I Did Something SO Horrible—How Can I Forgive Myself?

By Boni Lonnsburry

I received this message from a fellow creator:

Dear Boni,

I am in desperate need of help and some comforting words. I did something horrible and I’m wondering if I can get some advice from you so I can accept this, forgive myself and move forward.  

I slept with my sister’s husband! I can’t even begin to express the regret and horrible anguish I feel. I don’t deserve anything. I don’t deserve to be happy. Nothing. I just want to let go of this negativity and forgive myself for the horrible thing I did.

Sick with Regret


Dear Sick with Regret,

My heart goes out to you…I can feel the pain you are in and the sorrow you feel over what you have done.

There will be many who read this, who want to judge you for your actions (as you are undoubtedly judging yourself) as “bad and wrong” for having done such a thing.

And I say to all of you, for your own good, stop looking at the action, and start looking at the cause of the action.

Sick with Regret, you must have been in deep pain, or loneliness or despair, to have done what you have done. It is obvious that you did not intend to betray your sister. And yet you have. There is a reason for that. And it is the deep-seated reason that you did what you did, that you need to forgive.

Of course I also advise that you heal the reason. Heal “why” you did what you did.

Do you need to forgive the action itself? No, not really. You may never forgive the action. But you if forgive the reason for the action, you can be free. Read more on how to do that below.

With love and hope,

We ALL Have Things to Forgive

We ALL have things we have done which we regret. If you say you don’t, I say you haven’t reflected deeply enough on your life (or you are not yet an adult). We need to forgive ourselves for those things—and yes, we need to forgive those who have wronged us, too.

We also need to stop judging others for things they have done. We may think we know what we would and wouldn’t do in their shoes, but we really don’t know.  We are not in the same emotional state, with the same knowledge, the same wounds, the same background and/or the same mental state as those we might judge.

Case in point

A number of years ago, I was a young mother who fiercely loved her children. I would judge other parents who would give up custody of their children or send them away to boarding schools. I couldn’t imagine a life without my boys, and could not fathom any possible circumstance that would cause a parent to willingly walk away from their child.

Three guesses what happened? Yup, that’s right. I found myself that very mother I so mercilessly judged.  I couldn’t have imagined giving up my children because I had never imagined the circumstances that would cause me to do so. And yet, I did.

Forgiveness is Essential to Creating Successes of Every Kind

Everyone deserves a life of his or her dreams. But if you don’t believe you deserve it, you won’t allow it to manifest. Therefore it is critical to learn how to forgive. What do you forgive?

You forgive yourself for creating lousy realities.

You forgive yourself for being less than loving to others.

You forgive others for their hurtful impact on you.

Does forgiving someone mean you must allow him or her back into your life if you haven’t had contact recently? No— it doesn’t. You can forgive someone without them even knowing you have forgiven them.

Ultimately forgiveness isn’t really about the other person. Forgiveness is about you. Forgiving frees you to be happier (without the baggage of regrets) and it frees you to create what you desire (without sabotaging your creations by feeling less than deserving).

How Do You Forgive?

There is no one right way or wrong way to forgive. But if you would like some direction, here is a Forgiveness Process:

  1. Sometimes we aren’t quite ready to forgive. We are too angry, too judgmental, too self righteous, too ashamed or too hurt to forgive right away. Intending to forgive moves the process along, and very miraculously gets us where we need to be to do the forgiving.Begin the forgiveness process by holding the intention to forgive. Simply say, “I intend to forgive ­­­­­­­­­___________ for ____________.”  Say this mentally every time you think of the situation that calls for forgiveness.
  2. If you still hold anger, hurt, shame, feelings of betrayal or deep sorrow, release those feelings. You can accomplish this by writing about how your feel, or by visualizing yourself talking (and crying, screaming and shouting) with the other person. Either way…be sure to really feel your feelings.
  3. Look deeply the reasons for the action that begs forgiveness. I learned this from my spiritual teacher, Lazaris, who says, “Forgive the ‘why’, if not the ‘what’.”We, as humans, lash out and hurt ourselves and others because we are hurting. We hurt others because of our fears, our betrayals, our abandonments, our shame, our unhealed pasts and our feelings of being “less than” other human beings. It is a pattern that is handed down, generation to generation, year after year…until someonestops it.How does it stop? With forgiveness. And with healing.  And my friends, you won’t allow the healing, until you have forgiven yourself.
  4. Write it out. “I forgive ­­­­­___________ for ________________________. I now understand the reason I did this, was because I was (or they were) ____________________________. I have compassion for _________________ and love for my/their Soul. I understand why I/they did it. And I, therefore, forgive them/myself.”
  5. Sit and imagine the Higher Self of the person you seek forgiveness from in front of you.  Maybe it’s your Higher Self, or the Higher Self of another. Imagine yourself in a place in nature, with this other person, and you are both sitting on opposite sides of a fire.Talk to them. Ask for their forgiveness. They will grant it. And then forgive yourself. You are doing the best you can at any given time, my friend, with the burdens you have on your shoulders. You are human—and you make (and will make) mistakes. And you are divine. Both are true.
  6. Physically take the paper you have written out the forgiveness on, and (safely) burn it. This releases the energy and announces the forgiveness to the multi-verse.
  7. Ask for help. Ask your Higher Self, your Soul, God, the Goddess, whomever you feel closest to…to assist you in allowing this forgiveness to be complete.

Do You Ask the Actual Person for Forgiveness?

If it feels right to ask forgiveness from the actual person, by all means do so. And do the above steps as well, ideally. You may need to repeat this process several times for the forgiveness you seek. But every time you do it you should feel a shift—you’ll become lighter and freer.

Forgiveness is a gift—a gift you give yourself. Oh you may think it is about others…but it’s not. It’s about you. And once you have forgiven, you are free to create wonderful realities in your world.

In joyous creation,

P.S. You may be wondering why you created a reality in which you need to forgive yourself. (And yes, although you did not want it you did create it unconsciously.)

I believe we can become conscious of what we create and direct our energy to create only what we truly desire. I wrote a book that will teach you exactly how to do that (and tens of thousands have changed their lives dramatically by reading it). Order your copy of The Map today.


