Why Should I Forgive Myself?

I looked up at the clock. It was 3:02 AM. “How did it get so late?” I muttered.
“You really should get to bed.”

Startled, I look up. I thought I was sitting at my desk all alone, but someone else was in the room with me.

“Where did you come from?” I asked.

The person I saw looked vaguely familiar. It almost looked like my reflection, but something was odd about it. I began wondering if I had a twin I didn’t know about.

“I’ve always been here. And I’m not your twin.”

“Wha–” I started. “How do you know what I was thinking?”

“Don’t you recognize me?”

He had a lazy eye in the same place just like me, but I still refused to believe. “But you’re backwards!”

“Actually, no… Your just not seeing me as a reflection.”


“I’m you. That’s how I know what you’re thinking. But you’re used to seeing me as a reflection.”

“Oh. I get it. I think.” I’m sure he didn’t believe me with the puzzled look I still had on my face.

“So, why am I here?” he asked.

“I was about to ask you the same thing.” I turned back to the computer. With a wave of my hand, I said, “I’m busy right now. Go away.”

“I know. That’s what I came to help you with.” My other self came and stood behind me. “What are you working on?”

“A post for my friend Holly.”

“You should have written that two weeks ago.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“What are you going to write about?”

That was a good question, but I didn’t have an answer. I knew I needed to do something, but I couldn’t think of what I should do.

“When are you going to finish that novel?” my other self asked. I looked up to see him pointing at the binder stuffed with paper on the top shelf of the desk.

“Not right now,” I replied, gritting my teeth. “I need to work on this post.”

“Hey, I’m just asking!” my other self said, hands going up defensively. “You’re the one who keeps putting it off.”

“I know,” I said. “I’m just busy doing other things.”

My other self looked back to the pile of dishes in the sink. “I can see that.”

“Great,” I said when I saw where he was looking. “Just another thing I have to do.”

“You could have done those earlier today, you know.”

I thought back to how late I had slept the night before and to the hours spent watching Netflix and Hulu that afternoon. “You’re right. But I was busy watching the kids.”

“Were you, now.”

I sighed. I knew the other me was right. I had not spending the time with them that I should have. I hadn’t spent the time to do many of the things that I said I would do. Or needed to do.

I leaned into the computer. I moved the mouse cursor over and clicked on the start button. I moved the cursor up and hovered over the games for a moment.

“Wasting time again, I see,” the other me said with a tsk.

I wanted to yell, but since everyone else in the house was asleep, I just took a deep breath. I clicked on the icon to open the word processor. A little too harshly, I said, “No.”

“Did you figure out what you are going to write about?”

I thought about what I had been listening to for the last week. Just an hour or so before, I wrote a post on forgiveness for my own site. “Maybe I’ll write about why I should forgive myself.”

“What do you mean?” my other self seemed intrigued. He turned the recliner behind me around and sat down.

“Well, over the last week, I’ve been studying forgiveness.” I felt guilty as I said this because I knew I had been studying that lesson for more than a week. I had intended to write the post I had just written the week before but put it off.

“That’s a great topic,” he said with a wave of his hand. “What is forgiveness?”

I started to answer right away, but then I closed my mouth. I looked up to the left as I thought about the question. While I thought, I stroked the beard on my chin. “I think to forgive someone is to no longer hold them accountable for something they’ve done wrong.”

“So they should get a free pass?”

That was just the type of question my other self would ask. It was keeping me from doing the very thing I wanted to do. Or was it?

“Not necessarily. There may still be some consequences of what they did wrong that they may have to face. But for me to forgive someone, I need to let go of the hurt that was caused to me.”

My other self leaned forward in the chair. He rested his elbows on his knees. “Why do you need to forgive yourself? You’re just going to mess up again.”

“I know. But I need to start forgiving myself.”


“To get rid of this insomnia, for one thing,” I said under my breath and turning back to the computer.

“What was that?” he asked, lifting a hand to his ear.

“Nothing.” I began typing away.

“Interesting,” my other self said. Apparently, he was reading what I was typing. “Do you think that will work?”

