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November 18, 2018 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Mental Health

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Forgive Myself


I had promised to God that I'll not think about sex especially in relation to my relatives (as it often comes in my mind). Two months ago, I had thought about my mother for a while (but I think I had not thought about it at all - I might have had the thought). Now, I have achieved success in healing my vices (i.e. not thinking about sex). But I cannot forgive myself. I am in a terrible condition. Please give me some suggestions so that I can forgive myself or be cured.

Anonymous, 19-year-old man


My friend,

You are clearly a highly moral person. You have a desire to do good things and avoid bad things. And, of course, sex with relatives is incest, and it would be an evil thing to do. It is quite right that you are horrified by these desires that come to you.

But, did you ask for these thoughts? And when they came, did you obey them and do the evil thing? The answer to both these questions is NO.

You are a young man. A man looks at a woman, and if she is attractive, thoughts of sex automatically come to him. If the woman is available as a possible sexual partner, then that's fine. But, for all of us, most women are not so available. I can't just go up to a stranger in the street and say, "Hey, I like you. Come and have some sex." That would be both wrong and foolish.

Thinking the thought is not evil. If the woman is someone I must not have sex with, then obeying the thought is evil.

So, you have nothing to be cured of. You are not evil and have done no wrong. Some thoughts came to you. You knew they were wrong, and refused to follow them. That is good. All you need to do is to continue to be the way you are.

The only reason you have been suffering is that you have the belief that the thoughts themselves are evil. They are not. Only acting on them is. So, forgive yourself, because you have done no wrong. Accept yourself. Instead of struggling with the thoughts, realize that they do no harm to anyone, as long as you DO what is in line with your high moral values.

Go with God,


This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.

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