We often think of forgiveness as something that someone who has done us wrong
must ask of US. There is always another way of looking at something. My
thoughts on forgiveness suggest that you focus on offering forgiveness TO the
person who has wronged you. To not forgive them is like taking the poison
(continuing to suffer for what they did or didn’t do to you) and expecting THEM
Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself. It is not something you do FOR
someone else. It is not complicated. It is simple. Simply identify the
situation to be forgiven and ask yourself: “Am I willing to waste my energy
further on this matter?” If the answer is “No,” then that’s it! All is
Forgiveness is an act of the imagination. It dares you to imagine a better
future, one that is based on the blessed possibility that your hurt will not be
the final word on the matter. It challenges you to give up your destructive
thoughts about the situation and to believe in the possibility of a better
future. It builds confidence that you can survive the pain and grow from it.
Telling someone is a bonus! It is not necessary for forgiveness to begin the
process that heals the hurt. Forgiveness has little or nothing to do with
another person because forgiveness is an internal matter.
Choice is always present in forgiveness. You do not have to forgive AND there
are consequences. Refusing to forgive by holding on to the anger, resentment and
a sense of betrayal can make your own life miserable. A vindictive mind-set
creates bitterness and lets the betrayer claim one more victim.
There is nothing so bad that cannot be forgiven. Nothing!
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
The greatest misconception about forgiveness is the belief that forgiving the offense, such as an affair,
means that you condone it. Not true. In fact, we can only forgive what we know to be wrong.
Forgiveness does not mean that you have to reconcile with someone who badly treated you.
Another misconception is that it depends on whether the person who did you wrong apologizes, wants you back,
or changes his or her ways. If another person’s poor behavior were the primary determinant for your healing then the unkind
and selfish people in your life would retain power over you indefinitely. Forgiveness is the experience of finding
peace inside and can neither be compelled nor stopped by another.
I believe that to withhold forgiveness is to choose to continue to remain
the victim. Remember, you always have choice.
When you forgive you do it for you, not for the other. The person you have never
forgiven… owns you! How about an affair? Just because you choose to forgive, does
not mean you have to stay in the relationship. That is only and always your choice. The
choice to forgive is only and always yours.
When you feel that forgiveness is necessary, do not forgive for “their” sake.
Do it for yourself! It would be great if they would come to you and ask forgiveness
but you must accept the fact that some people will never do that. That is their
choice. They do not NEED to be forgiven. They did what they did and that is it -
except for the consequences, which THEY must live with.
The hurts won’t heal until you forgive! Recovery from wrongdoing that produces
genuine forgiveness takes time. For some, it may take years. Don’t rush it.
Constantly reliving your wounded feelings gives the person who caused you pain power over you.
Instead of mentally replaying your hurt, it helps to focus your energy on the
healing, not the hurt!
“Forgiveness will not be possible until compassion is born in your heart.”
Compassion is one
of the key ingredients of forgiveness. Learn to look for and appreciate
the love, beauty and kindness around you. It’s there,
and you may have to change your thinking and behavior to discover it.
To have compassion for others, you must first have compassion for
HEALTHY love relationships are not possible without forgiveness! You cannot have
a loving and rewarding relationship with anyone else, much less yourself, if you
continue to hold on to things that happened in the past. Regardless of the
situation, making peace with past love partners, your parents, children, your
boss or anyone who you think may have “done you wrong” is the only way to improve
your chances of a “healthy” relationship with yourself or anyone else for that
It is not possible to truly be present and available to a new relationship until
you heal the hurt and upsets of the past.
Forgiving someone else is to agree within yourself to overlook the wrong they
have committed against you and to move on with your life. It’s the only way. It
means cutting them some slack.
Non-forgiveness keeps you in the struggle. Being willing to forgive can bring a
sense of peace and well-being. It lifts anxiety and delivers you from
depression. It can enhance your self-esteem and give you hope.
Forgive and forget is a myth.
“Forgiveness allows us to let go of the pain in the memory and if we let go of the pain in the memory
we can have the memory but it does not control us. When memory controls us we are then the
puppets of the past.”
You may never forget AND you can choose to
forgive. As life goes on and you choose to remember, then is the time to once again
remember that you have already forgiven. Mentally forgive again if necessary,
then move forward. When we allow it, time can dull the vividness of the memory
of the hurt; the memory will fade.
Always remember that you are human. Sometimes people do and say hurtful things. It is
important to focus on what you have done to learn from the experience.
“In this life… we are unable to forget whatever remains unforgiven.
So, if we won’t let go of some pain - whose time has now past - then
who is to blame for the weight of this burden still being carried on
Forgiveness is a creative act that changes us from prisoners of the past to
liberated people at peace with our memories. It is not forgetfulness, but it
involves accepting the promise that the future can be more than dwelling on
memories of past injury.
