How to forgive?

So Faith over at Blooming Lotus posted a blog today about forgiveness that got me thinking. How does one forgive?


I realize I am holding onto past hurts. Some more subtle, some more blatant. But there are things that have happened in the past, with people whom I’m no longer in contact with, that simply put, I cannot forgive. The hurt just feels too big to let go of.


How does one let go and move on? I truly would like to know, because I seem unable to do this. I want to let go. I want to forgive. I want to move on. And yet I seem stuck in these past memories; in the past hurts; in the past wounds; in the past betrayals. I don’t want to be holding onto these things, and yet at the same time, I don’t know how to let them go.


I don’t often ask for advice, but this is one post where I am explicitly asking for advice. I really really would like to know people’s thoughts on how to forgive, so that I might be able to begin freeing myself from these things that seem to so often occupy my mind (and heart).


How does one forgive when the pain inflicted is just so deep? Is time the greatest healer, or are there things we can do to speed along the process?


[ps I know I probably should be writing my second entry for 30 days of truth, but honestly, the question is “what is something you love about yourself.” sorry but… I’m just not in a very self loving mood today!]



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5 responses to “How to forgive?

  1. I don’t think there is any recipe for forgiveness. I think it takes hard work, and, that could result in waiting a long time. I know I have to forgive others based on all that I have been forgiven. I know that God has forgiven my enemies, so remaining angry at them only causes me more pain. I think it takes knowing in your heart of hearts that we all make mistakes, we All have problems, we have all purposely hurt another being at one point or another, it is in our nature. But at the time we justified it. It is only later that we learn from past faults. One can only hope tht one’s enemies someday learn from their error. And that responsibility lies with them.

  2. In my experience, forgiving and letting go are different processes, though sometimes they overlap.

    Perhaps it was being raised in a religious family, but in my mind forgiveness means the slate is wiped clean. My personal definition also includes the necessity of remorse. A lot of the hurts I’ve suffered we’re at the hands of people who felt no remorse, and they’d abuse me or someone else again if they had the chance. That, to me, means the person should not be forgiven. I’ve tried to force myself into forgiving them, mostly because people pressured me to. It never worked–I got angrier at the abusers, resented the people telling me I had to forgive, and hated myself for being a moral failure.

    Maybe one day I’ll find myself not hating the people who abused me, but I’m not going to put my energy into that–they don’t deserve that much space in my head. If it happens on its own, that’s fine. But for now, my anger is a powerful asset.

    As for how to let go… I haven’t figured that out for the big stuff, at least not elegantly. Retelling it as many times as I need to to a compassionate listener helps, but it takes more time than I’d like. Maybe we’ll both figure out more as we move along this path.

  3. I think time helps with letting go. Forgiveness . . . I haven’t quite figured that out myself. I mean, I can forgive easily. To me it’s just a matter of putting myself in their shoes and understanding it from their point of view. And just understanding they did what was in their nature. But then I still feel hurt and resentment, so it’s not much help . . .

  4. Pingback: On Forgiveness of the Self | The Written Blit

  5. Pingback: The Past | Transient Reflections

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