I stopped typing and swiveled around in my office chair. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Sinking back into the chair, he asked, “Do you think you’ll be able to forgive yourself?”

“I… I don’t know.”

“What do you think it will accomplish?”

I hadn’t thought of that. “I’ve been getting angry a lot lately.”

For a second, my other self stroke a pose that reminded me of pictures I’d seen of Sigmund Freud. “At other people?”

I nodded. “Some. But also at myself.”


“Because I know I can do better.” I swiveled back around and started typing again. “I don’t want to become one of those people who becomes so angry at themselves that they start doing things that eventually keep themselves from achieving their goals.”

“Like you’ve been doing?”

I started to object, but then I realized that my other self was right. I had been avoiding facing the things I needed to do by wasting my time away watching TV and playing games. I had been using procrastination to avoid doing things that I knew I needed to do. I knew that I had to forgive myself for my own procrastination. “Yes.”

“What do you think could happen if you don’t forgive yourself?”

I paused in my typing to look back at my other self in the recliner. “Same as if I didn’t forgive other people, I guess. If I held on to anger at myself, I’d start seeing myself as worthless and maybe even try to kill myself.”

“You’re not suicidal yet.”

I turned back around and kept typing. I had never really contemplated suicide, and I felt this line of reasoning was a little morbid. “No, and I’d like to keep it that way. I’d also like to keep my mental sanity. I want to become a better person.”

A chuckle made me look back again. “That’s a noble goal.”

“I know you mean well when you bring up all my failures. You just want to remind me of all the things I’ve promised myself and others that I want to achieve. You’re just trying to help me. So I forgive you for nagging me all the time.”

“I don’t nag,” my other self said.

“Yes, you do.”

My other self smiled. “Well, I forgive you, too.”

I smiled back. I turned back to my typing and finishing my next goal. I never noticed when my other self turned the recliner back around and left.

Do you have an experience with needing to forgive yourself? Have you ever wondered, “Why should I forgive myself?”  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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About Grady Pruitt

Hi, my name is Grady Pruitt, and I own the Success Building Blocks blog. I use my experiences as a server and as a 7 time NaNoWriMo participant and winner, along with lessons I'm learning from other sources, to teach people how to improve themselves. I believe that anyone can achieve any reasonable goal they set their mind to if they are willing to put forth the effort needed to achieve that goal. Come learn how to build your success, one block at a time!


  1. your post inspires me to always improve myself for my better life
    thank you very much
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  3. great post. The best way for start a new day with positive minds.
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  4. that’s so helpful , thank u so much for this post
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  5. Forgiving yourself is one of the first steps to living a happy life. If you’re always dwelling on the past and thinking of all the wrong choices you made, you will never be able to move forward in life. So keep your head up, and don’t worry about anything.

    You’ll be fine 🙂
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  6. very nice and so informative post.
    i am going to add your blog in list of cummnt luv enabled blog list, you can check it. please vist and say thanks.
    i have daily 500 vistor this will help you to increase your traffic.
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  7. Very interesting way of writing, excellent post, good luck and thanks

  8. You are really good in writing.
    I found many of energy at your blog so thank you. :))
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  9. Your writing is awesome. Not many people can infuse a lesson while telling a story like this. Thanks for sharing. Your site is a much needed breath of fresh air from all the marketing and making money blogs I see all day.

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  10. Very interesting story, sounds like a dream. 🙂

    I think we do need to forgive ourselves, we are all human after all and we all make mistakes. On the other hand we can’t just use it as an excuse. If you really want to do something try it out.

    Life is too short to waste your life away watching t.v. and killing time, but it is also too short to get mad at yourself for the mistakes you make 🙂
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  11. That was some of the best writing, I think I have ever read. Plus I could totally relate to watching too much HULU and Netflix. I had to laugh when I read that. It made me feel normal. Plus your explanation of what forgiveness is “I think to forgive someone is to no longer hold them accountable for something they’ve done wrong.” is excellent. I find it easier for myself to forgive others than to forgive myself. But I do, because God forgives all (including me) and so can I. Thanks.