Boni Lonnsburry is the author of three books including The Map - To Our Responsive Universe, Where Dreams Really Do Come True and the founder of Creation School, a place to develop conscious creation skills into artistry.

Read the comments, or add yours

  1. MrMan

    Thank you for this post, it’s a major help.

    My issue isn’t necessarily forgiveness of myself, as I have established the why I did it and improved upon who I was when I was 13-14 and acted in a manner that makes me feel sick when I think of it now.

    My issue is when I meet a new partner, especially if it’s going in a serious direction. That guilt comes up again and I feel like I have to tell them. But I don’t think I actually do, as it doesn’t provide any benefits and me and the other individual are still really close. My guilt makes me who I am, it drives me to be a better person, but I hate not being able to feel at ease and ‘free’ around a new partner until I tell them.

    I have only ever told one partner and she had to process it a few times and see why I did what I did, then she begun to understand and actually be a little bit more compassionate towards me about it. But I did always think “does she not see a future with me due to X”. After the breakup I can’t help but think it may have had something to do with it – 2 years after telling her, maybe the penny dropped.

    I get why I did it. It’s a horrible thing I did, but it wasn’t malicious nor did I realise what I was doing was wrong. Only upon realisation of what is and isn’t right did I feel the guilt, and I hate not being aware at the time, as this will now live with me forever every time. Every time I have a new partner it creeps into my head as an issue, and I want to be a father, husband and a fantastic one at that. I feel this would prevent that if I told the new partner, but I hate secrecy…

    I don’t feel like I can win.

  2. Rachel

    Hi, I feel like the biggest jerk in the world right now, and can’t forgive myself. I’m a sophomore in high school and I haven’t been getting a lot of sleep from all the clown threats lately. So, I’m in art when a special needs girl walks by my classroom and was making noises. I heard them in my mind but I was focussing on coloring and I’ve heard the girl before, so I kinda know who she is. Anyway, supposively I imitated a noise she made and honestly had NO CLUE I even did that because I was half asleep and then everyone turned and looked at me. My teacher was like, “maybe you shouldn’t make fun of special needs kids.” And I was completely mortified. I didn’t even know I did anything so I was like “oh my gosh I’m so sorry, I didn’t know,” and he said it was fine and he was just messing around when he yelled at me. But I still feet awful and confused at what I did. So, I had team bonding with my soccer team the next period and started crying my eyes out in front of the whole team and everyone asking if I was ok just made it worse. I emailed the teacher apologizing like crazy, but I’ve been lying down in my room for the past 50 minutes crying about how awful I feel. Please help.

  3. Mary

    My mom died 6 years ago. She was the most wonderful mom a person could ever ask for. She was soft spoken and never said an unkind word about anybody. I loved my mom so much but during my teen years I got very disrespectful to her. I was not very nice alot of the times. Very short tempered with her. I was like this even in my late 30s. Before my mom died I had a chance to tell her that I loved her and that I was sorry that I was always in a bad mood. But to this day I still haven’t been able to forgive myself.
    I need help!! Prayers please

  4. EK

    i have been single for 3 years- i loved being single, moved to a new city to pursue my dreams and my confidence was at an all time high. I really felt like my life was on track after a few years of figuring out who I was. Moving to the new city, i had zero intentions of getting into a relationship because of fear of getting off track of following my dreams. I dated casually and ended up meeting a guy through a mutual friend. on our first date, we both talked about how we weren’t looking for anything serious and needed to focus on other things- however, we continued to hang out and basically dated but without the title or having the official conversation. this went on for about 8 months. i started realizing that I may want something more with him and one day i spit out the question “are you my boyfriend?”- this was so impulsive and caught us both off guard a bit. it was funny at the time until i made a big mistake- 2 days after we made things official- i went out of town for my best friends wedding- it was a destination wedding with lots of alcohol etc. in the back of my head for a few days after the convo i was a little uneasy with the “officialness” of our relationship and realized that maybe the conversation needed to be more along the lines of “are we going to move forward with this?” instead of deciding to be boyfriend/girlfriend. unfortunately, one night I drank way to much- another guest of the wedding kissed me and things went from there. the thing that scares me is that i don’t remember everything- i know more than kissing happened but don’t know to what extent- i immediately told him about it when i got home from the trip. he was so forgiving and understanding- it kills me because he truly is the best person I have ever met and i hate that it may have taken this for me to really realize how amazing he is and that i do really want this- however, this happened 4 months ago and it is completely consuming my life- guilt, shame, embarrassment, self-hate, and my social anxiety is unbelievable. i hadn’t met many of his friends until after this incident (for some reason this made me feel better because we hadn’t been so serious or maybe that was be trying to make myself feel better), nor his family, but there is a huge wall i put up just thinking about what they would think of me if they knew. i started writing in a journal about my shame and how i feel like i don’t deserve anything. i told him i had been writing about it and one day- he took my journal and wrote a 3 page letter in it explaining why he loved me and that we all make mistakes- it was the first time he told me he loved me. i want to spend the rest of my life with this person but it kills me to know that i did this to the person i feel this way about- even though i didn’t feel this way until after. i have a family member who went through a terrible divorce after his spouse had several intentional affairs and i feel so ashamed of myself for being so irresponsible. I’m about to move home but am so scared bc my family and friends are there, as well as his- i feel if they knew they would be so ashamed of me and really feel like i have nowhere to escape from this. all of our wonderful memories before this incident are tainted bc of what i did even though he has totally moved on. i feel so undeserving

