What is self forgiveness? We are imperfect people and we should acknowledge when we make a mistake. We should take ownership for the wrongs that we’ve done in our lives. We need to understand the role that we play in situations, the poor choices we make when we are not at our 100% best self. We have to be open to insight on shifting the energy that we make into something positive, accepting the consequences of our actions, and extending grace and compassion to ourselves. When we’ve done something wrong, it weighs on us and we may feel riddled with guilt and/or shame. Today, we are going to talk about doing all that we can to make things right to forgive ourselves and move on.
Self Forgiveness Podcast Discussion:
- Can you accept what you’ve done?
- Have you done everything possible to make things right?
- How do you know when you’ve forgiven yourself?
Kira is my co-host for Season 1, she is a recently furloughed flight attendant, current stay at home mom, and former hairstylist. She has committed her time to helping people on the ground all around the world, learning how to be a better ally, and making change in her communities. Originally from New Jersey, she resides in Texas with her husband and very active toddler.
What are your thoughts from the show? Please share in the comments.
Mentions on the show:
Transcripts are the conversations from the podcast which may contain a few errors/typos. It can be difficult to catch all errors, especially if two people are speaking at the same time. Please enjoy the conversation and if you have any questions email us at email@example.com
Season 1 Episode 06
Sherley [00:00:08] Welcome back to from Femme Parler Season one, Episode six, where we are unpacking opinions and changing destinations. Today, we’re going to be talking about self forgiveness. Forgiveness is a choice. We are imperfect people and we should acknowledge when we make a mistake. When I’ve done something wrong, it weighs on me and I feel riddled with guilt. But we give more grace to others than we do to ourselves. Let’s talk about that today.
Kira [00:00:58] OK, so, Sherley, like you said, today, we’re going to be talking about self forgiveness. We already established in previous episodes that we feel like forgiveness is a choice. And I think the first step to self forgiveness is accepting what you’ve done. I think it’s important that we admit that we’re wrong. And we understand why we did something and why we caused that hurt or harm to another person. What do you think about that?
Sherley [00:01:24] Forgiveness is a choice. Can you accept what you have done? It’s hard to put blame on ourselves because in my opinion, I feel like it’s human nature for us to easily point the finger at someone else.
Kira [00:01:40] Right.
Sherley [00:01:40] It’s just easier to say that person did it or you’re the reason, or I am not to blame for this situation. And the first time it hit home for me when we went to go see the counselor. All three of you play a role. And I immediately stopped him in his tracks. And I said, you have to be kidding me. Right? He says, No, Sherley, I’m not kidding you. All three of you play a role in this, and at that point, Kira, I could not understand or even begin to accept what he was saying to me, because I know this man is not sit in here and tell me that my partner who just cheated on me, I play some type of role now, even though let’s focus on the fact I myself was a perpetrator, I still don’t understand what he was talking about because I didn’t want to believe it, because I hadn’t got tell me I play a role in his infidelity. Can we all just wake up here? So, yes, accepting what you’ve done. And it took me a few years to realize, yes, I played a role. Was I not giving him the love that he needed, the way that he needed to be loved? Simple things like that. So all those things I had to work on in realize. Yes, I did play a role as much as I may not want to believe it, but I did play a role. So, yes, self forgiveness is realizing that you were wrong. You were wrong to forgive yourself in order to forgive somebody else.
Kira [00:03:14] I think to we get caught up, like you said, and always being able to throw the ownness on the other person. But I think when someone is really, like, riddled with guilt and like shame, it’s hard for them to actually forgive themselves like they want to. Like, I want to move on. I don’t want to feel like this, but it’s a process. And like I think the first part of it. Like we already discussed is accepting what you’ve done or how you feel about it and you don’t face them head on. I feel like that’s what keeps you stuck in the regret part of it. Like, I can’t get over this. I can’t believe I did this to this person. When you ignore your emotions about the situation, it can keep you stuck in a place of regret. You can’t let go of this guilt and this shame that you’re carrying around and to acknowledge these feelings and you acknowledge and you accept what you’ve done. You don’t own it. You don’t take accountability for it. You’re not learning from it. You’re just going to potentially do the same thing again to someone else.
Sherley [00:04:09] You may repeat that mistake several times before you really, truly take ownership of it.
