If you do just one thing for your happiness – forgive yourself!

If you do just one thing for your happiness – forgive yourself!

Personally, this is one of the most important things I need to do more of for my own happiness; and I suspect I'm not on my own when it comes to generating more happiness and self-love and compassion…

…we could all do better if we spent a bit more time forviging ourselves! 

And as is their wont, The Greater Good has published an awesome article by Rick Hanson from which we could all benefit. Read on and enjoy…

Everyone messes up. Me, you, the neighbors, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Ghandi, King David, the Buddha, everybody.

It’s important to acknowledge mistakes, feel appropriate remorse, and learn from them so they don’t happen again. But most people keep beating themselves up way past the point of usefulness. In fact, they’re unfairly self-critical.

Inside the mind are many sub-personalities. For example, one part of me might set the alarm clock for 6 am to get up and exercise… and then when it goes off, another part of me could grumble: “Who set the darn clock?”

More broadly, there is a kind of inner critic and inner protector inside each of us. For most people, that inner critic is continually yammering away, looking for something, anything, to find fault with. It magnifies small failings into big ones, punishes you over and over for things long past, ignores the larger context, and doesn’t credit you for your efforts to make amends.

Therefore, you really need your inner protector to stick up for you: to put your weaknesses and misdeeds in perspective, to highlight your many good qualities surrounding your lapses, to encourage you to keep getting back on the high road even if you’ve gone down the low one, and—frankly—to tell that inner critic to Shut Up.

With the support of your inner protector, you can see your faults clearly without fearing that they will drag you into a pit of feeling awful. You can clean up whatever mess you’ve made as best you can and move on. The only wholesome purpose of guilt, shame, or remorse is learning—not punishment!—so that you don’t mess up in that way again. Anything past the point of learning is just needless suffering. Plus excessive guilt actually gets in the way of you contributing to others and helping make this world a better place—by undermining your energy, mood, confidence, and sense of worth.

Seeing faults clearly, taking responsibility for them with remorse and making amends, and then coming to peace about them: this is what I mean by forgiving yourself.


Start by picking something relatively small that you’re still being hard on yourself about, and then try one or more of the methods below. I’ve spelled them out in detail since that’s often useful, but you could do the gist of these methods in a few minutes or less. Then if you like, work up to more significant issues.

Here we go…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE