One of the key steps to outliving the labels in your life is forgiving yourself. One way to accomplish this is to do a self-forgiveness inventory. When we judge ourselves and constantly carry the weight of our poor choices from the past, we cause ourselves to relive the guilt of that burden over and over again.
For each of the following questions, I want you to identify what the action or situation is, how you punish yourself or others for it, and how it negatively impacts your life:
- What past actions (toward yourself or others) do you regret?
- For each of these actions, how do you punish yourself or others for it?
- How do these actions and punishment for these actions negatively impact your life?
- What mistakes have you made that you beat yourself up for and/or replay in your mind over and over again?
- For each of these mistakes, how do you punish yourself or others for it?
- How do these mistakes and punishment for these mistakes negatively impact your life?
- What else do you feel guilty about?
- How do you punish yourself or others for these things?
- How do these things and punishment for these things negatively impact your life?
If you have answered these questions, you have completed a self-forgiveness inventory. Now, I want you to remember that the guilt and shame that you carry as a result of these experiences will not change or fix what happened. If you choose to hold on to the pain of your past, you are only creating more pain in your life. Let it go!
-Dr. Mary Kaye Holmes, Certified Life Coach