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Forgive Yourself

If You CanOne of the most destructive forces in our own minds is the critical voice that seems to comment on much of what we do.

“Why did I say this? I look like such a fool.”

“I could have jumped in here and helped my colleague out, I’m such a dope.”

“This didn’t turn out right, I have to do it all over again.”

It seems like in many ways we are our own worst critics.

Yes, sometimes we do mess up. But most of the time we do the best we can. If we want to change, we have to first and foremost deal with the self judgement we put on ourselves.

Everything gets worse if we are critical of our own being: depression, anxiety, relationships, our health… That doesn’t mean that we should smugly pat ourselves on the back all day long. It means to be forgiving with ourselves for being human.

Then, and only then, can we be forgiving and understanding of others.

As Zen teacher Reb Anderson puts it so nicely: “Face your pain and ignorance uprightly, tenderly, and respectfully.”

Self compassion is the first rule of survival in the modern world.



photo credit: swanksalot

Forgive Yourself

Gerti Schoen, MA, LP

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APA Reference
Schoen, G. (2012). Forgive Yourself. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 5, 2019, from


Last updated: 18 Apr 2012
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