Kira [00:04:15] Until you’ve to and until you’ve learned from it. You can keep making the same mistake so many times. But I think what’s important, too, is the consequences are going to be different.
Sherley [00:04:25] True. I think the consequences will affect the people around. You know, it may affect you based on your situation, but the consequences, I think, primarily will affect those around you, depending on what the what is the repeated mistake that you continuously are making here.
Kira [00:04:44] Ask yourself, can you accept what you’ve done? You have to think about if you’ve done everything possible to make things right with the other person. Have you reached out to this person? Have you offered an apology? That’s the first thing. Well, I’m sorry. Have you give him anything heartfelt? Like you want to forgive yourself, but you haven’t even reached out to the person that you hurt or harmed?
Sherley [00:05:06] Well, here’s where I agree, and I don’t agree on that.
Kira [00:05:10] OK. Let me.
Sherley [00:05:11] I used to think that in order you in order to forgive someone, you had to speak to them.
Kira [00:05:19] Right.
Sherley [00:05:19] You had to have some type of conversation. You had to meet with them either over the phone or face to face. And you guys had to air everything out on the table. Get your viewpoints across. Tell each other how you feel. Agree to disagree. In order to forgive. Forgiveness can be done in two parts because there’s a possibility you may not be able to speak to that person. That person may not want to speak. You. That person may not want to see you. That person may not want anything to do with you.
Kira [00:05:51] I agree.
Sherley [00:05:51] That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t forgive. And as you know, I’ve been reading that book, Think Like a Monk. Jay says it well in this book. And just to summarize, it asked for and received forgiveness. And it’s a mental thing because once you let go of that resentment, you can still forgive that person even from a distance. And wish them well. Keep them in your prayer.
Kira [00:06:18] You’re talking about forgiving someone else. I’m talking about forgiving yourself.
Sherley [00:06:23] True. In order to forgive someone else, you have to be. There’s no way you write someone else without not forgiving yourself.
Kira [00:06:29] Absolutely. But sometimes it’s hard. Like sometimes we are harder on ourselves and we are. And other people, like, you’ll keep replaying something you did wrong over and over and not actually take the steps to really move into forgiveness for yourself. Which is why when I’m saying, like, you have to offer an apology, this is in the sense of you did something wrong. Sherley. So you’re going to apologize to the person that you did something wrong? Not someone did something wrong to you. So it’s like.
Sherley [00:06:58] So what you’re saying is offering an apology to myself.
Kira [00:07:02] No. To the person that you did wrong. Like if I cheated on someone. Right. He finds out he’s so hurt about it. I’m all broken up about it. I’m beating myself up. I feel so guilty. I’m embarrassed. I’m ashamed. All this stuff. But I want to move on. Like, I don’t want to be stuck in that place. I think part of the process of me forgiving myself is going to him and offering him a heartfelt apology. Being like, I’m going to apologize. No matter how he receives it. No matter how I anticipate his reaction to be, I’m still going to take the time to apologize to him, because that’s going to help me move on to a place of forgiving myself. So I don’t hold that over my head anymore. Like Kira, you did this terrible thing to this person and you broke their heart and you never even apologize to them for it. You know, that’s what that’s where I’m coming from. And like I think the apology is helpful. And I think it’s part of the process for you to forgive yourself.
Sherley [00:08:00] I agree. Yes, I do.
Kira [00:08:03] You don’t think it’s. You don’t think it’s 100 percent necessary? I feel like you’re agreeing with me, but you’re kind of like f I have.
Sherley [00:08:11] OK. So your question is, is have I done everything possible to make things right? And one of the things you’re saying, forgiving, forgiving that person.
Kira [00:08:19] No. Forgiving yourself.
Sherley [00:08:21] Forgiving yourself.
Kira [00:08:22] Because I did something wrong to someone else. I hurt someone else. I caused harm to someone else. And I feel terrible about it. I feel terrible, terrible, terrible. And this is me saying this as an example. I don’t feel like this. I feel terrible about this. I did this to this person. I can’t move past it because I haven’t done everything I could to make it right with that person, regardless if that means us getting back together or us talking in the future or being friends or anything. But I have to, like, take the time to give them an apology for the things that I did wrong that hurt them.
Sherley [00:09:00] For you. That’s something that is important to you, is verbally telling them.
