post written by: Marc Chernoff

5 Unique Ways to Forgive and Let Go


5 Unique Ways to Forgive and Let Go

“The past has no power over the present moment.”
―Eckhart Tolle

There is great value in every act of forgiveness.  You can forgive yourself, you can forgive others, and you can forgive even when you don’t know exactly who to forgive, because forgiveness is not about who is to blame or who is at fault.  It is about letting go, completely and permanently within yourself.

Forgiveness is recognizing the reality that what has happened has already happened, and that there’s no point in allowing it to dominate the rest of your life.  Forgiveness refreshingly cleans the slate and enables you to step forward.  Here are five unique ways to make this step possible:

1.  Stop trying for a while.

If you’re trying hard and haplessly making zero progress, stop trying.  Stop trying and start being.

When you see yourself as trying – to do something else or get somewhere else – you don’t interpret what you have and where you are as being good enough.  This perception of constantly trying makes living seem like an endless struggle.

There is great value within you right here, right now.  Allow it to come out, willingly and without a struggle.  Instead of trying to get to some other point in your life, give your full attention to doing your very best with the life you are living now.  Instead of believing that you are not there yet, be grateful that you are right where you are meant to be at this moment.

Yes, by all means set goals and take steps in the right direction, but don’t disregard the steps as you take them – these steps are your life’s story.  Let go of all the needless trying and let yourself take these steps peacefully and mindfully.  Let go of the judgments, forgive the past, and let this moment be as incredible as it is.  (This is something Angel and I discuss in the Adversity and Happiness chapters of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

2.  Be the watcher of your thoughts and emotions.

In his best selling book, The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle tells us to be the watcher of our thoughts.  What he suggests is that instead of trying to change our thoughts – via gratitude or deliberate forgiveness, for example – we need to simply notice our thoughts without getting caught up in them.

You are ultimately the sole creator of your own feelings.  When negative thoughts arise based on past experiences or future worries, as they sometimes will, realize that these are simply issues your mind (not you) is working through.  Pause, be present and pay close attention.  Think about these thoughts and emotions consciously, almost as if you were a bystander looking in.  Separate yourself from your mind’s thinking.

Perhaps after you study your thoughts and emotions you will think to yourself, “Wow, am I really still working through that?”  And guess what?  Over time, your negative feelings and emotions will lessen and genuine awareness, love and acceptance will grow in their place.  You will begin to realize that your mind is just an instrument, and you are in control of your mind, not the other way around.

By not judging your thoughts or blaming them on anyone else, and merely watching them, there will be a big shift within you – your sense of self worth.

It’s not like you won’t get upset anymore or never feel anxious, but knowing that your thoughts and emotions are just fleeting feelings that are independent of YOU will help ease your tension and increase your positive presence, allowing you to forgive and let go.

3.  Love.

Feeling sorry for yourself and sabotaging the present moment with resentful thoughts of the past won’t make anything better.  Hurting someone else will never ease your own inner angst.

If you’re disappointed with yourself or frustrated with someone else, the answer is not to take it out on the world around you.  Retribution, whether it’s focused on yourself or others, brings zero value into your life.

The way beyond the pain from the past is not with vengeance, mockery, bullying or retaliation, but with present love.

Forgive the past, forgive yourself, forgive others, and love the present moment for what it’s worth.  There are plenty of beautiful things to love right now; you just have to want to see them.  Loving is never easy, especially when times are tough, yet it is easily the most powerful and positively enduring action possible.

If you’re feeling pain, don’t take action that creates even more pain.  Don’t try to cover darkness with darkness.  Find the light.  Act out of love.  Do something that will enable you to move forward toward a more fulfilling reality.  There is always something good you can do.  There is always love to give.  Fill your heart with it and act in everyone’s best interest, especially your own.

4.  Seek positive revenge by living well.

Are you contemplating revenge?  You know that’s negative thinking getting the best of you.  However, there is a way to seek revenge positively.

How?  Forget about them.  Remember you.  Working on a better you is more fulfilling than hanging on to contempt of others.  Let it all go and hold on to your growth and kindness instead.  If you train yourself to consistently be more loving in thoughts and actions, your positive energy will attract more positive results into your current reality.

Be unlike the person or situation that hurt you.  Let go and grow past your pain.  Carry on living well in a way that creates peace in your heart.  The energy you would spend trying to get real revenge can be better spent creating an amazing future for yourself.

The bottom line is that the best revenge is happiness, because nothing drives your adversaries more insane than seeing a fresh smile on your face.  (Read Buddha’s Brain.)

5.  Let go of the need to forgive every mistake.

Mistakes are the growing pains of wisdom.  Most of the time they just need to be accepted, not forgiven.

There is an obvious shift in your heart and mind that happens when you go from feeling hurt and upset to peaceful and loving, but it’s not necessarily forgiveness that’s taking place, it’s just the realization that there was nothing to forgive in the first place.

To help you wrap your head around this concept, try to look at your situation from 40,000 feet.  Imagine a more seasoned, wiser and more compassionate version of yourself sitting at the mountaintop of life, looking down and watching as the younger minded, current version of you hacks your way through life.

