Look. Some people just won’t admit their faults. I would – if I had any. Heh. Oh, wait I do have one: When I ask someone their name, I forget to listen to what their name is. Lol. You still holdin’ on to that grudge and refuse to extend the olive branch to yourself? If you don’t practice self-love and forgive yourself, you may as well drive through life with your hand-brake on. Hey, you’re always with yourself; so you might as well enjoy the company. It’s time to bury the hatchet and kiss and make up with yourself, my friends.

Sure we’re told daily to stop seeking approval or love in all the wrong places; but sometimes we just can’t help ourselves. Deep down we do want “them” to like us, be proud of us, accept or even admire us. Perhaps it’s time to absolve yourself for all the time you spent trying to fit in, or the many things you’ve done to seem “just like everyone else.” Trust me; we all yearn for that acknowledgment, affirmation, and seal of approval from someone other than ourselves.

How about that boatload of mistakes you made long ago? Have you pardoned yourself yet? Or are you continually trapped in the prison of the past? Make sure that you have gracefully learned from your past mistakes, and then move forward.

Well, I am certainly familiar with all my weaknesses and shortcomings. Are you? Then again, sometimes our worst fault is our preoccupation with the fault of others. Well, you know what they say: Never expect perfection from geologists. They all have their faults. Heh.

But can you vindicate yourself for being an imperfect person and let go of all those judgments once and for all? Show me one human with no flaws or foibles. And while you’re at it, drop your judgments against all of them, too.

Oh, and those little faux pas that you torture yourself over incessantly: like the time you tripped over your own shoelaces, or burned the meatloaf. Repeat after me: Those are trivial, trifling events. Time to search the lost and found for your sense of humor over those. You know that humor is your best friend. Research has shown that laughing for two minutes is just as healthful as jogging for 20 minutes. So sit in the park and laugh at all the joggers. Lol. Ah...just kidding. But do learn to occasionally laugh at yourself, please.

Maybe you made a significant mistake. Please remind yourself that you did the best you could at the time. Quite possibly you responded or behaved poorly due to stress or the negative frame of mind you were in. So long as you learned from your slip-ups, they were not in vain. Remember this: “I’m sorry” is a statement. “I won’t do it again” is a promise. “How do I make it up to you?” is truly making amends. Once you have done everything in your power to take responsibility, turn the page.

To truly imprint the life lessons you’ve learned, say your mistake out loud. Give voice to those thoughts and feelings and consider them learning experiences. Still too hard on yourself? If you refuse to let go, try visualizing a decorated box. Now toss some of your past mistakes into it and put it in the back of a closet for now. When you are ready, take it out again and show yourself some kindness and compassion by letting it finally go.

What’s that you say? You don’t make mistakes; you date them? Uh, oh. No need to let a limiting belief or negative emotion hitch its wagon on that error you made. “I will never find the right guy. Look at all the ones I’ve chosen in the past.” “I’ll never be financially successful. Check out my abysmal track record.” Sheesh. If you don’t drop those underlying judgments or feelings that have attached themselves to your mistakes, you may never be able to move on or truly forgive yourself. Learn to pardon who you used to be when you committed that transgression. You may just be a brand new “you” now.

Always own your defects of character. But please do not carry them around with you. Instead, place them right under your feet and use them as stepping stones. The one thing this life does not come with is instructions.

We are stuck with ourselves for life, sweet friends. We don’t have the option of quitting, walking away, or even divorcing ourselves. So which would you rather hold onto? Anger, shame, self-doubt, sadness, guilt…or forgiveness. The choice has always been yours.

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.