Kira [00:09:06] Yeah. If I did something wrong. Yeah. For sure.
Sherley [00:09:10] OK.
Kira [00:09:10] And I and I feel bad about it. Yeah I know that that hurt their feelings, but I don’t care about their feelings. I’m asking about that. I’m talking about when you’re genuinely remorseful for doing something wrong and generally apologetic for what you did.
Sherley [00:09:23] OK. So I agree. I think it just to me, it’s so circumstantial. It just it is situation. So I guess I’m looking at it so deeply where it is.
Kira [00:09:33] Yeah. I think that circumstances play a huge part in it for sure. But I think that if you feel really remorseful about something that’s causing you so much pain and strife and you can’t move on because you feel so bad about what you did to someone else, you have to apologize. Regardless if they’re going to accept it or not.
Sherley [00:09:58] Now, let me ask you, have you ever extended an apology to someone and they didn’t accept it and then it made you feel like, well, why the heck did I talk to you to begin with?
Kira [00:10:08] Now, I did extend an apology to someone and they didn’t accept it, but I understood why. And that was it. Like there was there wasn’t really any much more discussion to be had after that because they decided they didn’t want to accept my apology. And I was OK with that because I knew that I had already repented for it. I had prayed about it and I had did my part in apologizing. So if you choose not to accept the apology, that isn’t change that I’m still remorseful for it. And I still offered you an apology. You could still be mad, but. I apologize.
Sherley [00:10:42] Exactly. You were in a good place and you had already forgiven yourself, so even though they weren’t being accepting.
Kira [00:10:49] The apology allows you to let it go and forgive yourself, because that’s why when that person didn’t accept my apology, it didn’t hurt. It didn’t hurt my feelings either way. I totally understood why they didn’t accept it. And I moved on.
Sherley [00:11:06] OK. Now, if you don’t ever verbally apologize to someone, do you think that you can then spiritually apologize without having to ever speak to them?
Kira [00:11:18] What do you mean like so that eventually they’ll know that you’re sorry, but you didn’t actually say sorry.
Sherley [00:11:24] Not actually saying sorry, but extending the forgiveness to them and saying I forgive you. It could be like, you know, how when you stand in the mirror and you say affirmations, I’m, I am bold. I am awesome. You can say I’ve forgiven myself. I forgive you. Something like that.
Kira [00:11:41] Oh, yeah. I definitely think that’s important to do. I don’t know if that’s something I would do because I’m more confrontational than that.
Sherley [00:11:52] I agree. I’m confrontational, too. But also, I guess sometimes I just want to I’m very cautious of what I allow into my space. And forgiveness to me is if I’m going to. And I guess I’m still working on that, because if I have to speak to you to extend my forgiveness and you lash out in rage, I don’t know if I’m ready for that yet. And I guess.
Kira [00:12:20] OK. But you’re OK. You’re saying if I have to speak to you to extend my forgiveness. No. Yeah. You’re not you’re not being the one that’s forgiving them. They’re forgiving you. You are the perpetrator. You are the one who has to forgive yourself for what you did. You are the one who has to go to them and ask them to forgive you. You’re not accepting their apology. You’re not accepting forgiveness from them. They’re accepting it from you. And that’s like what we just talked about. He totally did not forgive me and I didn’t. And honest, I’m being 100 percent honest. Like after that, I was like, OK, well, I mean, I did everything I could do. So I’m not going to hold onto this any longer. I already apologized. I made a mistake. I did something wrong. There’s nothing else.
Sherley [00:13:03] There’s nothing else you could do about it. And at the end of the day, all you can do is, you know, hopefully time will allow you to feel differently about me and the situation and not hold so much anger inside for what happened. I do understand where you’re coming from.
Kira [00:13:20] I have a friend who her and I grew up together, and our relationship over the years was one of those we would talk every now and then. We weren’t really very close friends at one point, but I was going through a bad breakup and she ended up like hooking me up with a mutual friend of hers. And I’m not going to lie like I felt like he he was just a rebound for me. And our relationship didn’t end well because I cheated on him and she stopped being friends with me. And I thought that was interesting because her and I were friends first. Deleted me off social media. And a lot of times I I’ll see her in pictures and I’ll think about reaching out to her. But I’m like. Like for what? At this point, she obviously like has her thought about who I am based on that situation. And really I shouldn’t have been in a relationship to begin with. I mean, not saying that’s an excuse for what I did, but I just found it interesting that she decided to cut me off after that happened.