  5. Dan

    Dear Boni
    I have a confession to make and was hoping for you to help me ease my mind. I am a father of 3 boys the oldest (John) being 28 yrs old. when my wife and I got married she conceived on our wedding night. We were really young and immature parents. John cried and screamed all the time. I had intense feelings of anger, resentment and frustration. When John was about 6 or 7 months there was a couple of incidents where I did things to irritate him that you could call abuse or at the very least right on the edge. One time I picked him up when he was screaming and dropped him into his crib and smacked the back of his head with my finger tips. (I specifically remembering using the tips of my fingers so I wouldn’t cause injury.) About a week later he was screaming in his high chair and I threw a wet paper towel at his little face. I picked it up and threw it a couple more times. I was so frustrated and I was thinking if you wanna cry then let’s cry. I then placed him on the carpeted floor and started nudging/tapping him with my feet. Little baby John was infuriated and really screaming. I picked him up and dropped him from a few inches above the mattress in his crib and again I smacked him on the back of his head with the tips of my fingers. After this second incident mentioned I immediately was aware of my reprehensible behavior. I felt extreme guilt which turned to shame. I buried this secret for 27 years. I have always felt shame over it but I somehow managed to control/repress it. A news article I read triggered this buried secret and I can’t get it out of my mind. My mind has been going over this incident like a skipping record for about 8 weeks now. I am becoming extremely depressed. I feel like a monster, like a child abuser, like I’m not worthy to be in society. My boys love me and had good childhoods with no bad memories. I just really messed up with my first. My wife knows (she is an angle), I have told her about a dozen times. She doesn’t understand why something that I did 27 years ago is having such an affect on me now. Please respond, thank you.

    • Robert

      Everyone one of us has a dark side. Everyone one of us has hurt someone who didn’t deserve it. Some don’t even notice or care. In popular culture, when someone does something hurtful, they either make amends or they are the “bad guy” who revels in bad behavior. That’s not realistic. We’re all a mixed bag. I’m guessing that when John was crying like that, you were taking it personally, as though his distress was in some way a condemnation of you despite the best you could, but he didn’t seem to think it was very good, or so it seemed to you. That’s kind of a narcissistic reaction but narcissism is endemic in the Western world (I personally think this “malignant narcissism” meme is very destructive. the guy who started it is a self-professed psychopath named Sam Vaknin). Were you free to complain about things in your own childhood? Have you told John about what happened? Do you suspect he may have lingering effects from it, that he is perhaps a bit fearful of you for seemingly no reason? Or some other effect? You probably should tell him since there’s a better chance he might repeat the same behavior if it remains unconscious. It’s only when we have children that we are taken back to our own childhoods in an intimate way and it’s usually with the first child that we tend to repeat things that were done to us without even realizing it. I’m fairly sure he’ll forgive you. If they are all doing well, then you did a great job overall, far better than a lot of parents out there.

      • Dan

        Thanks for your reply. No I do not suspect it affected him in any way. He was to young to remember. No physical harm was done to him either. The harm I did was to myself by my despicable behavior. I told him recently I mistreated him once when he was a baby but gave no details. He didn’t understand why we were talking about something that occurred so long ago and he didn’t have an issue with it. I am the one with the issue.

  6. Ashley

    I did something stupid 4 years ago. I went on a date as a freshman in University, and for reasons I felt were valid at the time I concluded that it was a “hell date”. I didnt want to speak to him again, but he ended up texting me. Instead of me being up front with him during the date,and let it be known I was unhappy and unimpressed, I went along with the flow pretending everything was fine. A couple weeks of not speaking to him, we end up talking and I end up telling him off. Calling him a loser, a “waste yute” etc. I was angry in that moment, and I wish Icould take it all back. Because he did not deserve that. I showed a side of myself that didn’t reflect who I was, and was not a good representation of my character. I haven’t seen or heard from him for about 3 years. I just feel guilty because he will always have a negative depiction of who I am, even though I was young and immature then.

  7. Regina

    I did something horrible to my stepson. Now, thirty years of a wonderful relationship is destroyed forever. I wrote his girlfriend an awful message detailing his “shortcomings”, in graphic detail. I don’t know why I even wrote that stupid message. He didn’t need to know my feelings over some issues that I would have gotten over in several weeks time, once they moved out of his father and my house. Now, he knows how I feel about him on some serious issues. I cannot forgive myself for what I have done to him now, or ever. I broke his heart and showed what an awful person I am. I don’t know what to do. I need to know in order to move past this and help myself and him.

  8. Feeling Like A Bad Person

    I did something horrible, and very mean. A girl did something embarrassing once while at my house and I told her she could trust me not to tell anyone. A few months later I was having a party and I brought it back up and started telling jokes about it and making fun of her. Later she found out,I apologized right away, and she forgave. I did this once more (apologizing that is, not making fun of her) later and she said she really did forgive me. Other people found out and hate me and think I’m a despicable person. We’re friends, but there’s always that distant feel in the conversations we have. I’m pretty confident that she has forgiven me, and she told me that everyone makes mistakes as long as we don’t make them again, and everything is fine. Now that she’s forgiven me, how can I forgive myself?

    • Feeling Like A Bad Person

      I’m only starting high school, and i wake up every morning with this same horrible guilt inside that I did such a bad thing and embarrassed this girl so very badly. I’m just wondering if there’s anything I can do to move past it and not spend my high school years thinking what a terrible person I am.

      • Robert

        Tell her that you still feel guilty and ask her if there’s anything you can do to make up for it. Ask her to let you do something for her so you can forgive yourself.

  9. Brooke

    Hi! I’m in desperate need of help. I had a huge fight with my brother today and I said that I wish he would leave already (college) and I cursed at him and he said that I will have nothing and no one once he is gone and we don’t know where we stand. I’m so ashamed of myself for saying I wish that he would leave already but at the same time it’s hard for me to forgive what he said. It’s all true though I am so worried I will have no one as he (besides the lord) is my rock. It shook me to the core and I tried to forgive him but he won’t forgive me back and that makes me more upset then I can’t forgive myself and i just don’t want him to go. I don’t know what to do and all I can do is sit and cry in my room. I am not an adult so I can’t go and necessarily drive anywhere and get away from the house, as I am only 15. I just don’t want my big brother to go. We’re so close I plan on having him walk me down the aisle at my wedding along with my father. Maybe it’s all true what he said and that’s why I got so upset I’m not sure. I’m lost and my heart is broken and I feel like I am going to be sick. Please help me

    • Boni


      I’m flooding you with love and light from my unseen friends (and yours). It’s okay. I’m sure he didn’t mean what he said just as you didn’t mean what you said. Humans are complicated and you had (and have) a lot of mixed emotions right now.

