How to Lovingly Forgive Yourself

Dec 24, 2017 | Emotional Support, Inside, More Than My Numbers, Self Love & Care | 0 comments

We all have misunderstandings. It happens, right? In fact, what would you do if someone came to you after having messed up, or making an error because they had a misunderstanding? Most likely, it’d be easy to forgive, or to have compassion for them for buying into a misbelief. So what about when it happens within yourself? A misunderstanding or judgement within yourself is just as forgivable. And, forgiving yourself is an important step in saying hurray on the inside, outside, and underneath™.

Misunderstandings are especially prevalent when it comes to our numbers. We can misunderstand their role or judge things like our salary, dress size, weight, age, number of children, and (of course) bra size. And while it’s important to know these numbers, it’s just as important to not let them define us. It’s why I started the #MoreThanMyNumbers project. I know that people, thus our world, shine so much brighter when we let go of harmful judgements and misbeliefs and embrace the truth.

Liz in More Than My Numbers Campaign

Did you know that many of the deepest misbeliefs and misunderstandings are often ingrained in us at a very young age? Sometimes in the process of self forgiveness, I like to think of me as 5 years old, and it’s her who is telling me what’s she’s so upset about. When I imagine her saying, “but if I don’t get everything done on my to do list I’m no good!” or “if I mess this up everyone will laugh at me, or they won’t like me, or I’ll be a failure”, my compassion is more accessible. It’s how I step into my most loving and non-judgey place. I mean, these are real fears I sometimes have today in my 30’s! But talking to 5 year old me, I can say, “Oh no, sweetie, it’s OK to make mistakes. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person at all” or “You are so lovable no matter how many tasks you do! And it’s OK to schedule less in your day. You don’t have to ask yourself to do the work of four people, ok?”, in that sweet and understanding voice we use with children. And I can also forgive her for thinking those things in the first place. It’s not that she’s incompetent or silly – it was just a misunderstanding. She just didn’t understand. I just didn’t understand.

Suzette in More Than My Numbers Campaign

And, in truth, I’ve been carrying around that fear, or judgement, or misunderstanding around since I was a kid. It started covering up the truth. And year after year I bought into, more and more. We all do this. We’ve been operating one way for so long and didn’t realize it’s not (or no longer) serving us. Beating yourself up because you should have known better, or do better, or be better is an energy drain. It sucks away your loving. It covers up your truth. From personal experience, it’s very worth slowing down and lovingly (without judgement) identifying some misunderstandings or judgements you’re having within yourself, and then realizing that they’re just that – misunderstandings – and forgiving yourself for them. Forgiveness is a powerful tool for finding freedom (or saying hurray, in my words!) and it’s especially potent when you deal with what’s going on inside of you. And coming to it from a place of loving is the way to say hurray.

Ferna, Becky and Brooke in More Than My Numbers Campaign

So let me ask you:

  • What misbeliefs, or misunderstandings are no longer serving you?
  • What judgements are you making about yourself?
  • What stories are you buying into as true?
  • What numbers are you letting define you?
  • What do you need to release and forgive?

Kait in More Than My Numbers Campaign

When I first started the practice of Compassionate Self Forgiveness I was very very very adverse to it. In fact, as my coach lead me through the exercise and asked me to speak what I’d like to forgive aloud, I couldn’t get any words out. Emotion caught in my throat. I had no idea how badly I had been treating myself, and the misunderstandings, the judgements, and the stories I was carrying around. But instead of berating myself for being so mean to myself, I was being asked to forgive a misunderstanding. See, it’s not that I had made that decision just because I wanted to be mean to myself. I had made it because I had misunderstood what it meant to be enough, what the world may think of me if I didn’t get everything done on my to do list, or what it meant to have approval from others in the first place.

When I lead my own coaching clients or other people through this process now, we typically discover the misunderstandings together. It can be hard to see them yourself at first. Then I usually offer up a few additional or clearer suggestions during the meditation and have you repeat after me. Using my knowledge and intuition, and checking in with you, we’d then continue to go a bit deeper into each misunderstanding to uncover what’s really there.

Rachel Kara in More Than My Numbers Campaign

For example:

  • Misunderstanding or judgement: “I’m so stupid for not getting everything done on my to do list. Again! Ugh!”
  • Forgiveness: “I lovingly forgive myself for the misunderstanding that I am stupid. I lovingly forgive myself for judging myself for not getting everything done on my to do list. I lovingly forgive myself for the buying into the misbelief that I never finish my tasks and I’m no good.”
  • Go deeper: “I lovingly forgive myself for the misunderstanding that I have to do it all. I lovingly forgive myself that if I don’t get everything done on my to do list that I’m not doing enough, or that I won’t be good enough. I lovingly forgive myself for the misunderstanding that I am not doing enough. I lovingly forgive myself for buying into the misbelief that doing more means I’m worth more, or loved more. I lovingly forgive myself for the misunderstanding that I am not loved unconditionally. I lovingly forgive for the misunderstanding that I am not enough.”
  • Find the truth: “The truth is: I asked myself to do the work of 4 people instead of 1 and I can cut myself a break. The truth is it can be done later and the world will still spin. The truth is I do not have to prove my worthiness with tasks. The truth is I am worthy simply because I exist. The truth is I am filled with love and am always connected to it. The truth is I am doing my best. The truth is I am doing enough. The truth is I am enough.”

