9. Practicing Self Forgiveness

Self-forgiveness can be one of the biggest hurdles for survivors, but you’ve come a long way in your self-love and healing journey. Regardless of how ‘good’ you think you’ve done so far, the fact that you’re reading this means you’re doing great! Go you!

Practicing self-forgiveness may seem daunting, but you can take this one baby step at a time - in fact, it’s best to start with the smallest things you can think of and work your way up. Do this session as often as needed and please remember SARA is here to support you.

Journal Prompt

Bring to mind and write down one thing you did recently that you don’t feel great about. Choose something small like ‘I was rude to myself’, or ‘ I should've been nicer to my coworker’. 

Write a short letter apologizing that states the action, how you feel about it, and what you will do in the future. Next, write a short response forgiving yourself.

Use the following sentence starters for extra support:

I forgive myself for… I know I was… In the future…I forgive myself because….

Self-Forgiveness Summary

Self-forgiveness is an essential step in moving forward from a negative past experience. It helps dissolve feelings of guilt and shame–two feelings survivors tend to struggle with after trauma. 

Remember that what happened to you is not your fault.

If you found yourself unable to truly give forgiveness, it’s OK. It might take a few tries, or perhaps smaller, more casual acts of forgiveness.

You’ve come quite a way in this self-love journey, and I’m so glad you’ve decided to share this journey with me. For me, self-forgiveness was both the hardest and most rewarding practice in my healing journey, and I hope it brings you as many gifts as it did me. In the next and final session, I’ll support you in reflecting on your self-love journey. It’s one of the most important sessions, and I can’t wait to hear about it!

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