Forgiving ourselves is a process that continues through our life. When we truly forgive ourselves we are not simply saying: ‘I  couldn’t help doing what I did..so I might forget about it.’ We take responsibility. However, feeling guilty and bad about ourselves is only likely to lead to more harmful actions. We can’t punish ourselves into being a good person. Only by holding ourselves with the compassion of forgiveness do we experience our goodness and respond with wisdom and care.

My beloved child, break your heart no longer.

Each time you judge yourself, you break your own heart;

you stop feeding on the love which is the wellspring of your vitality.

The time has come. Your time to live, to celebrate.

And to see the goodness that you are.

You, my child, are Divine. You are pure. You are sublimely free.

You are God in disguise and you’re always perfectly safe.

Do not fight the dark, just turn on the light.

Let go and Breathe in to Goodness that you are.

~Swami Kripalu

more on forgiveness, compassion and psychotherapy  in Tara Brach’s book Radical Acceptance