Kimmay in More Than My Numbers Campaign

If I’m being really honest (and I always am) …. this is me above. {Not just in the photo, but also in the example}. One of the very first misunderstandings that I remember realizing and the truths that I uncovered had to do with my to do list and my worthiness. I would jam pack my to do list with tasks and things and business because it made me feel important, and like I was doing and proving how valuable I was in the world. I didn’t know that about myself until I slowed down and looked deeper, mostly with the help of a coach. So it’s no surprise to me that this same opportunity to discover the misunderstandings and truths around tasks and “being enough” comes up with my own coaching clients. Often.

Do you feel the same way? Or is there another misunderstanding that bubbles up for you? Below are a few of the most common misunderstandings and truths that have come up in my experiences doing and guiding others in this practice. Keep in mind that your misunderstandings or judgements will vary greatly from others. And as you practice this on a regular basis, it will become easier and easier to identify misunderstandings and compassionately forgive yourself for them.

Common misunderstandings to forgive

I lovingly forgive myself for the misunderstanding that…

  • I have to do more or be more for others to love me
  • my worth is based on what I do, or my job, or my acts
  • I am not doing it right
  • I am a screw up
  • I am not allowed to fail, or failure is not an option
  • my value depends on what others think of me
  • I am better or worse than anyone else
  • nothing is working out for me
  • I am letting everyone and myself down
  • I am unloved or unloveable
  • I am not doing enough
  • I am not enough
  • if I were thin and pretty I’d be happy
  • I am ugly
  • I am unwanted

When it comes to numbers, there are several opportunities to discover misunderstandings and judgements:

  • my salary defines my success
  • if I lose 20 more pounds I can do that thing or give myself that thing
  • my dress size determines how I can show up in the world
  • I can’t do it because of my age
  • my bra size means I’m too big or too small
  • my number of breasts means I’m not a “real woman”
  • having no children means I’m a failure

Common truths to uncover

The truth is…

  • My value is not based on what I do, how much I earn, etc
  • I am divinely guided
  • I am not alone
  • happiness is in me now
  • my body is my partner
  • I am worthy of love and respect now
  • love requires compassion
  • I’m on a journey
  • failures are really opportunities
  • it’s all happening for me, not to me
  • it’s safe for me to be myself
  • I am beauty
  • I am enough
  • I am doing my best
  • I am loved
  • I am supported
  • numbers are information, not a definition
  • I am #MoreThanMyNumbers

Precious in More Than My Numbers Campaign

Your Turn: I’ve created an audio to guide you through this process. It may be a good starting place for you to try this practice on. And, I highly encourage you to work with a coach or someone you trust to work on this practice. If you want to talk with me about it, you can connect with me here.

Are you ready to release the judgement or acknowledge the misunderstanding and compassionately forgive yourself? I’ve lead hundreds of people through guided meditations in my monthly women’s circles, in my coaching practice, and more. This is the first time I’ve recorded something and shared it publicly. It’s my gift to you. Let’s (lovingly) do this.

Keep in mind that compassionate self-forgiveness is a practice. Just like practicing piano scales or working out at the gym, you are toning your muscle and your reflexes. The more you do it, the more you can uncover. In fact, I told you that when I started this process I could barely get the words out, as tears streamed down my face, right? And through practice like setting aside quiet time for this, it became a tool I reached for with more ease. Now I find myself walking down the street and catching judgments or misunderstandings as they pop up and forgiving myself on the spot and continuing on without missing a step. I combine my intentional times set aside for going deeper with a daily or moment to moment opportunity to forgive myself.

Ashley in More Than My Numbers Campaign

Want to know something really cool? When we use compassion and love to forgive ourselves for misunderstandings and judgements we open up the possibility to forgive others in the same way. We’re creating a wave of love and compassion together. Can you feel it? Thank you for being a part of it.

For more information on the #MoreThanMyNumbers project go to or click the link in the top right navigation of the menu tab on this site! You can also follow along on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

To have a conversation about coaching and to experience this and other powerful work together, learn more about my coaching services.

I’m relaying my own understanding of the process of compassionate self forgiveness as I was taught by Michaella O’Conner, who learned it through a program at The University of Santa Monica. You can connect with or find out more about Michaella, who is a wonderful coach, here. Massive thanks to her for sharing this with me so I can share it with you.

The #MoreThanMyNumbers team: Concept and Production, Kimmay Caldwell of Hurray Kimmay and Hurray Media (that’s me!). Photos, Laura Boyd of Own Your Sexy. Makeup and Hair, Zuzu Acosta. Assistant, Kat Lerner. Participants: Liz Coleman, Suzette Arce, Ferna Hall, Becky Yee, Brooke East, Kait Scalisi, Rachel Kara Perez, Kimmay Caldwell, Precious Foster, Ashley Capone.

There’s ZERO airbrushing or photo shopping of these lovely women’s bodies. As always, on Hurray Kimmay.