  10. Do not make this letter about forgiving others. You can write a separate letter to each person you feel you must forgive.

The Forgiveness Letter I Wrote to Myself

Dear Self,

I have wronged you so much throughout my life and I haven’t apologized. I want you to know I’m deeply sorry. 

I am sorry for criticizing you, telling you I hated you, that you are worthless, and that you are not good enough. I am sorry for every name I’ve called you and every mean word I’ve said to you. 

I am sorry for believing what others said to you in anger: that you won’t, that you can’t, that you shouldn’t. 

I am sorry for each and every single time I compared you to someone else. 

I am sorry for unwise choices I made. I am sorry for blaming you, for shaming you, and inflicting you with constant guilt.

I am sorry for doubting you and keeping you from doing what you love and pursuing your dreams.

I’m sorry for pressuring you to complete Cinderella-size to-do-lists. I’m sorry I called you a failure and for measuring your worth against them, driving you to endless anxiety, depletion and depression.

I am sorry for setting unrealistic standards and ridiculous expectations on you, and feeling like you were a disappointment. I’m sorry for judging you so harshly.

I am sorry for not allowing you to rest when you were tired, heal when you were hurt, and relax when you most needed it. I’m sorry for making you feel guilty when you actually made an effort to take care of yourself, laugh, and live in the moment.

I am sorry for giving away your power to people who hurt you and created toxicity in your life.

I am sorry for always keeping you busy and not making time for you, for not listening to your heart, and not trusting your intuition.

I’m sorry for not taking care of your body. I am sorry I deprived you of sleep and proper nutrition. I am sorry I made unhealthy choices that cost you, sabotaged you, and hurt you.

I am sorry I have consistently taken you for granted and neglected your needs. I have not taken you seriously or treated you with the respect you deserve.

I am sorry for all of the times I let you fall. I am sorry someone else’s opinion and the image they saw of you was more important to me than how you felt and what was most important to you.

I am sorry for not treating you with love. I am sorry for not saying more encouraging, empowering words, and for not loving you the way I love others.

Please forgive me!

With deep love, admiration, and gratitude, 

Elayna

Dear Self,  I have wronged you so much throughout my life and I haven’t apologized. I want you to know I’m deeply sorry.  Please forgive me. | Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM

Once you write your self-forgiveness letter, read and re-read it until it sinks in. Sometimes it helps to set it down for a while to really feel words soothing, healing, and comforting you. 

Like with all forgiveness letters, it feels really good to burn the letter as a conscious choice of letting go and moving forward. I love watching the paper burn and, as it does, releasing everything that it symbolically represents. As it turns into ashes and smoke, I affirm myself that my history does not have power to hurt me or define me. 

Your history does not define you. Your history is not your destiny. | Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM

My commitment to change is not infallible and there will be more to forgive myself for. But I am free for now… and that is enough.

Have you ever written a forgiveness letter to yourself? I am excited to hear your thoughts on this energizing, therapeutic and profoundly healing practice, and any tips you may have. I wish you every happiness!

Elayna Fernandez - Author - 
Speaker - Success Guide to Moms and Mompreneurs
© Elayna Fernández ~ The Positive MOM

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47 thoughts on “How to Write a Forgiveness Letter to Yourself

  1. Your forgiveness letter is so touching, truthful and raw- it’s perfect. I’m sure many of us see the same things that need to be said personally, to ourselves. You wrote it so eloquently. Thank you for being so brave as to share something so personal.

  2. Thank you for these post. I badly needed to have this Self-Forgiveness Letter. I don’t know what it is in me, but I really cannot sleep tight and I keep on thinking and I was always bothered whenever I have wronged someone or I know to myself that I did something wrong. I am hard to myself thinking that it was always my fault. I needed to give myself some importance and prioritize myself first sometimes before others.

  3. I do truly believe forgiveness is a step towards ultimate happiness however I never considered to forgive myself. What a great mindset to have coming in to the new year.

