How can I forgive myself?

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    I am currently going through a very painful breakup of a long term relationship. I had been struggling for some time and so was my partner. The problem was that because he had a fly in fly out job we would go weeks on end without actually seeing each other. In that time I would get very distracted by work, daily activities, friends etc etc. I didn’t know how to keep a heart connection alive when he wasn’t near me because I have probably over-relied on physical contact as a means of connecting so I began to doubt the relationship. I was continually critically looking at him or looking at the context of our relationship or looking at myself for answers. What I failed to realise is that all of my thinking about the problems in the relationship were just making these things worse. I was retreating into my own mind and all the while losing the true connection with my partner. The underlying problem was that I had never been able to connect with myself properly. I had always lived in my mind, but the problem is the mind cannot love, it can only over-analyse and over-think when it comes to the heart. The tragic irony is that in the process of breaking up he mentioned that he thought that I had a problem of ego. The way he said it was like a lightning bolt and made me suddenly aware that the mind is the ego and that I have always been controlled by that. That is, never satisfied with any achievements or answers. I know this is related to my family background where I guess I did not receive a feeling of unconditional love. I was always being forced to stick up for myself and defend myself against constant criticism, especially from my father who is probably narcissistic. But knowing that doesn’t help me to feel better in this situation. So I am kind of undergoing a spiritual awakening but it is coupled with this sense of overwhelming loss. I can’t accept the end of the relationship because I still love him and I am hurting really badly. I am wondering how am I ever going to be able to forgive myself because right now I feel like I’m empty and hopeless.


    Hello Katie,


    I am sorry you are feeling like this. My first thought and why I responded was that please don’t keep beating yourself up about the end of your relationship. Everyone can only meet people as they are at that time and we are all learning and relationships seem to highlight the areas we need to work on most and that’s okay.

    A relationship only keeps going when both people actively want to be part of that, so please don’t put all the blame on yourself- there were two people in the relationship, so this is not just your fault.

    to try and find a little peace at this really sad time I would suggest taking a walk in nature or making yourself a nice meal/drink you like as it’s the little things that can help.




    *didn’t submit correctly..

    things that helped me included guided meditation, listening to Jason Gallant YouTube videos, talkspace therapy and journaling, but I can appreciate at times these things feel like they barely scratch the surface or you don’t feel like you have the mental energy/concentration to do them.


    it’s hard, but I promise you will get through this and be a stronger, wiser person and everyone here is rooting for you xx


    sorry Zoe, not Katie!


    Ps Reiki also helped me but i think with all these things it’s finding what suits you x


    Hi Zoe,

    Don’t beat yourself up. Anyone, even the most non-analytical selfless person would find it hard to be in a relationship where you don’t see each other for weeks on end.

    I suspect that your next relationship will be better. You won’t have to think or be “all about the ego” at all. You’ll be physically together with whoever it is and it won’t be so hard.




    Dear Zoe:

    You wrote: “I had always lived in my mind, but the problem is the mind cannot love, it can only over-analyse and over=think when it comes to the heart”- what a refreshing way of articulating.

    Then you wrote that as a child you were “always being forced to stick up for myself and defend myself against constant criticism”-

    when under criticism, as a child, the heart is fearful and hurt and maybe angry on top of the fear. Fear and anger do not allow the tenderness in the emotion of love. And so, I understand your habit of over-thinking through adulthood.

    How to forgive yourself? The answer is in love, empathy, that is, for yourself, for the child that you were under that constant criticism. Then through a healing process, or a spiritual awakening (the term you used), you earn forgiving yourself for being less than a loving girlfriend to your ex boyfriend.

    Also helpful in self forgiveness perhaps is knowing that he was not perfect either, that he too was less than loving at times.




    I invite you to reframe how you view yourself.  There is nothing to forgive.  You did no wrong.  You are who you are, doing the best you know how.

    It is still OK to love him.  He just happen not to be in your life right now.

    He gave you a gift of making you wake up about how your mind is driving most of your life.   Start from there and work on being more in touch with your heart.  Practicing living from there.  Even having your heart hurt from the breakup is good practice of being in your heart.



    Thanks to everyone for your kind replies. I was very surprised when I logged back in and saw that several people had taken the time to respond. This was the first time I have put something so personal on a public forum and it is quite heartening to feel that other people are willing to read and respond.

    I guess the main message I have gotten is that I need to be less harsh with myself. I am slowly becoming aware that that harsh critical voice actually makes it very difficult to hear my real inner voice and that is actually one of the reasons for the difficulties in my relationship. So it didn’t help me before and it is definitely not helping now when I am feeling so vulnerable. I know I need to replace that harsh voice with self-love rather than self-criticism or hatred. I feel like that is a big journey for me and it’s one that I am really only now embarking upon.

    I am also becoming aware of the power of the heart. This is the part of ourself that allows us to open up to another, be vulnerable and also to surrender our ego (not completely) so that we can form a true partnership. Somehow these ‘softer’ values of the heart have been hidden from me until now. I was so controlled by my mind that I wasn’t even aware that I could take direction from a deeper part of myself. It has taken this major shock to make me open up to this part of myself and it is changing the way I understand many things. I know it is a cliché but ultimately I guess I have found that it is difficult, if not impossible, to love another truly when you don’t know really understand what love is and you don’t have enough for yourself.

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