There is a great deal of confusion about what it means to forgive and about how to do it.
To forgive another person does not mean you will forget what happened or that the person is not responsible for what he did or that you need to bring him back into your life. To forgive another doesn't even need to mean the other person knows you've forgiven him or her.
To forgive another simply means you no longer allow another person's actions or words to cause you resentment, anger and pain. To forgive means you acknowledge that while you would have preferred the other person act or speak differently, yet accept that person just as he is...
To not forgive another means you continue to hold onto your resentment, anger and pain over another's actions by essentially demanding the other person be someone other than who that person knew (or knows) how to be.
To forgive yourself does not mean that you should forget what you did or said that might have injured another or caused yourself distress. To forgive yourself doesn't mean you aren't responsible for what you did or said. To forgive yourself simply means you realize that you might have done something differently if you had known how. Forgiving yourself means you recognize that you didn't know how to do something differently and realize you have learnt by your mistake.
To not forgive yourself means you continue to hold onto guilt and pain and demand the impossible -- that you be someone other than yourself, other than who you were when you hadn't yet learnt the lesson you gained from your mistake.
g g g
(Arlene F. Harder)