But we all know how easy it is to be nice to others—to possess the ability to shine a light on someone else's crappy situation; to root others on when they are running out of breath at the twenty-fifth mile. But when it comes to our own screwups, misfortunes, bad decisions, whatever, we say we deserve what we get, and that includes not being forgiven. Suffering like this is the way we show others that we take our "crime" seriously, know how bad we are, and don't need to be told how pathetic we are because clearly we know. Our inward self-loathing and self-blame are outward messages that scream we are unlovable, sucky people—and that's the end of the story.
We don't want to treat ourselves like crap, only to make empty gestures to ourselves. Self-forgiveness requires making amends with ourselves but following through with corresponding change, or else you practice nothing more than self-abuse. Self-forgiveness is a promise you make to yourself that you will support yourself while working hard to make a change. It is saying to yourself, I forgive you, thereby freeing up your energy to be spent on making change that is true and permanent.