      You lashed out because you were scared (of losing him) and mad (at what he said). You can forgive yourself for being scared and mad, right? That’s all you have to forgive. The “why” you did what you did. That’s the beauty of forgiveness.

      And just maybe your brother has the same mixed up emotions about leaving. He’s probably scared of that big new world out there and sad he’ll miss you too. Likely he feels more comfortable with mad–so when that opportunity arose he lashed out. Can you forgive him for feeling sad, mad and afraid?

      What’s underneath all this is love, Brooke. You love him and he loves you and you’re both afraid of losing the love. A wise teacher (Lazaris) says when that fear comes up either increase the intimacy or the caring.

      If you had a chance to talk to your brother, maybe you could talk about how much you fear him leaving? That’s increasing the intimacy. And maybe you could ask him how he feels about leaving? That’s the caring. I think it would make you both less afraid.

      With lots of love,

  10. faith

    I recently did something shitty in my relationship. An ex-lover texted me over the weekend, this person also happens to be friends with my boyfriend. My bf is aware that we used to hook up before our relationship. To keep a long story short, the dude texting me was coming onto me. I have zero intentions of cheating on my bf, so I turned him down. But the way I turned him down wasn’t the best way. Instead of simply saying, “I’m happy with [bf] and am not interested in sneaking behind his back”, I was somewhat flirty with him and said it was “tempting” and “it’s not like I don’t want to see you it’s just that would be bad karma”. I told my bf the next night that we had exchanged texts but I deleted the messages so he couldn’t see them. He was suspicious and conflicted about why I didn’t just tell him in the first place so he could help me turn the dude down without hurting his feelings (which is what I poorly attempted to do myself). Well plot twist. Turns out my bf had a golden opportunity to peek through dude’s phone the next night, so he ended up seeing the texts after all. He wasn’t furious at me but he definitely was very hurt by what he read. I love him so much and will never cheat on him because I truly value our relationship. So why did I do what I did? I can’t figure it out! I’m baffled by my own selfish actions and feel like I betrayed the one person I love with all my heart. He hasn’t shunned me in any way and we had a relatively normal day together despite my huge mistake. Now I’m regretful because I foolishly compromised his trust just to spare the feelings of a dude I haven’t seen in almost a year. I feel pathetic and almost wish my bf would break up with me because I feel like that’s what I deserve. How can I even begin to redeem myself? I’m worried that it’ll take forever to gain his trust back. I just feel so disgusted with myself and incredibly unworthy. It’s hard not to hate myself right now.

  11. Michelle

    Boni,I have no clue how to deal with my mistake. I have read your post and it makes me want to write and release the shame and guilt I feel. Few months ago I as I was walking back from school. A man guy asked me for directions. I tried to explain it to him and he couldnt follow. He said it was an emergency and if I could take him there.At 24 I think of myself as a matured woman but I dont know what prompted me to get into the car with a complete stranger. Thankfully nothing happened and he finally confessed he had bet with my roommate (who and I dont get along) and her friends that he will get me into his car. Naturally I got very angry and told him to stop the car and let me out right there. Yes I know even I dint like my roommate I would never endanger her by betting like this. Yet I am cant get over the shame and the guilt. I just cant seem to forgive myself. I know I deserve forgiveness. I think what hurts me more is I always thought I am a matured person who will do the right thing, to confess I almost had a superiority complex based on that. I dont know what to do.

  12. Mordecai

    In April, I made one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I remember that night clearly. We sat on my friend’s trampoline, making prank calls and leaving rude, vulgar and extremely inappropriate voicemails to girls-and my friend’s ex girlfriend. So when the phone was passed to me, I left the worst, most disgusting-mouthed voice mail for my friend’s ex. Why did we do this? For some stupid “April fools fun and games.” Before I hung up, I blamed the voicemail on one my of my friend’s friends to disguise myself. As soon as I finished leaving the voicemail, I immediately knew I would regret my decision. About a month later (June 12) I received a phone call from the boy I blamed the voicemail on. He told me how he was being blamed for the whole situation and how my friend’s ex girlfriend’s dad was out to get him. He suspected it was me since he knew my voice. I lied and told him that I didn’t leave the message. We were friends, so he believed me. So after we were done talking, I began to feel guilty about lying to him, and leaving the voicemail in the first place. So I called him back and told him the truth-while his mom was also on the line. So his mom started talking to me and told me that she was not upset. However, I could NEVER, EVER leave a voice mail like that ever again. So she told me that she could give me the phone number of the my friend’s ex’s mom so we could chat. I told my mom while this whole thing was going on. So I started talking to the girl’s mom and I started to cry. I was full of regret and self hatred. I had lost so much trust and respect from my parents and everyone who knows me as the very respectful, quiet boy I am. I felt terrible for the things I said and wouldn’t dare to repeat them. So the mother forgave me and agreed not tell the school or call the police. I was relieved that it had all passed and that I had apologized. The next day, I also apologized to the girl for saying the things I said and she forgave me. We are friends now (we had already met in elementary school but were merely aquaintainces). However, eventhough all this had passed, I still cannot forgive myself. I know God had forgiven me for my actions and he will always love me. But I can’t come to forgive myself. I’m depressed with a self hatred feeling for myself. I absolutely can’t forgive myself for the terrible things I said. I need help. Up until now, this memory has ruined my life. Please help me. Thank you.

    • Dawn

      Darling, you are a kid! Kids do stupid stuff. I heard a minister once say that he thought everyone should be forgiven their youth. I totally agree. And, there’s a book called “The Teenage Brain” which explains how teens’ brains go through a weird, long period of changing, often leading to all sorts of strange actions. I am much older and wish that my biggest mistake was more the size of yours! (Seriously). Forgive yourself, please! Hold your head up and go about your business and let the mistake fade into the background.

    • Robert

      The article made a good point about forgiving the *reason* you did it rather than what you did. As you said, “everyone…knows me as the very respectful, quiet boy..” But there’s part of you that maybe wants to be different from that, to shake things up, to be spontaneous maybe even a little dangerous – and that part of you made a mistake. I think that’s the part of you that you need to both forgive and accept.

