Por Lorena Alcántara

No one is exempt from making mistakes. We have all, at one point or another, done something we are not particularly proud of: from eating compulsively on a weekend to being unkind to someone. Especially for those people-pleasers out there, hurting someone always causes an intense amount of heartache, because we want to be forgiven. We can’t live with the idea that someone is disappointed or angry at us, but sometimes, the most important person that has to forgive you… is yourself.

We undeniably are our worst and harshest critics. We beat ourselves up constantly and thus experience an immense amount of discontent. We live day in and day out ruminating about past mistakes. We think about whether we weren’t the ideal partner, the ideal daughter/son, the ideal employee… We ruminate about what we could’ve done differently, and consequently start to develop hate towards ourselves. It becomes a habit to get stuck in the past.

Mistakes are learning opportunities. They are a chance to understand what doesn’t work and move on. Maybe we weren’t the ideal partner because we can’t do long-distance relationships. Maybe we weren’t the ideal daughter/son because for too long we went undiagnosed with a mental disorder. None of it is our fault. We didn’t know any better. Intentions matter.

Envision yourself as the child that you once were. Would you not forgive a child that accidentally spilled the milk? It was an accident.

 Liberate yourself from the guilt that’s consuming you inside. You don’t deserve it. Practice self-compassion. Stop punishing yourself. Accept yourself with all of your flaws. They are beautiful and they make you you. Maybe it wasn’t the best idea to drink eight shots of hard liquor last night when you’re taking medication, but now you know better.

Inhale acceptance, and exhale self-hate and guilt.