There is no future in the past. You can never live in the present and create a
new and exciting future for yourself and your love partner if you always stay
stuck in the past.
Begin again! It is truly impossible to start new and to make clear, healthy, life giving choices
until we have let go of past hurts, confusion and resentments. Old wounds have a drawing
power and pull our attention to them over and over, taking energy and hope from us,
preventing us from starting again. Old wounds raise fearful spectres of the same
thing happening again in the future. For this reason it is so important to spend
time understanding the true nature of forgiveness, and what it really entails.
To forgive means to “give up”, to let go. It also means to restore oneself to basic
goodness and health. When we forgive, we are willing to give up resentment, revenge
and obsession. We are willing to restore faith not only in ourselves, but in life
itself. The inability or unwillingness to do this, causes harm in the one who is
holding onto the anger.
“The only upside of anger is the person you become. Hopefully someone that wakes up one day and realizes they
are not afraid of the journey. Someone that knows that the truth, is at best, a partially told story. That anger,
like growth, comes in spurts and sits and in it’s wake leaves a new chance of acceptance and the promise of calm.”
If you are at war with others you cannot be at peace with yourself. You CAN let
go… and forgive! It takes no strength to let go… only courage. Life
either expands or contracts in direct proportion to your courage to forgive. Your
choice to forgive or not to forgive either moves you closer to what you desire or
further away from it. There is no middle ground. Change is constant.
Want peace of mind? Forgive. The same energy you use to hold on (to not
forgive), is the same energy you need to create a new and exciting relationship
TOGETHER; a relationship anchored in unconditional love.
Forgiveness is the most important single process that brings peace to our soul and harmony to our life.
All of us, at some point in our lives, have been hurt and wounded by the actions or words of another. Sometimes
the grievances have been so great we thought, “no way, this I cannot forgive!” Resentment and hostility can run
so deep that forgiveness becomes very difficult. We feel we have a right to our indignation!
However, living from resentment takes so much effort. It creates a tremendous void in and around us. All
the toxic feelings of hatred and resentment stay bottled up inside and eventually seep into all the areas of
our life with the result that we become bitter, angry, unhappy and frustrated. And so, living from forgiveness
becomes a necessity. Not that this is easy; it isn’t. But we cannot keep ourselves in the flow of good if we hold
another in unforgiveness.
Forgiveness is not something we have to do, but something we must allow to flow through us. When we
step away from the consciousness of our human nature, and allow the divine or God’s grace to express through
us, to forgive through us, we can at that point, feel the radiant and warm rays of the flow of divine love
dissolving all hurt, all bitterness, all sense of injustice. We become aware that we are free and we can project
that love outward into our world.
Forgiveness helps you move forward. No one benefits from forgiveness more than
the one who forgives!
Give yourself the gift of forgiveness. The very word forgiveness is built on the
root word give. Forgiveness releases your partner from your criticism and also
releases you from being imprisoned by your own negative judgments. It is not
surrender, but a conscious decision to cease to harbor resentment. In affect, it
takes the poison our of your body. It cleanses your system of the poison that
will surely fester and cause illness and continued misery if not released. You
cannot take the poison and expect someone else to die. They will go on with
their life and you will be the only one to continue to suffer.
Forgiveness is the key to your own happiness. Forgiving someone else takes moral
courage. It ends the illusion of separation, and its power can change misery
into happiness in an instant. Forgiveness means choosing to let go, move on, and
favor the positive.
Forgiveness is a form of love within the context of a personal crisis. To
forgive is, in a sense, to love one’s enemy. When forgiveness is given because
you think you should, it no longer is forgiveness but an act of self-
“There are those who will tell you why it is wise to never forget the
pain of the past… but if you look closely at the anger, sorrow, and
bitterness that has hardened their faces, then you will also see why
learning to forgive is the better of the two paths.”
The act of forgiveness constitutes a mental bath, letting go of something that can only poison us within.
It is important to recognize that your distress is coming from the hurt feelings, thoughts and
physical upset you are suffering now, not what offended you or hurt you five minutes ago or five years ago.Forgiveness breaks the cycle of hatred, resentment, anger and pain that is often
passed on to those around you. Forgiveness helps you make peace with your past.
Forgiveness is the sweetest revenge. The only people you should ever want to get even with are those who have helped you.
Forgiveness. What it’s for? It creates the freedom to create a new future
&so I forgive you.
Hope in the goodness of mankind: Without such hope people can become emotionally stuck, reclusive, and isolated. Hope in goodness is a change based on the willingness to take a risk that all people are not evil, bad, or ill-willed.
Faith in the fairness of life: This faith in fairness is similar to the “boomerang belief,” that what you throw out to others will come back to you eventually in life. So if people are fair, honest, or nurturing they will eventually receive similar behavior aimed back at them. Having faith in fairness is an attitude that helps people be open to others and risk being vulnerable. They believe that the person who treats them negatively will eventually “get it in the end!” and be punished in someway later in this life or in the next.