  13. Melanie

    I did something terrible. Recently, my friend and I have been having issues and we got into another spat the other day. She soon figured out that I called her a rude name on my phone. I feel so bad about it. I know it’s not even that bad, but I feel like it was a crime. We talked on the phone after. I apologized and took the fault of all of our previous fights even though most of them were not caused by myself. I feel like this relationship was so… unfair. I was supposed to do things that wasn’t expected for her to do back for me, which was a reason I called her that name. I truly feel bad about it and I wish there was a way for her forget it. I know, we are only human and we will make mistakes and learn from them, but is there anyway I can feel better for doing this. Whenever I think of the action, I get butterflies in my stomach. Can someone please help me feel a bit better or give me some advice for what to do.

  14. Mary

    I do not judge you, and I’m so sorry for the pain you are going through. It can be so agonizing to look back on a major mistake and wish you could take it back (as I know from experience). You are a good person to feel guilt. I hope you can find healing and do what you can to make things right.

  15. Your Name

    I’m here because I feel like I have done something wrong, it may not seem so big when you read this but I’m not sure how I feel.
    I had a massive party when my parents were away and I lied to them when they came back, lie after lie the truth came out (well some of it) I lost there trust and respect its hurting me on the inside, also as I was telling them about it some friends names got dragged into the mix and now I feel like my friends are disliking me, I guess I just feel scared and valnurable of what there saying behind back about this I can’t help but feel sad atm I need some encourage ment someone to tell me it’s all okay and no body’s perfect, everything just seems to be so hard please help…

  16. marvel

    I did something horrible and I can’t forgive myself for it — (I did something inappropriate) to my close friend’s younger sister who is my age mate I’ve changed for the better now and I can’t seem to forget it or forgive myself for what I did after a whole year please what should I do??? (Edited by this website)

  17. lilly

    Years ago I had an affair with a married man. It was a very casual thing. Then I found out that I was pregnant. At that time I fell in love with him. I knew it was wrong but I was so in love and now carrying his child. I was so lost not knowing what to do. He and I carried on the affair until after the baby was born. He became distant and stopped coming to see us all together. I became infuriated and told his wife everything. I couldn’t believe that I did that but I did. They are divorce now and he married someone else right after that. I’m still hurt by the situation and can’t move on. My child is now going on 17 and has no relationship with her father. I still hold feelings for this man yet I’m angry and hurt by how he handles his daughter. I am also depressed and feel like nothing by how I handled myself and what I did. He has moved on and I find it hard for myself to do it. I feel as if I’m wearing a scarlet letter on my chest and can’t move on from the pain.

  18. Mia

    I also did wrong. I had an affair with my best friends boyfriend. I know the “why”. Its because at the time i was hurt and alone. And my self esteem was shattered. I allowed him to use me in my weakest point in life. I recently came clean to her and now she won’t speak to me. If only I could go back I would. But I can’t and the hardest part is forgiving myself. I feel like I’m a scum bag for keeping this secret from her for so long. I think about it everyday. It hurts cause I know I’m better than my actions against her. She didn’t deserve it. Now I have no friends. Its hard, knowing what I did and not being able to talk to anyone about it in fear of being isolated. No one want to be around a home wrecking whore bag. Idk.

    • Boni

      Dear Mia,

      There is nothing that is not forgivable. You are better than your actions against her but that “you” that did what she did wasn’t–she was hurting. Forgive HER. At least intend to forgive her. And the how will take care of itself. You deserve forgiveness.


      • Your Name

        I do not know how to live with myself. I have professional help… not an immediate danger to myself…
        Ive been seriously involved with a man for over a year.
        I am a 46 year old woman. work hard.. music therapist. take 100 percent care of myself.
        this man seemed so sincere.. but the relationship with his exwife is very very strange. VERY STRANGE.
        I finally lost it… b/c of the secrecy and the strangeness of his actions and him giving me nothing to go on as a means to trust him or hang on… like getting engaged… or moving forward.. or meeting my parents…
        I do not drink or use drugs. NEVER HAVE.
        I used to be on Adderall.. but it was not good for me.
        I had my phone blocked b/c I was so depressed last week b/c Id come right out and asked him his future plans in our relationship.
        turns out… he was misguiding me all along. and for what? sex.
        I was so down and could not stand that I would not see him call me again as I ended the relationship. I blocked him from my phone. If he wanted to get hold of me… he could call my office… as he did each day… or email me.. as we did each day.. or come to my office or work.
        I hadn’t heard from him… by time I left work Friday. I took a bunch of old Adderall… and consequently… lost my mind. I went on facebook and did some dumb things and then messaged his exwife… if I could talk to her…. !
        when I saw what I did later on I was freaked…. but it was too late.
        so he exwife of course told him… and he has old me to never contact he or his family again.
        I am in so much pain it is unreal. I cant write him.. email… anything… he has no idea I downed medication– as that is not a part of my life. He may just think I went psychotic or something…
        please pray for me.
        any advice helpful.
        and ladies…or everyone actually…
        when you have GUT feelings….. early in a relationship — LISTEN TO THEM no matter what a person who may want something from you says!!!!!!!
        Go with the uneasy feelings and questions and red flags and anger…
        I tried to leave this relationship before… but he always promised that it is just one more year of paying for the exwife.

        he kept secrets from me… like putting her in a new condo (more than ailimony) etc. — and then I would find out at last minute or after the fact….
        this made me very uneasy.
        he just expected me to accept a very enmeshed relationship with his exwife. it is as if they are still married.. except he does not live there… and has sex with me.
        I hate myself for what I have done.
        I needed to get out of relationship… but no go over the deepend.
        and he does not even care how I am doing…
        and I cant contact him.
        Dear God Help Me Please.

    • christel

      I know exactly how you feel as i did the very same thing.I also have no friends because of it,It was 5 years ago and I still can’t go a day without feeling like im the worst person in the world and feeling suicidal. How do i go on with life? should i even bother?

