Excerpt on Self-Forgiveness from The Forgiving Life:
One of the most frequent questions I receive concerns the process of forgiving yourself. The short answer is, yes, you can forgive yourself with certain cautions in mind.
First, when you forgive yourself, you are both the offended one and the offender. And we rarely offend ourselves in isolation. Thus, you should go and make amends with those who also were offended by your actions. This includes asking for forgiveness, changing your behavior and making recompense where this is reasonable.
After that, as you turn your attention to forgiving yourself please keep this in mind—What you have been offering to others in forgiving them (gentleness, kindness, patience, respect, and moral love), you can and should offer to yourself.
The Forgiving Life, (APA Lifetools), Robert D. Enright (2012-07-05), American Psychological Association.
I find forgiving myself harder than forgiving others. Maybe I am harder on myself than I am on others. Thank you for opening the door to this suggestion and providing some guidelines.
Yes, make amends. This keeps the whole issue of self-forgiveness honest. Otherwise, we could all say, “I forgive myself so let me keep the immorality going strong.”
One more thought. People who have repented of wrongdoing and have asked God for forgiveness still may need to engage in self-forgiveness. It may be a final step to set the person free.