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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 a little excited, and maybe eager to try it out. Well, it’s not a magic pill, but rather a tool most of us resist: forgiveness.

And self-forgiveness is the most important type of forgiveness for moms… and everyone, really.

Even with all the brokenness and pain I’ve experienced throughout my life, I have transformed my life, found healing, and even created miracles in my life by simply being more forgiving, and practicing self-forgiveness.

As a transformational coach, 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. 

The BRAND YOUR VISION Workshop

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.”

No judgment there. 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.

At the end of the event, she admitted to the room that, for years she had felt so blocked, stuck, and unhappy and now she was starting to finally free herself from the negative emotions that were stunting her personal growth. 

When we start a journey of self-forgiveness, we give ourselves the opportunity to reframe our stories and release our judgments.

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.

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; someone 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.  

How to Write a Self-Forgiveness Letter

I want to share some of the guidelines that I share with my clients for you to follow.

These 10 recommendations will to facilitate breakthroughs and make the most of this self-forgiveness experience:

the Positive Mom arrow Do create a peaceful environment where you can have uninterrupted time alone with your thoughts, and tune into your intuition.

the Positive Mom arrow 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. 

the Positive Mom arrow 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.

the Positive Mom arrow Do use pen and paper and write it longhand, continuously and in an uncensored way.

the Positive Mom arrow Write in the second person, “you.”

the Positive Mom arrow Don’t use self-hatred, self-shaming, or self-condemnation language.

the Positive Mom arrow Don’t use your writing to justify your actions, but do show understanding.

the Positive Mom arrow Do recall how you felt before, during, and after the event (disappointed, hurt, guilty, angry, ashamed) and why you felt that way.

the Positive Mom arrow 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.

the Positive Mom arrow 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 This Year

Here’s an excerpt of my letter this year, so you can have an idea of what it looks, sounds, and feels like.

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

There are some new items on the list, while some others make a yearly appearance because I’ve been in the process of forgiving for years and years. It’s a process.

Your History Does Not Define You!

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 safely 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. 

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.

The same is true for you.

You’re too hard on yourself and often take on blame that isn’t yours. You apologize too much and have impossible standards and expectations on everything you do, say, and even feel.

Whether it sounds silly or sounds hard, and whether you think it will work or not, would you give this one a try?

I invite you to try writing a self-forgiveness letter today.  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!

Have you ever written a forgiveness letter to yourself? Share with us in the comments below!

Elayna Fernandez - Bestselling Author - 
Transformational Trainer and Keynote Speaker - Mentor to Mom Entrepreneurs

© Elayna Fernández ~ The Positive MOM
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Karen

Wednesday 28th of April 2021

Thank you so much for your words and inspiration. My therapist had asked me to write a letter of forgiveness to myself and I was literally at a loss on how to write it let alone where to begin. You have given me the inspiration and guidance that I need to start the process of forgiving myself. Thank you so much!

Gifted Ostela

Saturday 20th of February 2021

I see my new beginning,thank you for such a wonderful inspiration,

kilian mambosasa

Thursday 11th of February 2021

It is a Psychological healing, thanks, we may be able to heal others but failed to heal ourselves but through the letter of forgive myself, it is possible to be the wounded healer

Michelle

Tuesday 25th of August 2020

Thank you so much for this article. I wish I had found it sooner.

Why Receiving Is Difficult (and How to Make It Easier) ★ Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM ♥

Friday 11th of October 2019

[…] encourage you to give yourself grace and choose self-compassion and self-forgiveness when you start to blame yourself. Yes, practicing the art of receiving with an open heart is a […]