Learn to forgive: How?

Learn to forgive: How?
Learn to forgive How

When you have been hurt very deeply, it can be difficult to forgive. You may have suffered a loss, or a relationship breakdown, and you feel bitter and angry. The truth is however, that real forgiveness can help you heal from grief and depression when bad things have happened to you - or to someone you love. You may well want to learn to forgive, but you’re struggling. Our tips may help you, or at least set you on the right path.

What is forgiveness?

Forgiveness is the act of letting go of a grievance or judgment you are holding against another person. Forgiveness allows you to let go feelings of bitterness, resentment, and vengeance. It is entirely for your own benefit.

What forgiveness isn’t

When you forgive someone, it doesn’t mean you pardon or excuse their behaviour which may have been illegal, criminal or immoral. Forgiveness does not involve you making excuses for the other person. You don’t have to tell the other person you forgive them either – forgiveness is a private affair. Forgiving someone won’t mean that you never think about what happened, it will always be something that was important to you -something that mattered. You never forgive for the sake of another person. Forgiveness is something you do for you because you love, honour and respect yourself.

What happens if you don’t forgive?

If you don’t forgive, you may experience a wide range of emotions that hold you back or down. You may feel oppressed or depressed. Your emotions can include anger, bitterness and hate. Sometimes these emotions can trigger physical symptoms, such as upset stomachs, anxiety, depression, or high blood pressure for example.

Tips to help you forgive

  • Recognise your anger. Anger can fill you with adrenaline, and adrenaline is addictive. You may struggle to let go of your ‘fix’.
  • Once you recognise the anger, you need to work on it. Express it and release it. Only when the anger has gone, can you truly forgive.
  • Take time to reflect of the situation that has caused you such pain.
  • Accept that it happened.
  • Acknowledge how you feel or felt. Give weight to your feelings.
  • Think about how you reacted.
  • Now think about the ways in which you have changed and developed as a person since that time. What did you learn. Has that been useful? Acknowledge you are a survivor. Have you withdrawn the boundaries of your life? Can that thing ever happen to you again?
  • What about the other person? Are they flawed and imperfect? What was their need when they hurt you? Why do you think they did it?
  • Consider whether you want to tell the other person that you forgive them or not. If you want to do so, then tell them. If you don’t, then choose how you acknowledge your forgiveness. You could say it out loud if you wish, or you could write a letter. No-one needs to read the letter. You can hide it or destroy it.

This is simplistic of course. It may take you a long time to get over what hurt you. Each of these steps may take weeks or months. It is an individual journey that you have to work through in your own time. You will always remember what happened, but hopefully you will be able to move on in a positive and life-affirming way.

Do it for yourself

It is said that a life well lived is your best revenge. You can choose how you react to something or someone that has wounded you deeply, by turning to the light and looking only for the good. Find the love, beauty and kindness around you. Don’t act on your anger. Don’t turn into a person you are not.

Sometimes, forgiveness becomes easier with the passing of time. You may not be ready to forgive yet, but in ten days, ten months, or ten years you might be.

Marie Pure

Other articles

Are most people good or bad

Are most people good or bad?

Do you sometimes despair about humanity because it seems there are far more bad people than good? Are we primarily selfish individuals, thinking only about our own needs? Or is this cynical belief just because we spend so much time online? The truth is more complicated!

Read the complete article

are you really happy

Are you truly happy? – Take the test!

Happiness depends on yourself. If you decide to feel happy, you are happy. Do you feel happy at the moment or rather not? Take the test and find out!

Read the complete article


How to detox your life this Autumn

Stuck in a rut? Feeling overwhelmed or weary with life? Are you in need a life detox? Read our tips on how to detox your life this Autumn.

Read the complete article

tips to deal with procrastination

Are you a procrastinator? Don’t procrastinate and do something about it!

Your list of chores to be done gets longer and longer, and your stress levels get higher, which makes you feel unhappy! Deal with your procrastination today, with these 7 tips

Read the complete article

Why you're not the best

Why you're not the best

What are your aims in life? Do you plan to be rich, to be a top footballer, to be a good parent, or to become Prime Minister? However efficiently you plan your life, sooner or later you are going to come up against obstacles to achieving your goals.

Read the complete article

Is it OCD Find out!

Is it OCD? Find out!

While you often hear people joking that they have OCD because they like to keep their house clean and tidy, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can be a distressing and debilitating mental health condition with a wide range of symptoms.

Read the complete article

Dealing with British Summer Time

Dealing with British Summer Time

Some people are overly sensitive to the time change and it can take days, if not weeks, for them to feel right again, while others barely even notice. 

Read the complete article

Find out if you’re (secretly) a perfectionist

Find out if you’re (secretly) a perfectionist

Can setting high standards for yourself ever be a problem? For most people, striving for perfection would be considered a positive thing. For example, musicians only reach concert standard after thousands of hours of practice and athletes can't reach peak performance without long hours of training.

Read the complete article

6 ways to add some sunshine to your life

6 ways to add some sunshine to your life

Don’t let your mood depend on the weather, and instead create some sunshine in your life with the following tips.

Read the complete article

Can you accept things you can't change Take our quiz!

Can you accept things you can't change? Take our quiz!

Your relationship ends, or you lose your job, and you get stuck in a rut of negative thoughts and suffering. How good are you at letting go of grudges and accepting that some things are beyond your control? Take our quiz to find out!

Read the complete article

Free personal advice for your problem?

Are you unsure which Bach flowers can help you? Contact Tom for free advice.

tom vermeersch
Tom Vermeersch

Yes, I want free advice

No thanks, I will do my own research