Sherley [00:14:17] You and her were friends first, huh? You cheated on your ex once she found out you did that. She stopped communicating with you.
Kira [00:14:28] Yeah,.
Sherley [00:14:28] But she was not friends with your ex.
Kira [00:14:31] No, she was friend. She’s the one who she she she’s the one who hooked us up.
Sherley [00:14:35] Hooked your up. But then she stopped talking to you once she found out you cheated on the person she hooked you up with.
Kira [00:14:43] Now, this is a situation where I feel like I never got an opportunity to apologize because she totally cut me off.
Sherley [00:14:51] Totally cut you off.
Kira [00:14:52] So if I ran into her, if I had the opportunity to talk to her or something like that, all these years have passed. I mean, this is a long time ago. It’s like, do I offer an apology? All these years later. Is she over it? But she’s not. She’s not. She doesn’t talk to me. So she’s probably just like left me where she left me. But I think about that because I’m like I don’t feel like I deserve that.
Sherley [00:15:17] When people choose to not speak about it and just completely ignore the situation. Yeah. I mean, if I had to guess the reason why she chose to do that, the only thing I can think of is she even though that was something she was against, I don’t feel as though ghosting someone not talking. To them, to leading them and acting in such a way, I feel it’s unnecessary. But I did at a time, you know, we all change, you know, decisions that we made ten years ago, even not the same.
Kira [00:15:54] I’m not the same. Right.
Sherley [00:15:55] And how long ago are we talking? This was ten plus ten plus year. So, you know, that could have been the person she was at the time. But I have friends from my past that has completely, literally put a huge X in front of my face.
Kira [00:16:11] Yeah. And. Well, damn. I mean.
Sherley [00:16:14] I Know I kind of know why. Yeah. Sherley has always been very opinionated. Say things that, you know, maybe not always say make people like happy. But it your happiness is not my problem. Your happiness doesn’t affect my life and my happiness shouldn’t affect your life. So if I’m being truthful to you, either two things are gonna happen. You’re going to take it very maturely. And if I say something that you’re not happy about as true friends, what are we supposed to do? We’re supposed to talk about. Let’s discuss this. Agree to disagree. Have a discussion. So when people do things like that, I feel like they are just you just have to learn to accept that place that they are in their life because that person that chooses not to talk to me, I am not upset with them at all. And as we always talk about, sometimes people are in your lives for season, right. Season is over. It’s done. I wish you well. You don’t want to speak to me for whatever reason that may be. That is fine.
Kira [00:17:18] You know what, I. You don’t what I think it is, too. I feel like I didn’t get an opportunity to, like, redeem myself. You didn’t get an opportunity to redeem yourself to. So she can see that you’ve changed. Yeah, it’s different.
Sherley [00:17:30] Well, why does it matter if she even knows?
Kira [00:17:32] Because I feel like her last thing that she knows of me was something negative.
Sherley [00:17:37] And if people are judging you by your past still or 10 years later right now, are they worth even being in your present or your future?
Kira [00:17:45] This is true, but it’s just something I thought about in thinking about, you know, because I was listening, forgiving someone, forgiving yourself, a preacher.
Sherley [00:17:54] And, you know, he said that just over the weekend. I was, I think a couple of days ago, he said, I am not my past.
Kira [00:18:03] I really agree. Yeah. And I feel like there’s been a lot of growth for me personally, like in the last 10 years. Yeah, I was a wild one. But, yeah.
Sherley [00:18:14] You know, so that I mean, that is a good example. In that situation, you were not able to speak to her to speak your mind. She didn’t ask you any questions. She just completely choose to act you out for whatever reason. That may be OK. I made a poor decision, but if that one poor decision make you not want to speak to me ever again, what was our friendship based off of?
