In Judaism, holidays are designated with their own unique energy.

Yom Kippur is etched in time as the day ofForgiveness is a pathway to release forgiveness, and it is on this day that the power of letting go and moving on reaches its culmination.

Forgiveness is a pathway to release.

We can release guilt by asking forgiveness. We can release resentment by forgiving.

Of the two, which is more difficult to do? I have always found that it is the act of forgiving that is most challenging—in particular, forgiving oneself.

If you have suffered due to someone’s action, forgiveness of others can be demanding. But there is something about forgiving yourself that can be fraught with resistance. Self-resentment likes to linger like the scent of aromatic perfume.

But this is where G‑d comes in.

You see, on this day we regret and confess to G‑d all the intentional and unintentional mistakes we made throughout the year.

We acknowledge that we are have our foibles. That we are a work in progress.

We then express the willingness to change our choices. The very choices that led to the resentment that can haunt us and leave us stuck.

You see, Yom Kippur is the antidote for the resistance we feel towards self-forgiveness. G‑d has set it up that way.

G‑d wants change. But G‑d is not out to get us this day. In fact, He wants to empower us.

The sense of empowerment felt on Yom Kippur is grounded in the belief that the prospects for personal change have not been depleted.

G‑d believes in free choice. He believes in change. He has great faith in us—in our ability to refine and develop. But do we believe in ourselves?

Believing in ourselves begins with forgiving ourselves. But this is not simple. To believe that what is now is not what was can take practice.

How do we start the process of self-forgiveness? How do we tap into this Yom Kippur gift?

Understanding that we are not defined by our mistakes is a good place to begin. Mistakes are not your identity. Mistakes are something that happen, not something you are.

Yes, you are a daughter, a mother, a husband. Yes, you can be kind, assertive and eager. But you are not that woman who loses her temper with ease. You are not that man who shuts down the people he loves.

Those are actions; those are choices. Some choices are not beneficial. So you change them, and make better ones. Your G‑dly soul remains the same. Mistakes are meant to show us where the cracks and gaps in our choices are. We can never be perfect, but we can strive to be the best versions of ourselves by working on our choices.

Being objective about ourPretend it was someone else. What advice would you give them? behavior can be the path towards self-forgiveness. Pretend it was someone else who made a wrong choice or a mistake. What advice would you give them?

Since you have no personal gain in the scenario,consider the balance between judgment and forgiveness, kindness. Most guilty people will be much more lenient on someone else than on themselves. What advice would you give this person? Would you give them hope? Would you be supportive and compassionate towards them?

Sure, you would. Now be as kind and forgiving to yourself.

By being proactive, we begin to make alternative choices. This process can assist in the process of self-forgiveness.

Get out into the world. Love in action every day. Be kind for others, for the world, for yourself.

You manipulated people, be transparent. You angered quickly, be patient. You regressed, progress. Be the change that you want—not just in word, but through deeds. Act, internalize and see your transformation manifesting in reality.

Remember that Yom Kippur is a day of empowerment. Close all the circles. Cut all the loose strings. Release resentment. Let go. G‑d is a forgiving G‑d. Now forgive yourself ...