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Self-forgiveness can be challenging.

It requires a tremendous amount of self-compassion and self-love to move through the process of forgiving yourself. It requires strength and courage, too.

Expanding into compassion and self-love are tall orders when you're feeling guilty, angry, fearful and more because of a mistake you've made. However, here's an interesting tidbit: if you're feeling remorseful and take responsibility for your actions you can move towards forgiving yourself.

Forgiving yourself helps you grow

It helps you move out of pain, in whatever form it takes like guilt, anger, and self-criticism. It helps you grow into a renewed sense of self-awareness. It gives you a chance to accept what you have done, take the steps to make amends and integrate what that means into your life.

It is a process of self-discovery. Forgiving yourself helps you in learning to like and even love yourself despite your flaws. No, it isn't easy. But when it happens, it's relieving. It is a process that takes time and is unique to you. And it's achievable.

You aren't alone in making mistakes. Everyone makes them. Everyone. And they range from small blunders to big crimes with a whole variety of mistakes in between. Whatever mistake you are feeling remorseful for is a mistake you can forgive yourself for.

Forgiveness is a complex act

The act of forgiving yourself calls upon the highest good within you. It helps you stretch into new parts of yourself: deeper places inside where the highest compassion and unconditional love exists.

Forgiveness arrives as the result of many small steps. And these small steps create big effects. You may need a helping hand to guide and help move you through it. Most people do. A trusted friend or family member, spiritual advisor, a therapist or helping professional is/are allies that are ready to help you. Reach out and ask for help if you need it. There's no need to suffer more than you already have.

In the end, the importance of forgiveness is vital for your health and wellbeing. Evidence shows that holding onto anger, self-recrimination and self-criticism is stressful and unhealthy.

Learn more about forgiveness and it's history at a definition of forgiveness. Find helpful stress relief tips for yourself on these pages: forgiveness exercises, prayer for forgiveness and forgiveness letter .

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