Belief in a power greater than yourself: This is the acceptance of a spiritual power with greater strength, wisdom, and knowledge than you; one with a divine plan to include your experience, whatever you will encounter in life. Rather than believing that you are 100% in control of your destiny, belief in this spiritual power enables you to let go of over responsibility, guilt, and anger. This lets you accept God’s will in your life and enables you to let go of your distrust and isolation from others. If God is in control of the universe, you can lighten your load and let God do some of the leading in your life. “Let go and let God,” can be your motto.
A healing environment: This is the creating of a trust bond with the significant others in your personal life where blaming, accusing, and acrimony do not exist. In the healing mode the participants actively use forgiveness, understanding, and healthy communication to resolve problems and issues. The participants are then willing to forget, to let go, and to release themselves of the past hurts, wounds, and pain, opening themselves to trust one another.
Reduction of a sense of competition: This reducing of competition, jealousy, and defensiveness with significant others in your life is a way to reduce the barriers between you and them. The lowering of these psychological barriers is essential to the movement toward development of mutual trust.
Self-disclosure of negative self-scripts: Your disclosing of your inability to feel good about yourself and your perceived lack of healthy self-esteem are essential in reducing miscommunication or misunderstanding between you and the significant others in your life. This self-disclosure reveals to the others your perspective on obstacles you believe you bring to relationships. This sheds the mask of self-defensiveness and allows the other to know you as you know yourself. It is easier to trust that which is real than that which is unreal or hidden.
Taking a risk to be open to others: This enables you to become a real person to others. It is an essential behavior in trust-building between two people because it is the establishing of the parameters of strengths and weaknesses on which you have to draw as the relationship develops.
Becoming vulnerable: This enables you to be hurt by others who know your weaknesses and strengths. This is an essential step in trust-building between people. It lays the cards on the table in a gamble that in such total self-revelation the others will accept you for who you really are rather than for who they want you to be. In order to get to full self-disclosure you must take the risk to be vulnerable to others. This is an important building block in trust development.
Letting go of fear: Fear restricts your actions with others. Letting go frees you of behavioral constraints that can immobilize your emotional development. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of caring, fear of success, fear of being hurt, fear of the unknown, and fear of intimacy are blocks to the development of trust relationships and can impede relationship growth if not given appropriate attention and remedial action.
Self-acceptance: Accepting who you are and what your potential is an important step in letting down your guard enough to develop a trusting relationship with others. If you are so insecure in your identity that you are unable to accept yourself first, how can you achieve the self-revelation necessary to develop trust? Self-acceptance through an active program of self-affirmation and self-love is a key to the development of trust.
A time comes in your life when you finally get it…
When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you
stop dead in your tracks and somewhere, the voice
inside your head cries out - ENOUGH!
Enough fighting and crying, or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes, you begin to look at the world through new eyes.
This is your awakening…
You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are … and that’s OK. (They are entitled to their own views and opinions.) And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself and in the process, a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval.
You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn’t do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected. You learn that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and that it’s not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself and in the process, a sense of safety & security is born of self-reliance.
You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties and in the process, a sense of peace & contentment is born of forgiveness.
You realize that much of the way you view yourself and the world around you, is a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. You begin to sift through all the junk you’ve been fed about how you should behave, how you should look and how much you should weigh, what you should wear and where you should shop and what you should drive, how and where you should live and what you should do for a living, who you should marry and what you should expect of a marriage, the importance of having and raising children or what you owe your parents. You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. You begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.
You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you’ve outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with and in the process, you learn to go with your instincts.
You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive and that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a “consumer” looking for your next fix.
You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a by gone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.
You learn that you don’t know everything; it’s not your job to save the world and that you can’t teach a pig to sing. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake.
You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes.
You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love; and you learn that you don’t have the right to demand love on your terms, just to make you happy.
You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK and that it is your right, to want things and to ask for the things that you want and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.
You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect and you won’t settle for less. You allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you, to glorify you with his touch and in the process, you internalize the meaning of self-respect.
And you learn that your body really is your temple. And you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise. You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So you take more time to rest. Just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul; so you take more time to laugh and to play.
You learn that for the most part in life, you get what you believe you deserve and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen, is different from working toward making it happen.
More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it’s OK to risk asking for help.
You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time; FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears, because you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear, is to give away the right to live life on your terms.
You learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom. You learn that life isn’t always fair, you don’t always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions, you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn’t punishing you or failing to answer your prayers; it’s just life happening.
You learn to deal with evil in its most primal state; the ego. You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls.
You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted; things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about; a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower. Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself, by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never ever settle for less than your heart’s desire. You hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind, and you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.
Finally, with courage in your heart and with God by your side you take a stand, you take a deep breath and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.