Kira [00:18:38] I think, too, that’s how. When not all. All the time. But for this particular situation like that’s for me. How I know that I forgave myself for what I did to him, but I didn’t do anything to her. I don’t have any guilt or shame about that with her and with him, I don’t carry it either. He chose not to forgive me, which was like, that’s your decision. But I definitely learned a lot from that situation. And I didn’t do that again after that. I think what I learned from that situation was like how hurtful that was. And the thing that was crazy is like it had just happened to me. And then I did it to someone else. And I was I was really upset about that because I knew how that felt. And I couldn’t believe that I did it to somebody else.
Sherley [00:19:31] Life is about sometimes making poor decisions were not perfect.
Kira [00:19:35] You make mistakes and you learn from them. And I really believe, like I learned from that whole situation. And like I said, I never did that again after that. It’s not worth causing that kind of pain on someone. And I know what it feels like. So just like.
Sherley [00:19:49] If you and her are meant to if that season is even meant to be reopened or if that friendship is meant to rekindle itself, it will happen naturally. Yeah, there are things in life you just can’t force. You just have to respect her decision and the fact that she chose to just completely x you out of her life without even speaking to you. It’s it makes me question like, what are you upset about?
Kira [00:20:18] Listen, all these years later, I still don’t know. But I definitely think as far as moving in the whole self forgiveness aspect, that was a personal situation. I could add to the table because I, I had to forgive myself for cheating on him. I think it was really damaging to him and it was damaging to me because it made me feel really bad about myself. Yeah.
Sherley [00:20:41] But cheating shouldn’t be heating should make you feel bad.
Kira [00:20:45] Yeah. The question is the people who do it and they don’t feel bad. But that’s a whole nother that’s a whole nother episode. But yeah, I think that we have to extend the same grace that we give to others to ourselves. We’re really compassionate to other people when we have to forgive them. I think for the most part we are, but we’re not compassionate with our so we’re not compassionate to ourselves. We beat ourselves up.
Sherley [00:21:06] When we beat ourselves up, it’s definitely mental and forgiving yourself verbally say it to yourself, because a lot of times we mentally say it. Don’t blame yourself for situations of maybe I should have done this.
Kira [00:21:20] Should’ve could’ve what is don’t help anything. It doesn’t help anything. They don’t. We just we beat ourselves up. When you acknowledge it, you own it. You’re accountable to it. You apologize. And you can walk proudly and know that like you’ve done everything you can to make this situation better. And I can really walk in forgiveness of yourself. You don’t have to carry it anymore. That’s ultimate goal that you learn from your mistakes and you don’t make the same mistakes again.
Sherley [00:21:44] So how do you know when you’ve forgiven yourself? Kira.
Kira [00:21:48] I think you know that you forgiving yourself because you don’t carry the guilt, you don’t carry the shame about it anymore. Like I’m discussing this event that happened in my life almost 10 years ago and I did something really horrible to someone, but I don’t carry guilt from that anymore. I just I don’t want to laugh. I’m sorry to laugh.
Sherley [00:22:08] No, it’s OK.
Kira [00:22:09] It’s like I don’t feel guilty about that. I don’t feel shameful about it. I know that I did something wrong, but I’ve moved on. So when you’ve really forgiven yourself, you don’t carry that burden of feeling sorry for yourself anymore. You acknowledge it. You learn from it. You’ve apologized. You move on. I’m not going to carry that around.
Sherley [00:22:26] We’re seeing eye to eye when you are able to be comfortable enough to talk about whatever it is you experience, to share it with no shame. And to acknowledge the fact I did this, I know I’m wrong. I am not that person. I’ve moved on past that and making better decisions, making better choices. That is a huge sign of forgiveness because, you know, society will make you feel so shameful about your life choices. And even to this day, it all makes me wonder, how does the choices I make for my life interrupt your flow?
Kira [00:23:07] It doesn’t.
Sherley [00:23:11] How is it possible that my life decisions is interrupting your living?
Kira [00:23:17] It shouldn’t.
Sherley [00:23:17] The opinionated world that we live in. That’s why even with this podcast, it’s never to create any type of cult or following or make people see things. From our point of view, it’s literally sharing our story, sharing our view points, letting the world know that as two friends, we can agree to disagree. We may not always see eye to eye.
Kira [00:23:39] And that’s OK.
Sherley [00:23:40] Taking ownership for the wrongs that we’ve done in our lives.
Kira [00:23:45] Even when, like you’re saying, society would say that you don’t deserve to be forgiven.