      • JMK

        I made a terrible mistake recently. Hating yourself feels like you’re being loyal to the other person that you hurt…. it does them no good though. They can’t feel how much you regret it just because you feel that way. Apologise… and forgive yourself. We make mistakes so that we know never to do it again…feeling remorse is a good thing… it means we will become better people. You should only be worried if you didn’t regret it. It sounds like you are a good person

        • Boni


          It sounds like you are a good person too. And I agree with your comments–you make some excellent points. Thank you for writing.


  19. Karen

    I lied to all my best friends for 9 months, multiple lies. The truth came out and my world was shattered. My best friends are so hurt they that I lied to them that they want nothing to do with me. The lies were a way to feel wanted and important. I had gone through 2 huge heartbreaks before the lying started, both men leaving me. I’m trying to find the correlation between all of this. Everyday I think about how much they must depise me for breaking their trust and lying so much. Every morning, right when I wake up, my thoughts are blurred so I don’t remember, not even for a slight second, all the pain I’ve inflicted. Then, it all comes flooding back and I take my daily antidepressant to help me cope for the rest of the day, instead of being cooped up in bed.
    I hope God forgives me one day, because I don’t think I’ll be forgiving myself for a long time. I pray he illuminates my path before it’s too late.

    • Boni

      Dear Karen,

      God has already forgiven you. He loves you unconditionally. And you can forgive yourself. Have compassion for yourself–and understand why you did what you did–because you felt unloved and unimportant. The “why” is totally forgivable.


  20. Vivilo

    The love of my life hurt me very badly, and in return I ruined her life. I didn’t give her opportunity to explain, or ask for forgiveness. I decided one sidedly she does not deserve it. I didn’t think my actions would have the consequences they did, but they were still my actions, and I did do them to hurt her.

    Now, the only thing that keeps me going is the slim hope that she may forgive me. She is a better person than I. She will understand why I did it when I refused to even try to understand her.

    And the thought of a world where she would deny me forgiveness as swiftly as I denied her horrifies me.

    The power of forgiveness is life saving. Life altering. It is the rope that reaches to the bottom of the deepest well.

    More than my actions, I find it hard to forgive myself for not giving her a chance.

  21. So Sad

    Trying to forgive myself for hurting a loved one. I’ve been carrying this pain for over 13 years. My high school sweetheart broke up with me when she went off to college. It was very abrupt and unexpected. I was heartbroken. I liked her family so much too. It was a total loss. I almost didn’t survive it. I knew she was the one. We got back together after a year for about 6 months, then she did the same thing again. This time, I grew angry. I moved on for about a year, when she unexpectedly came back to me asking for forgiveness. After a long weekend together, I came to the conclusion that she had changed and I panicked. I broke all communication with her and I moved into an apartment with another girl whom I had been seeing off and on. Throughout the next few years, she called several times and left voice messages…often crying…asking why I would not talk…or what happened? I knew the current girl I was with was not my soulmate, but she was a companion and my family enjoyed her. These two girls were once friends which made things that much more difficult. The girl I lived with had a severe alcohol dependency. Our relationship was a constant hot and cold battle. Throughout our relationship, I still held resentment against my h.s. sweetheart, but at the same time, I felt it in my bones that she was my soulmate and we were meant to be together. But I became trapped in my current relationship. I just couldn’t leave. I was abused emotionally. The one good quality that kept me hanging on was how close she had become with my family. Of course, I did not share our struggles with my family. I married her thinking that a commitment like that would make her change. Weeks before I got married, I made several attempts to track down my h.s. sweetheart. I knew if I was able to look her in the eyes, it might save me. Instead, I resorted to sending her a letter through her mom. The response was that of friendship only terms. I did not fight for her as I once did. It’s not that I didn’t want to. I just forgot how to. My heart was numb.

    My wife and I separated about a year after getting married, and I filed for divorce. Her drinking had led to infidelity and betrayal to a point where I could not tolerate. Actually, our marriage was only enjoyable for the first 3-4 months. Then her dad unexpectedly passed, and her drinking all but killed her after that. My life was consumed with travelling around town looking for her to make sure she was safe. I did that as a true friend more so than as a husband. We were separated for about two years. Looking back on things, I should have seeked help to mend myself. But I didn’t. I didn’t realize how broken I had become. I ran into my h.s. sweetheart twice during that time, but I could not find the right words to say…how I still loved her so much. How I got so trapped.

    So after two years of being separated, my wife and I got back together. She found sobriety almost immediately after we separated, and I saw that she genuinely changed. We have two beautiful young children now. My 3 year old son had opened my heart up again. I was happy. That is until my wife had left an online social media site up on our ipad, and I saw a glimpse of my h.s. sweetheart. Naturally, I was curious and peeked. I discovered that she had married recently and had a baby on the way. Just in that instant, my heart crumbled. I realized that she did in fact want the same things I did. She had not changed at all. Since seeing that single image, I cannot get her off my mind. I suddenly realized what a loss I incurred by allowing myself to become trapped in a bad relationship. My wife quickly caught on to my sadness. Of course, I did not tell her what had started it all. I told her that my love for my son is so much deeper than my love for her. She interpreted that to mean because a love for a child is unconditional. But, in my heart, my feelings for my son feel the same as I had/have for my h.s. sweetheart. Because of this struggle, my wife and I started attending church regularly together. We joined a gym and started working out together. We started going on date night once a month. These were all suggestions I made to try to strengthen our marriage and family. But, it’s just not proving enough for my soul. At the end of each day, I’ve been morning the loss of my h.s. sweetheart. My heart aches so bad. I dream about her almost every night. I don’t want to lose my family or disrupt my kids, but it’s becoming so unbearable. I know my h.s. sweetheart has moved on, and I know I have caused too much pain to her. That door is shut. I just don’t know what to do to make myself feel better.

  22. Trudy

    I have long suppressed something that I did or didn’t act on over 20 years ago. Only now as I am older it has come back to me and I can’t stop thinking about it. My father had a business partner (also his brother-in law) and I found out he was stealing from Dad. Dad had no idea of accounts but I knew and decided not to say anything. Dad left the business with nothing and I feel that I was a coward for not helping him. I don’t know why and am very depressed about it. Dad passed a few years ago and I have tried to speak to Mum about it but she said the past is in the past. Still it doesn’t help with my thoughts. I failed my Dad and family.

