We can't forgive ourselves, but we must understand...
We often hear that we need to forgive ourselves.
We often try, and often fail.
The reason is: there is nothing to forgive at the first place.
Even in main stream religions, a sin is a sin when one is aware of it but does it anyways.
The proof of your innocence is the INTENTION of your heart.
When you look back at past events, before being devastated by guilt, try to answer this question honestly: "did I intentionally mean to hurt myself or others?" It is unlikely, and most of us would answer the question negatively.
Remember that, at every moment in time, you are at your highest level of consciousness.
Then, you look back at past events from the point of view of your gained experience and knowledge, and judge yourself, indeed, far harsher than anyone else around you, would.
You were not aware that you were giving your power away, allowing others to try and change you, and putting up with a lot of bad "stuff".
Then, you try to understand why you were not aware, but this is also an attempt to find out to what extend you can be found "guilty".
You will try to go back in time, diving often into a well with no bottom, seeking the reasons that made you act, or not, a certain way.
Did your parents warn you, but you did not want to listen?
Were you a wild child, or inherently bad person?
Were you reacting out of a lack of love?
Truth is, it does not matter.
For again, the proof lies within your heart.
This is why you cannot forgive yourself. For you haven't done harm, to your own "self" or to others.
For once again, whatever happened, your intention was unlikely to intentionally harm.
Now, you think you have changed and try to maintain that change at all costs, when, again, this is not true.
The natural state of your heart is to be open. Not closed by fear or guilt.
Hurt has made you overly self-conscious.
And man made beliefs have made you bend under the weight of imaginary, ongoing, and endless charges, so that you could never even dream of undertaking a process of recovery.
It is like being in front of a huge buffet of food. One does not get mad at oneself for trying an unknown meal and not liking it.
All is just a necessary and benevolent contrast that calls us to understand and expand lovingly.
Do you know how rare it is to find people, specially at an advanced age, that have the capacity to show pure and authentic feelings?
You tried to change for others and believed them genuinely precisely because you are pure at heart.
So what you need to ask Life is not to change you, but to send you people that will, in fact, appreciate you and your heart.
The first among them, being, of course, YOU.