How To Forgive Yourself for Something Unforgivable

9 Helpful Tips on How To Forgive Yourself for Something Unforgivable

You might be feeling terrible and wish the earth would open up so that you could hide.

I want to let you know that we all have had those moments that echo in our minds, labeled “unforgivable.” The weight of such mistakes can feel crushing, leaving you trapped in guilt and self-loathing.

But you don’t have to stay that way. There is a path to freedom. 

Yes, it is possible to forgive yourself for something unforgivable. So you might ask, “How do I go about it?” In this article, I will guide you through the challenging yet transformative process of forgiving yourself, even for the seemingly unforgivable.

We’ll explore practical steps to acknowledge your pain, accept responsibility, and find self-compassion. 

How to Forgive Yourself for Something Unforgivable 

How To Forgive Yourself for Something Unforgivable

Here are the progressive steps that you can follow to forgive yourself and allow yourself to be joyful and at peace again. 

Acknowledge your mistake

The first step towards forgiving yourself is to acknowledge your mistake. Fully take responsibility for what has happened. One thing you should not do in this period is minimize, justify, or blame someone or an external factor for what happened.

Admit it was a mistake, and allow yourself to feel the pain and weight. Suppressing emotions will only prolong the healing process. 

Let go of any perfectionism trait. You must understand that you are human and prone to making mistakes. The truth is that you aren’t the first to do that, so feel the pain, but do not beat yourself too hard. 

Accept Responsibility 

The next step is to take responsibility. You can acknowledge a mistake and refuse to take responsibility, but that is not the right thing to do if you want to heal. You have to assess the situation and recognize your role in it. 

Accepting responsibility isn’t beating yourself up or making you feel as if you are a bad person. It is about doing the right thing and identifying what you can do differently to prevent the mistake from repeating itself. When you take responsibility, it helps you better with self-evaluation. 

Make Amends 

If you have hurt anyone in the process, ensure you take concrete steps to make amends. This might involve apologizing, repairing relationships, or compensating for damages. When apologizing, it can be direct or indirect. 

A direct apology entails apologizing face-to-face and directly to those affected by your actions. Be sincere, let them know you are remorseful, and admit you’re wrong. Also, be specific about what you are sorry for.

If it is not possible to meet the affected person(s) directly, you can apologize indirectly. This entails writing an apology letter or message. Ensure the letter or message is heartfelt and remorseful.

Additionally, if possible, volunteer yourself or engage in acts of service to help the affected person(s) as a way of making amends and letting them know you are sorry and want to repair the relationship.

So the question I want you to ask yourself is, “What can I do in this situation to ease the pain I caused?” 

One major thing I would like you to understand is that seeking amends does not mean they will forgive you instantly.

They may not be ready or willing to forgive, and that’s part of the process. You have to be patient with them and not get angry because you feel they should forgive you since you have apologized. 


Even the most horrendous mistakes don’t erase your inherent worth as a human being. So, be kind to yourself. You are no less than a human.

The truth is that you aren’t the first who has made the mistake, and most probably you won’t be the last either. Your journey to self-forgiveness and healing won’t be complete without being compassionate to yourself. 

Imagine a friend coming to you with a similar burden. What words of comfort would you offer? Say the same word to yourself! Extend that same kindness to yourself. Treat yourself with kindness and understanding. We all make mistakes. 

Challenge Negative Self-Talk

The voice in your head can be harsh at times, replaying the negative narrative of your mistake. You have to learn to challenge it. Just because a thought is loud doesn’t make it true.

Ask yourself, “Is this thought helpful or hurtful?” “Would I speak this way to a friend?” If the answer is no, counter it immediately. For instance, instead of “I’m a terrible person,” say to yourself, “I made a mistake, but that doesn’t define me.” 

Engage in Self-Care

Engage in activities that bring you joy and peace and help restore your sense of self-worth. Understand that self-care is not about indulgence; it’s about creating a nurturing environment that allows you to heal and move forward with strength. 

Get quality sleep, do regular exercise, and eat healthy foods. Engaging in activities like meditation or yoga helps you release tensions from your mind and create a sense of calm.

Also, engage in things that you love and that bring you joy, like hobbies or spending time with your loved ones. 

Focus on the Present and Future 

While it’s important to learn from the past, dwelling on it can hinder your progress. Focus on what you can do now and in the future to be a better person.

Are these the skills you need to improve upon? Are there aspects of your life you need to work on? Identify them, state steps that will help you accomplish them, and follow them judiciously so that you can be a better person. 

Learn from the Experience 

While self-compassion is essential, forgiveness also requires growth. Examine the “why.” Reflect on the reasons behind your actions and identify the root cause and what you could have done better or differently.

Viewing this as a learning opportunity, not a permanent stain on your character, helps you to improve and heal very fast. 

Seek Support 

If you aren’t making significant progress personally, I will recommend you talk to a therapist or counselor, as it can be incredibly helpful in processing difficult emotions and developing self-forgiveness. Also, if you have a trusted friend or family member, you can talk to them. 

How to Forgive Yourself for Cheating 

How To Forgive Yourself for Cheating

Cheating can leave a heavy weight of guilt and regret on both you and the betrayed partner. I know you might feel like you do not deserve forgiveness for betraying your loved one. Even though forgiving yourself after infidelity can feel like a monumental task, 

The “4 Rs” of self-forgiveness is a helpful framework that can guide you to forgive yourself and heal inwardly. The 4Rs are: 

  • Responsibility 
  • Remorse 
  • Restoration
  • Renewal


This entails taking ownership of your mistakes. Admit that you have cheated and recognize the betrayal you have caused.

Avoid excuses or justifications; focus on understanding the “why” behind your infidelity and the impact it has had on your relationship and your partner’s feelings.

Do not shift blame onto your partner, external factors, or other people. Own up to your actions entirely. 


This involves feeling genuine regret for the pain you caused your partner. It doesn’t stop there; you have to apologize to your partner sincerely.

Do not get angry at the actions of your partners toward you. Learn to be empathic and put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Understand the emotional and psychological pain inflicted and give them time.

Most times, your partner might not respond to your apology immediately. If possible, do more than apologize with words. Get gifts and presents, and do some practical acts of service to show you are truly remorseful. 


If your partner is open to it and willing to accept you back, work together to rebuild trust and restore the relationship. This might involve counseling or therapy. Show them you are willing to rebuild trust and be trustworthy.

This could include being more transparent, improving communication, and avoiding situations that lead to cheating. Be patient with your partner and give them time to heal. Do not rush the process. 

However, if reconciliation isn’t possible, do not force things; just leave and focus on personal growth to ensure you don’t repeat this mistake in future relationships. 


This step involves setting intentional goals to renew yourself and become a better person. Take time and rejuvenate yourself by engaging in what brings you joy. Do something that will take your mind off the hurt. You can go back to school, start learning a skill, or develop your hobby.

Learn from the experience and focus on moving forward positively, with a newfound commitment to honesty and self-awareness. By committing to your growth and seeing your mistake as a learning point, you heal completely and allow yourself to be forgiven.


Forgiving yourself doesn’t mean forgetting or excusing what happened. It means accepting it, learning from it, and allowing yourself to move forward without being perpetually burdened by guilt and shame.

Always know that forgiveness is a journey, not a destination. There will be setbacks, but with time and self-compassion, you can heal and move forward.

Do not rush the process, and at the same time, do not lament for long. You are human, and you can make mistakes, but your mistakes do not define who you are.

Hy I'm iffy!! A chronic worshiper with a DIY spirit! After a near death experience I started my journey to living a more purposeful life.

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