Truly walking in forgiveness toward yourself can be more of a challenge than walking in forgiveness toward others, but in order to reach your full potential of joy and freedom you have to do it. If you don't stop mentally and emotionally punishing and scolding yourself for mistakes you've made in a bad relationship, every where you go you will take that person with you. You've left, so leave! Why would you leave them only to drag them around with you everywhere you go?
If it's dead BURY IT. Don't drive around with a corpse in your back seat. God gave me a dream about this years ago. In the dream my sister's, (who passed when I was 17) body was in the back seat of my car. Her skin was bruised and discolored which was a reminder of how she died, from a gunshot that sent gun powder up into her neck and face, and showed that decay had begun. There was also some dirt on her and her face as if her body had been buried, but exhumed. There I was driving my car with this body in the back seat and every time I turned a corner the body would fall over on me and I had to try to straighten it back up while driving. This of course caused a dangerous driving situation. It got to be so bad that soon it seemed the body was in the front seat with me, just laying on me, hindering my ability to drive (move forward; progress) In my mind I was wondering why I wasn't creeped out by this dead body. Why was I behaving in the situation like it was normal although I knew this was not normal?
The point of the dream from God was that some things in my life had long been dead but for some reason I had not released them or myself from them. I had physically left the situation but brought along with me the guilt of it and by doing that, I brought the dead thing with me out of the relationship, out of the house, into my car and with me everywhere I went. In other words, I had exhumed the dead body. The fact that it was my deceased sister represented the fact that it was something that was once alive. It represented something or someone that I did love at one time. It represented a close relationship that was now over. Maybe this is why I behaved as if it was normal because this was someone who at one time was close to me. Seeing the bruising and discoloration in the body of how she died represented the fact that I knew why the relationship had died. I knew what killed it and I knew how long it had been dead.
The regret of a bad decision in your past, like that dead body just falls on you so heavily at times, almost stopping you in your tracks or causing you to endanger what you are trying to do at the current moment or season in your life. This is painful and can be dangerous to your future plans and hopes.
Sometimes we hold on because from the relationship a child or children were born. Even though the toxic person is gone, you may still have some dealings with them because of the children, and this causes you to be constantly reminded of the choice or choices you've made and still regret. The pain of it remains fresh. You love your children but you can't forgive yourself for the father (and sometimes the mother) you gave them through that bad relationship. So walking in total forgiveness towards yourself can be way more difficult because the person can't or won't just disappear off the face of the planet! You can't erase the fact that what happened, happened. Walking in forgiveness toward yourself then becomes more of an ongoing process. You have to remind yourself to do it. You have to refer back to things that God has shown you and said to you. Sometimes you forget, and sometimes you feel it is too difficult, but it can be done and it must be done.
Make the decision today, right this minute that you will not tarnish your new beginning or contaminate your fresh start by allowing traces of your past to continue to linger. You already have an accuser. Don't be an accuser of yourself. You don't owe your past anything but to learn and grow from it. You don't owe your enemy anything but to love them with the Love of God and forgive them from your heart as He has commanded. Even in that God has offered His assistance because He knows that in your own strength, some things you can't forgive. Don't become an enemy to yourself by holding yourself hostage for a mistake you made before you learned what you now know. You did the best you could with the knowledge, understanding, strength and courage you had at the time. When you learned better, you did better. Truly accept the fact that your heavenly Father has already forgiven you and released you, and cancelled the contract the enemy had on your life. What he tried to do DIDN'T WORK.
Repeat after me:
I RELEASE MYSELF FROM MY MISTAKES!
I FORGIVE myself for the times I didn't have courage.
I FORGIVE myself for the times I was paralyzed by fear and self doubt.
I FORGIVE myself for not being as strong as I really was.
I SHOULD HAVE walked away so much sooner than I did, but when I did, it was the right thing to do, at the right time, for the right reasons, so I APPLAUD myself for doing the right thing.
I break every chain, every chord, every string, and every thread that would try to keep me bound to my past mistakes.