  23. Shay

    I was once dating a girl and we got serious and she ended up back with her ex boyfriend as we still were involved, we had a big blow up and we stopped and one day me and the guy hung out and I got drunk and we slept together. I still haven’t forgiven myself and I just need advice

  24. Aziza

    Thanks for you article, it helps and i’m trying to forgive myself but i just can’t, i’m in love with tha amazing guy and we have been separated for a while and one day we spoke again by chance and i was still in love with him, and i lied to him and faked illiness,i told i have a brain tumer to feel his love and his care to me, to feel what it would like if he know that i may die soon, and i lied alot for a month, then he discovered my lies and we still together although he doesnt trust me, he didnt completly forgive me, but he found it in his heart to stay with me, and i did my best to compensate him and never lied to him since it happened 9 months ago , but i still feels ashamed from myslef, i cant forgive myslef, espically this days when things isnt right between us and i feel that he’s going to leave me soon. What can i do to , please help.

  25. Serena

    I did something unforgivable 10 years back. I cheated the trust of someone very close to me. I have been depressed ever since and I cannot forgive myself for not behaving in the appropriate manner. It has ruined my relationships with my loved ones because I always feel like I am faking my life. I’m still in contact with the person but I feel like a cheat. Some days I just want to disappear from this world. I hope God forgives me for what I did. I’m so sorry.

    • Boni

      Hi Serena,

      God forgives EVERYTHING. We are the ones who have the forgiveness problem. Sending you lots of love and light to forgive yourself.


      PS This article will help if you let it.

  26. Sherry

    What I did was 10 years ago and I still can’t forgive myself. I cheated on my husband and left him, I had two boys one grown and gone the other one 17. the day after his 17th birthday I left. We were so close I love my son more than anything. I can’t believe that I did that to him. I don’t know what was wrong with me. Three months later my husband and son moved across the country. My son asked if you could come and live with me but of course he couldn’t because I was secretly living with my boyfriend. I broke his heart and I never forgive myself for that. The day I drove away I got down the road a little bit pulled my car over and scream and cry I sounded like an animal that was wounded and dying. I Felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest but I did it anyway. To this day I will never understand how I did what I did I was a loving caring devoted mother. I just couldn’t stay there but I should of taken my son but I couldn’t I was living with another man. I know what I did was wrong I know that I cant go back and change it and I just feel that I will live with what I did for the rest of my life, the pain the guilt the sorrow of missing out on his life, the birthdays, the Christmas etc. finishing my job as his mother. I’ve asked my son to forgive me and he said he has. I just can’t forgive myself. And asked God to help me so many times it’s just hasn’t happened. Whenever I think about it I still cry I still feel sick to my stomach with disgust for myself. I don’t think you can help me I don’t think anyone’s can. But I’m sitting here reading what you’ve written and hoping that it would shed some light on how to forgive myself but I’m sitting here and still crying and my heart aches.
    Thank you for your post and I’ll keep on trying what other choice do I have!

  27. John

    Hey, I read what you wrote and thank you. But I cannot bring me to forgive myself over what I did. I betrayed my best friend friend in an almost criminal level and now we’re no longer friends and I have caused him to be so hurt emotionally from what I did he’s got issues now with trusting anyone. I still love my friend, and so I cannot accept what I did, even if while I was doing it I did think it was wrong. Now I’m afraid I’ll forever harm those whom I love, and since I’ve hurt my best friend, I don’t have my greatest emotional support. All I wanted was to undo what I did, but since I cannot, I hoped I could at least make things up; but he has distanced himself from me and cut all relations, and though I understand he’s got every right, I still feel even more guilty and terribly sorry. How is it that, unintentionally, we commit such wrecking mistakes? I try to focus on the why, but the why was I did not realize I was doing wrong. Anyway, thank you, even if just a little, your words have helped me.

  28. Kat

    Thank you for your beautiful article. I wish I could forgive myself. But I can’t. What I have done is so horrible I think about it everyday. I was sexually assaulted when I was 8 yrs old by a neighbour and everyone who I talk to trys to explain that this is why I did what I did, but I feel I should have known better. I sexually assaulted (touched) two of my three brothers on 2-3 separate occasions. I feel guilt every single day and honestly have really contemplated taking my life. I don’t think I can ever forgive myself for this. I feel as though even though I was sexually abused and was 8 I should have known better it is not like I was 4yrs old or even 6yrs old. I feel like a monster.

    • Boni


      Sometimes we can’t forgive what we did. That’s okay. You don’t have to. But you can (and you will sooner or later) forgive “why” you did what you did. You were scarred and shamed and scarred and shame people can’t help but scar and shame others. Get some professional help Kat…this may not be something you can heal alone.

      Because we are all one, unless we forgive all we forgive none. Please, find someone to help you work through this, heal and ultimately forgive.

      Sending you love and light,

      • Joel

        Almost made similar mistake years ago. Appx 40 years ago. Good lord stopped me before I did the terrible deed

    • Jen

      I identify with what you’ve written so much. I have a similar story & the sickness, aching, disgust I feel for what I did is relentless. It’s a prison of pain and it’s so hard to know what to do about it & how to know how to live like a normal person when you feel so much guilt & unworthyness. I am a newlywed and now the guilt is heavier than ever, should I have said something before our marriage, should I now? There’s a huge part of me that wants to, the release would help… but is it fair for such a beautiful soul to have to know something so disturbing and live with my shame. The joy I felt before our marriage gave me hope for a happy life.
      When I read your story I feel so much compassion for you & I know what you did isn’t who you are. I think professional help could help us, to say the words to someone. I know God is love & has forgiven us, but there is still the pain of memories.

