Wow, she put a little extra “humble” in that humble pie for you today. Have you tried to make peace with yourself over past mistakes and mishaps? We’re all told that our slip-ups are learning experiences. But suppose they are weighing you down? In order to move on and grow, you may ultimately choose to forgive yourself. But how?

You forgive and forget because you have a good heart and a terrible memory. My memory is so bad. “How bad is it? How bad is what?” Not only is my short-term memory horrible, but so is my short-term memory.

Do not reheat those faults for breakfast. Me? I never eat before breakfast. Can you multi-task? Eat breakfast and think about lunch at the same time?

If you can’t forgive and forget, pick one. One of my biggest faults is that when I ask someone their name, I forget to listen to what their name is. You know. You learn something new every day, and forget five other things forever.

But in all conscience, not admitting a mistake is a bigger mistake. If you find yourself fussing and fuming over your flaws, try this: Visualize all your feelings and thoughts about your past errors going into a box or jar. Remind yourself that you will put them away until you can forgive and move past this.

Sometimes you need to give voice to the thoughts in your head. It may help imprint in your mind what lessons you learned. Toss yourself a bit of self-compassion when your inner bully starts yakking at you. After sincere self-reflection, not letting go is nothing but sabotage, my friends.

If you have hurt someone, by all means make amends. But stop replaying the misdeed over and over in your head. Interrupt that negative thought pattern with a positive action. “I am a terrible person.” No. You may have done a horrendous thing; but that does not make you a horrible person. Do penance; ask for atonement and apologize for your wrongdoings, if possible.

If you find yourself rationalizing or justifying your actions, then you have not truly faced up to them. Perhaps you need to explore why you behaved the way you did in the first place. If you do feel guilty, is it a springboard for some positive changes? Can you tell me what you can do to ensure that this does not happen again in the future?

At one time or another, close emotional bonds with friends or loved ones can become damaged, busted, or even broken. The key is taking responsibility and showing true remorse. Instead of dwelling on it, focus on what you learned and find ways to make it up to whomever you hurt, even yourself. And don’t wait: It’s easier to eat humble pie while it’s still warm.

We all have things we regret and are truly sorry about. Be careful not to blame yourself for things you may not have been responsible for. There are times in life we simply cannot avoid an undesirable result or after-effect. Do you generally have a compassionate, forgiving attitude toward others and even yourself?

If you refuse to ever forgive, you may find yourself bitter and angry: two emotions that honestly do not feel good and compromise your mental and physical health. Do not build your identity around hurt feelings or victimization, sweet friends. Your mistakes are not how to define yourself. But do not hide your failings from yourself either. Acknowledge and take ownership of your past poor choices and errors of judgment. Then refer back to the goodness that you love about yourself.

Time to get up and get going. Today’s bad decisions aren’t going to make themselves. Heck, I’m pretty sure I only need one more bad decision and I’ll own the whole set. Sheesh. Let’s be honest. You simply can’t quit or walk away from yourself, so don’t let those haunting decisions you made years ago keep you up at night. You missed an opportunity or chose not to take a certain road? I know. Don’t you regret the plans you made while you were in that five-minute extroverted mood? Oh, I was extroverted yesterday. Sorry you missed it.

In all seriousness, please share your feelings with someone you trust. Go ahead and bring it to the light. Self-blame will not lead you to sanity, sweet friends. It can actually undermine you and may even lead to immune dysfunction or despair. Change that tune you are playing in your head; and do some soul-searching instead. You know what they say: Singing in the shower is all fun and games until you get shampoo in your mouth. Then it just becomes a soap opera.

There’s a valid reason we feel bad after hurting ourselves or someone else. You know that feeling of annoyance you get after you get off the wrong exit on the freeway. That is a signal to make sure you pay more attention the next time you hit the highway. Revisit your spiritual practices and remind yourself that you deserve forgiveness. Do some damage control. Ask her what you can do to make it up to her. Promise him that you will live with a little more care in the future.

What did you learn from your falls and fails? So you did something outside your moral comfort zone. Where do you go from here and who do you wish to become? See your own humanity. You do not have to travel the same path over and over again. Take the scenic route next time. Then remind yourself of all you have done right in your life.


Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or at facebook.com/pages/Safe-Haven-Healing.

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