  12. forgiveness is often difficult but believe me when I say that an unforgiveness lays on your soul a bigger burden.
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  13. I feel if God can forgive you (and he does) you can forgive yourself.
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  14. Forgive and forget every think in life if you want to become successful in your life ..

  15. Don’t cray on past , forgive yourself and look forward for the future ..

  16. To forgive is a very important aspect in life. If you can’t forgive yourself you can’t live with your whole potential. Learning from your mistakes is a key concept for success and happiness!
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  17. We have to forgive ourselves simply because, the point is to have a better future and not to cry over the past or severly blame ourselves. it simply will not lead to any good.
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  18. Brian Gaucher says:

    I have made a mess out of my life. Because I acted like a spoiled brat, self centered jerk the last five years. I have hit rock bottom. My best friend who I hurt the worst, Died of a heart attack, I’m sure I was responsible for. Even though I’ve asked my best friend, & God for forgiveness. I still feel like crap, and my life is falling apart.

  19. forgiveness is hard to do at times…especially if the heart has been broken…but if we do not forgive the would will fester and rot
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  20. If you keep blaming yourself, you keep giving a chance to others to constantly criticise you. if you’ve made a mistake admit it, forgive yourself and then try not to make it again! That’s how it should be! You cant live with constant pressure on your conscious.

  21. one should always listen to inner voice as it only tells you the right thing. In this materialistic world, we some times doesn’t pay attention to it and commit many mistakes. so best way is listen to ur inner voice and follow instructions of your pure heart. Nice piece of writing Grady. I like it…
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  22. I promised myself that I’ll start to read again. Hope my ghost will not haunting me!

  23. We all do some mistakes at some time in our life and I think we should forgive ourselves.
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  24. Not forgiving yourself would be mad with yourself for a lifetime…

    • The interesting thing with this is that many who are would swear they’re not — but their actions and the way they think would say otherwise. Since going through this program, I’m noticing more often the thoughts and comments I have where I put myself down. Many of these, I rarely realized I was doing and didn’t see anything wrong with them. Now, I know better.

      Thanks for the comment tutalib!

      • This sounds a lot like the awareness I’ve been developing of when I phrase things in negative ways – for example, “I won’t fail” instead of “I will succeed.” I really don’t think that I ever put myself down – and I don’t see a little self-effacing humor as a put-down. Reminding ourselves not to get TOO full of ourselves isn’t always a BAD thing. 😉

        On the other hand, I had a friend who had a habit of saying “I’m so stupid.” One day, I got so tired of hearing it, and was so exasperated over it, that I yelled at her. “STOP! Just stop. I don’t HAVE stupid friends, so clearly you cannot possibly be stupid!” Next time you’re tempted to put yourself down, consider your audience and whether you are being inadvertently hurtful by implying they have bad taste in friends!

  25. Holly, thanks for the opportunity to share this post! Sorry for taking so long to get one to you!

  26. Larry, If a ghost does show up, it probably won’t be mine 😉 I’d told Holly I’d do one for her several weeks ago when I offered her one if someone else didn’t want it, but Stacy liked my other post, so I told Holly I’d do another one for her. Just got around to doing it 😀

    • Well, now that you’re off the hook, how ’bout sending your second self over to Neeraj and Brandon? Ntathu has been diligently answering comments over here, even if she hasn’t posted anything new in ages. (“Ages” is actually only since April, and when I say “diligently,” she’s got 78 comments over there!!)

      • You guys got me thinking how useful a second self could really be! I would have the longest to do list for the second me, but what if the second me wanted me to do its to do list? I wouldnt like that at all!
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  27. Good stuff! I’ve been promising Holly a post for several weeks myself. I sure hope your ghost doesn’t show up in MY office!

  28. very nice and so informative post.
    i am going to add your blog in list of cummnt luv enabled blog list, you can check it. please vist and say thanks.
    i have daily 500 vistor this will surly help you to increase your traffic.
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  1. […] yourself.  Perhaps you may feel like me as I related in a guest post on The Next Goal about “why I should forgive myself?”  If so, you might consider if you need to forgive yourself […]