  29. Doug

    Dear Boni,
    I did something horrible, I slept with my best friends girl and I feel just absolutely horrible about it. None of my friends will talk to me and I feel so alone. I don’t even have a reason for doing it I just didn’t even think about the consequences of my actions. How can I ever forgive myself and how can I ask for forgiveness? I don’t want to lose my best friend that I’ve known for years now and if we do get over it will it ever be the same again? I just want it to go back to the way it was before I did this horrible thing. That night my best friend went off on how much he loves me and appreciates everything I’ve done for him in his life and vis-versa. Why would I do something so terrible?

    • Boni

      Hi Doug,

      There is always a reason for everything…whether we are conscious of that reason, or not, is another matter.

      As I’ve written before, Lazaris has a saying, “Forgive the why if not the what.”

      Why do you think you did it? Only you can answer that, and you’ll likely have to do some real soul searching to discover the answer.

      But if I might make a suggestion: Perhaps you did it to prove to your friend you really aren’t worthy of your friend’s love? It’s pretty coincidental that the night he really lets you know how much he loves you that you betray him. I don’t think it’s because you lack character (or you wouldn’t feel so badly now)…I think it’s because you feel unworthy, deep down, and uncomfortable owning his praise. Just a thought.

      You CAN forgive yourself Doug. Whether or not you can “go back to the way it was” is unanswerable at this time. But you can create friendships from here on out that you honor and respect.

      Begin, one step at a time. And know ANYTHING is possible.

      Sending you love and light for exactly that purpose,

    • Chris

      I did something incredbily similar and it’s strangely comforting to know there are people who have messed up as badly as I did. I fell for one of my best friends but before I told her she ended getting a boyfriend, but I kept wanting her. I eventually told her and kissed her but after a few days of thinking she said no, I thought I was fine with it but I kept losing and regaining my feelings her, she told me she did like me just not as much as her boyfriend, even so I kept trying and I ended up sleeping with her, she seemed perfectly fine with it and we talked as if we were in an actual relationship and I thought she had actually chosen me, but a few hours later she called me and said I used her, I felt horrible knowing this is how she felt, I tried apologizing in everyway I could but she never responded to me. I felt like I needed to somehow atone for it, so I told a mutually close friend of ours who was already aware, and he said so many hurtful things, but I didn’t fight back and felt I deserved it. He ended the rant by saying I’ll never find forgiveness in either of them and now I feel alone, terrified, and horrible for possibly destroying 2 great friendships of mine.

  30. Lucy

    Dear Boni

    I did something terrible to people who considered me trustworthy and like family. From as long as I remember,I’ve been messing up every good thing in my life since I was young and now at 24,I wonder if there is anything worth saving in me. I have so many dreams,but they are so good and I can’t help feeling like I don’t deserve any of it. How do I just feel and act happy without feeling guilty for it? When will I be free and just find myself full of life again? I read a lot and sort of know what I’m supposed to do,but I just can’t do it because I feel what I’ve done is the worst thing

    • Boni

      Dear Lucy,

      Is there anything worth saving in me? In anyone? If there is something worth saving in any one being there is something worth saving in all…because ultimately WE ARE ALL ONE.

      That said, onto your next questions: “How do I just feel and act happy without feeling guilty for it? When will I be free and just find myself full of life again?”

      That, dear Lucy, is what this post is about. Begin with “intending” to forgive yourself. Ask for help. And keep trying to do that. It is the only way to the freedom you seek. And it CAN happen, if you are serious about making it happen.

      Re-read the post. Implement the suggestions. And let me know how you do…you would not be here reading this particular post if your Higher Self were not by your side leading you to the answers. Think about that.

      much love to you,

  31. dave

    I did a very bad and extremely hurtful thing to someone I love several years ago, I thought i must have been forgiven, but now it seems my criminal act has come back to haunt me, a lot has changed with my life and since that bad time in my life i have changed and tried to be a much better person, how do I now try to make amends to the person I love when I’m sure now she hates me, won’t answer my txts or communicate with me, if I could just die I would, nobody can hate me as much as I hate myself.

    • Boni


      The door to forgiveness from others is by forgiving yourself. There is no other way. Please follow the steps in this post, and know that NOTHING is unforgivable and NOTHING is unhealable.


      • Mary

        Dear Boni,

        Is it really true that nothing is unforgivable? I understand the “whys” of what I did but I still hate myself for actions that were entirely preventable and against my nature. Is betraying your own integrity forgivable, and does it mean you will never again have your integrity intact?

  32. JerriK

    Thank you for having this information for people to read, for a very, very long time, I’ve been in the dark of my shame, saying that I would never forgive myself for what I’ve done. Now I see, that in order to heal and forgive myself, I have to, uh, how should I say this, is to forgive that I’ve made a mistake to hurt another person, especially those we are really close to. I thank you Boni for opening my eyes and lighting my pity hole of sorrow.

    • Boni

      Hi Jerri,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Actually, the most loving thing you could do for the person you hurt is to forgive yourself. Self-forgiveness lifts your vibration, allowing you to be more loving and compassionate with others.

      I am really happy for you Jerri. Sending you lots of love and light to make the process easy, elegant and filled with love.


  33. Amy

    But what if you can’t understand or figure out the “why” they did this terrible thing?how can you forgive that which you can’t understand?

    • Boni


      You don’t have to know specifically why. You only need to know that the true reason “why” was something in them that needs healing. That they did what they did because they felt inadequate themselves. And remember, you do not need to let them back into your life. You may never forget, and choose to forever remain distant.

      But forgiving them frees YOU–to create a life you love unencumbered by grudges or hatred.

      I hope this helps.


      • Amy

        Thank You Boni. I do understand. I Sometimes think it would be easier to forgive if he wasn’t still in my life, but he is, so I live with the why every single day…. For a long time now

        • Boni

          Dearest Amy,

          I say this without knowing the facts…but you CAN make a different choice.


    • jo

      there is a time i forgived others, but because it happens again and again, then the pain still came back, and the anger also insisting. how can i forgive that, in a situation that always happen, and hurt me?

      i can forgive it in one click, it always takes time for me when it happens again, the at that time, many things change, my emotion, my faith to people, my mind always distract my feelings, the situation always hurt me and put me to sorrow and anger, how can i manage it/.


Leave a Reply