  4. This literally brought tears to my eyes. As a single mom I always think I need to better…if only…I need to write a forgiveness letter to myself. I am doing my best and that is good enough. Thank you for this!

  5. When I was in recovery years ago (this was before I found Christ), I tried writing one of those things – felt kind of funny doing so – but it helped a little…

  6. What a nice letter! I’ve never done one because I’m not sure if I could take it seriously. I admit, I can be fairly immature so I’d probably say something in appropriate to myself.

  7. At WomenOfValue, forgiveness is a major teaching component to believe you really are worthy in God’s eyes! Your personal letter of forgiveness to yourself, Elayna, is breakthrough powerful and a model to all of us! You have presented a blessing to launch the new year of our journeys-and yours:)

  8. What a powerful letter AND exercise. I suppose that thinking about all the things for which you need forgiveness would make it much easier to forgive others. That’s always harder. Thanks for sharing this.

  9. What a great idea for building self-esteem and getting rid of extra baggage that is weighing us down emotionally. I might try doing this next time I’m really upset. I think this exercise is definitely worth exploring!

  10. Yeah, I think I need to write a forgiveness letter to myself. It sounds therapeutic, but I’d probably cry writing it…or I might not finish it. This is definitely a great idea for self healing.

  11. Not ready to do this now but believe you’ve got an important idea so I stumbled to save & will go back there when ready

  12. Wow, I just have one word, powerful! I am going to do this before the end of the day, today! Thank YOU, Elayna for reminding me that it is OK not to be perfect and that forgiving myself should be at the top of my list! Blessings and love, Mari

  13. Wow! This is really wonderful thoughts. I love how you create a forgiveness letter with the right format. Thank you so much for sharing.

  14. I love the idea of this self forgiveness letter. Part of my goal this upcoming year is to not treat myself so poorly. I feel like having an optimistic attitude starts with positive self talk. Learning to forgive yourself is a crucial part of this foundation.
    x
    Missy
    Popofstyle.com

  15. It is nice to feel free. It took me so many years to get to that frame of mind. You are lucky to have found it early. 🙂

  16. You would be able to get a lot off your shoulders writing that to yourself. Fresh mind and soul would be good for anyone.

  17. It’s all about keeping things positive for yourself. It’s important that we forgive ourselves for the things that happened in the past, it’s the only way that we can move forward.

  18. Gosh this is really good and something I really need help with. I take my life day by day. Some are better than others and wish I could forgive myself but feel so awful and guilty for moving out of the country away from children. Even though they are no 20 and 26, I know how much they need me and feel like their quality of life would be so much better if I were there. I worry daily and feel sad. I visit quite often about 5 times a year which is good considering it takes a whole day just to get there. I need to learn self forgiveness truly!

  19. Pingback: Moms, Learn Why You Need To Say No More Often ★ Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM ♥

  20. This is just so touching! I was speechless for a sec after reading this. I think I have to write a forgiveness letter for myself too. Thank you for giving such an idea. you are awesome!

  21. You don’t know how bad I need this. I was just apologizing to my husband for something that happened in our past. He’s already forgiven me but I keep letting it eat at me. Thank you for sharing how I can forgive myself through a letter.

  22. This post made me think. It would be difficult to write a forgiveness letter to yourself but I would like to get it started and it would make a big difference.

  23. I like this. I think that if I were to do an activity like this, I’d probably write in what I would do next time. Like, “I’m sorry I _______. Next time, I’ll try __________.”

  24. I think writing a letter like this is very important. You allow yourself to let go and move on from your past while also acknowledging what happened. It’s empowering and it helps you grow as an individual.

  25. this is a very touching article, i never thought about this ever in my life. i think i should write a forgiveness letter for myself too

  26. I love this Gabriel García Marquez quote “What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.” It is so important that we don’t dwell on the negative things, because they become the script we write for ourselves. It was empowering to write my letter; things came up that I really didn’t think I hadn’t forgive myself for. I want to read it a few times before letting it go. Thank you for the courage to share your letter with us!

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