Is Self-Forgiveness a Contradiction Unto Itself?

Some say that self-forgiveness cannot exist because we cannot be our own judge and the defendant at the same time.

Yet, it seems to me that when we forgive we are never in a court of law. Instead we are in a non-judgmental area of love. If we can offer other moral virtues to the self, such as patience and kindness, then why cannot we also offer forgiveness to ourselves, a gentle loving acceptance of self, not because of the injustice we have done, but in spite of this? The “how to” of self-forgiveness is discussed briefly in this blog post: “The Toughest of All–Forgiving Oneself.”

At the same time, the critics of self-forgiveness do have a good point. We both are the victim and the offender. Therefore, we must do more in self-forgiveness than we do in forgiving others. If we have hurt others by our actions requiring self-forgiveness, then we need to go to those others and seek their forgiveness.

Dr. Bob

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1 comment

  1. Chris says:

    The idea of being able to love yourself is as ancient as the Hebrew literature, which tells us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

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