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Meyla Hooker

Educator, KIPP Houston High School

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Is there a framework for forgiving yourself?

I have met many people lately that often find it impossible to forgive themselves (for situations big and small). I once thought this was easy for me. When I delved deeper, however, it became apparent that I have the same issue. Would love your thoughts on this topic.

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  • Nov 1 2011: Sometimes I choose not to forgive; it is like I’m driven by some uncontrollable need to be right. I have been asking myself: is it my need to be right or is it some deep dark fear of being wrong? Everything in our world that elicits personal judgment is founded exclusively on our individual interpretation of the events we experience. When someone crosses that imaginary line between right and wrong, I sometimes feel compelled to stand in judgment of what was said, or was done “to me”. What would happen if suddenly my understanding of right and wrong, my values or beliefs were found to be developed on a shaky foundation? Understanding how debilitating the pain of not forgiving can be to you is the starting point of self forgiveness. Forgiveness is a choice, a conscious decision and maybe more importantly a responsibility. Forgiveness is not to be carefully concealed by something that appears to be charity or conditional as in “I will forgive you if you do the following”. Forgiveness needs to be complete and when it is, it liberates you so you can be fully present in this moment. Once you acknowledge that attacking the problem only escalates it in our mind as we replay the offensive moment over and over again. From that stand point, forgiveness of another is self forgiveness and clears the mind to be more peaceful and present. People who forgive are often happier and healthier than those who hold on to debilitating resentments. All forgiveness is self forgiveness so forgive often and completely.

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