In the modern world, people pay great attention to issues of psychology. On the one hand, changes in the social order cause numerous psychological problems. On the other hand, people have a vast knowledge of the field of psychology, which allows them to save mental health. One of the significant issues is the problem of self-forgiveness. Many people find it difficult to treat themselves with care and indulgence under pressure from the outside world. The purpose of this paper is to discuss an article on this topic and summarize ways to combat this problem.
The authors of the article describe various aspects related to self-forgiveness. First, they indicate the approaches to the issue of different scientists and their definitions. In summary, self-forgiveness is a way to feel comfortable and allow oneself to be free. The authors’ central hypothesis is that self-forgiveness will enable people to cope with many psychological problems. Their circle includes alcohol abuse, eating disorders, losing a child, and other difficult life situations. In each of them, people tend to blame themselves for what is happening. Hence, by granting forgiveness to themselves, people can move on and work more productively with their problems.
The authors rely on a significant number of literary sources, making up a comprehensive description of the issue. For example, they use them to compare self-forgiveness and divine forgiveness. They claim that a person can really value and forgive himself, but only God can forgive sins. Kim and Enright (2014) describe the nature of self-forgiveness, describing it as “judgment toward the self (p. 262). In other words, people consult their moral principles and decide whether they can forgive themselves. This happens with the help of conscience – a unique ability of the human mind.
Undoubtedly, the theory of self-forgiveness attracts some criticism. For example, this process may seem somewhat narcissistic: people have no right to forgive themselves on their own. However, while sensibly assessing the situation that occurred, people should understand how much the event hurt them. This is where self-forgiveness is appropriate. On the contrary, it will be much more useful not to forgive oneself in some situations but to study one’s own personality. For example, if an event makes people feel insignificant, they need to realize their worth better. In any case, self-forgiveness can indeed have a therapeutic effect on people.
In my opinion, this article is useful and essential not only for workers in the field of psychology and theology but also for ordinary people. It reveals various crucial aspects of the issue that allow people to dive deeper into the topic. In my opinion, self-forgiveness does have some similarities with divine forgiveness. However, all the same, these are different processes, and if people want to get rid of sins, then turning to God will help more than self-forgiveness.
Either way, self-forgiveness can be genuinely beneficial in many areas of life. I agree with the author that this helps solve the problems associated with the loss of loved ones and the inability to accept oneself. These psychological conflicts are common, so people need to learn to be loyal to themselves. However, it can help even in more straightforward everyday situations: for example, in quarrels with friends or mistakes at work. Many people are prone to self-flagellation, but this makes it impossible for them to assess reality soberly. That is why they need to be aware of the concept of self-forgiveness, in particular, through studying this article.
The information in this article can be used in various areas of counseling. I would like to consider a particular case: young girls with an eating disorder. Patients with this disease are now quite common since society’s influence on people is growing every day. Consequently, trying to adapt to generally accepted standards, girls radically change their diet, usually to lose weight. This causes significant psychological trauma and health problems.
The concept of self-forgiveness can be one of the most rewarding for these girls. First, they need to forgive themselves for not representing the ideal that is familiar to those around them. This is not their fault, and they can have any appearance they have or want. Second, these girls are often prone to overeating or, conversely, refusing to eat, and even intentionally vomiting. This aspect also requires forgiveness on their part. Even in the process of treatment, they can make mistakes and return to their usual principles of thinking and acting. Despite this, they must forgive themselves for these shortcomings, realizing that these are only small steps towards a big goal: recovery.
Self-forgiveness is an undeniably useful and beneficial idea for every modern person. Even people without psychological problems are sometimes too critical of themselves. For others, such self-flagellation can become truly destructive, exacerbating the psychological state. Thus, universal awareness of the need to forgive oneself is essential to modern society. Thanks to this, people worldwide will be able to become freer and endure life’s difficulties without overthinking.
Kim, J. J., & Enright, R. D. (2014). A theological and psychological defense of self-forgiveness: implications for counseling. Journal of Psychology & Theology, 42(3), 260-268.