Sherley [00:23:49] Exactly. Or judge us based on our decision.
Kira [00:23:54] Right.
Sherley [00:23:54] You know, it always makes me wonder when you make poor choices in life, how people literally will judge you by those poor choices. And it is that all you know me of is the poor choices that I’ve made.
Kira [00:24:06] And there’s I don’t want to sound like I’m making excuses, but a lot of times when poor choices are being made, there are so many factors that go into it. There is so many factors in that piece. I shouldn’t have been in a relationship with him anyway. I was still so heartbroken from my ex cheating on me. And then I happened to this new thing with this person and I wasn’t ready. And it’s just I mean, there’s other things, too. But it was just like we’re making poor decisions. We’re not at our hundred percent self. I feel like we’re not at our best self. Right. So there’s so many factors. There’s so many things going on. And you make these really poor decisions and say, oh, I shouldn’t. I did that.
Sherley [00:24:41] But poor decisions offers growth, absolutely offers new insight, allows you to change your thinking and makes you realize, no, I am not OK.
Kira [00:24:52] This and this is not the person I want to be. And this is not the person like I want to be known as. This is not the legacy. I want to leave the people.
Sherley [00:25:00] Everything negative can be always look that in a positive light and we can always learn to shift that energy and that’s why. How do you know you’ve forgiven yourself? You know, and we’ll both see eye to eye on that is when you can. To me, that’s when you can comfortably talk about your story and comfortably say, I did this. I know I’m wrong, but I’ve forgiven myself on it.
Kira [00:25:22] So self forgiveness is important in that whole forgiveness journey. Whether you were the perpetrator or whether you know, you need to be forgiven. I mean, if someone has to forgive you.
Sherley [00:25:33] It’s definitely important, because if you don’t forgive yourself first, you cannot forgive anyone else. So today we discussed self forgiveness and why self forgiveness is important. The thing is, the first question was, can you accept what you’ve done? It is important that you take accountability for your actions, whatever they may have been. It’s important that you acknowledge the wrong you’ve done. Now, there may be situations that you may be completely blameless in. That’s understandable. But sit down and look at the bigger picture and think, how did I escalate the situation to what it is? What role did I play? Two, have I done everything possible to make things right? You need to ask yourself that. Have I done everything possible to make things right? Rather, it’s forgive that person to help you forgive yourself. Whatever you need to do to make things right for the situation so you can comfortably forgive yourself for the wrong that you did to someone else. Does that make sense? It does. And three, how do you know when you’ve forgiven yourself? What Kira and I have agreed is when you can comfortably talk about the wrongdoing that you did and not feel shame and not allow society to change your thinking. It took longer for me to forgive myself in my situation because I was so shameful of what society would think of me. I couldn’t talk about my story. I didn’t want to talk about my story because I didn’t want others to label me or judge me or think any different of me. But when you’ve truly forgiven yourself in realizes, I did this wrong. I’m taking accountability now. I’m going to be a beacon of light for somebody else and let them know that you can regain your power and you can move on and you do not have to be seen as that person.
Kira [00:27:36] Right? It’s possible.
Sherley [00:27:38] It is possible.
Kira [00:27:39] Good talk.
Sherley [00:27:39] Yes, definitely. Good talk today. And hopefully, you know, our viewers will our viewers, really our listeners, we’re looking at each other. I know. That’s because we’re looking at each other. So I’m saying our viewers, our listeners will take into account that you have to forgive yourself first before you can forgive someone else. And don’t beat yourself up. And remember, it takes time. It takes time and takes time. It takes time. Don’t rush yourself. Take the steps that needs to be taken. We’re going to wrap up today. As always, love yourself. Voice yourself. Be yourself till next time. Bye.
Kira [00:28:18] Bye.
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Femme Parler Podcast provides an atmosphere where every woman is comfortable growing into their best self. Femme Parler is a no judgment podcast where we discuss how to rise strong out of all types of obstacles that come with relationships. Through personal life experiences and discussions ranging from infidelity, trust, forgiveness, sex, heartbreak, self love, therapy and more, we offer words of empowerment as you strive to build and maintain all of the relationships in your life. You may be going through something that is unique and difficult. Sharing your story gives others comfort and could also be helping someone else. Let them know they are not alone. Everyone has a story, do not let fear hold you back.
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