You see yourself holding on to false beliefs and making epic errors of judgment as you maneuver through life’s many obstacles.  You watch the children of the world growing up in challenging times that test their sense of self-confidence, yet they push forward bravely.  You see the coming generation radiating with passion and love as they fail forward, learning through their mistakes.

And you have to wonder:  Would this wiser version of yourself conclude that everyone in their own unique way was doing their very best.  And if everyone is trying to do their best, what needs to be forgiven?  Not being perfect?

Perfection doesn’t exist.  Forgiveness is oftentimes the simple realization that there is nothing that actually needs to be forgiven.

Your turn…

Who would you like to forgive?  What stressful burdens do you need to let go of and rise above?  Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below.

Photo by: Randy Heinitz

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80 Comments

  • Your last point is amazing! Sometimes all it takes is hearing it in another person’s words to remind you of what you already know. Thank you. I needed a reminder about so many things on this list - things I need to let go of.

  • Sometimes it’s easier to be said than done, but your post gave me the extra courage to let go of something I’ve been hurting myself with. After all, sometimes we need to let go of the negatives and make space for something better, right? Thanks so much!

  • Good article. I have had a lot of hurt from family and from friends in my life and have been holding on to that hurt. I think I need to let go and move on. I would like to forgive all the past and I’m working on it now.

  • This is just what I needed to read today. Thank you so much.

  • Yes to all. And start by unconditionally loving yourself. Then you’ll be able to unconditionally love and trust others. Honor the divinity in yourself. Then honor the divinity in others. Stop judging others behavior and begin to work on you. Doing the opposite is not a net zero. It is a net negative.

  • Interesting list. I think I’m a lot better with forgiveness now and a lot of my techniques are similar to what you listed. Number four is the best one in my opinion because it allows you to focus on yourself and it’s a “positive revenge.” There’s no foul play, no ego stroking, no “HA I WIN!” It’s just moving on.

  • I have been reading JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series and am amazed to find the significance of love I’ve understood in the past few days alone.. Earlier I took love to be something insignificant, yeah-whatever-who-cares type.. But now I know that it is one of the reasons we’re alive. As she’s famously said, “Do not pity the dead, pity the living. And above all those who live without love” and “Those who love us, never really leave us; if we look for them hard enough we can always find them in our hearts”. Kudos to her!
    Thanks for this great article!! :)

  • I’ve come full circle where forgiveness is concerned. It’s true that one needs that extra courage to let go of the negativity that builds up with time when you harbor resentment. I’m filled with inner peace since going through the process of forgiving; it was tough growth curve for me. I’m feeling so much lighter and happier now.

  • My question is, when you have done something wrong to someone, and regardless how much you say sorry, or seriously repent on the action, they don’t forgive you, what should be done? Does it mean you’ll never be forgiven? Regardless of how much you apologize, if they don’t forgive, what could be done?

  • Marc and Angel,
    A friend of mine told me to start reading your site. I now know why. I’ve made lots of choices in my life through impetuous actions and this year my world fell apart because of them. I’m rebuilding with much more conscious and deliberate thought and kindness to myself. Your posts are amazing and today this one sums it all up for me. With heartfelt thanks. Nick

  • I do like hearing this, but as a parent of teenagers, I cannot just stop and feel and forgive myself for the things I have to require them to do that makes them so angry. Every day when I wake up I am aware that I must “start the show” and begin the daily pushing the boulder up the hill that is parenting. I am using your words to be kinder to myself, so thank you.

  • Once you realize that everything that has ever happened to you good or bad is just part of your current growth is when you can let go. This may not be for everyone but it helped me and I would like to share. I took whomever hurt me from my past and one by one let them go out loud. “So n so for whatever the reason you hurt me is something only you know but I love you, I forgive you, and I let you go.” I said this over and over again until I literally felt a release from my body (tears). Very healing experience for me.

  • Thank you for your timely reminder. I have beaten myself up for a long time now over trying to forgive myself for past mistakes and for trying to forgive someone else who hurt me very badly. The last week I’ve just focused on the present moment and the joys of the little things in life. I’m starting to feel good about myself and the world again! Thank you, and also thanks to a wise old man who whispered in my ear recently:

    The birds they sang at the break of day
    Start again I heard them say.
    Don’t dwell on what has passed away
    Or what is yet to be.
    Leonard Cohen

  • Thanks so much for this post. I really needed to meditate on this. I have been struggling to forgive someone who has done something unforgivable. Reading this post made me realize I don’t have to forgive the actions but accept they have happened and move forward. This moving forward means I must do what I need to do to repair the pain and hurt this individual has inflicted on me and my children by selfish actions. I see now that my family does not have to be prisoners of his selfishness but can step outside of his nightmare. The best revenge is in living a full and amazing life without this individual. This is will now be my idea of forgiveness.

  • As I said on another post similar to this one I am still grieving but I am glad I realized that it is time to let ‘Johnny’ go. Since he makes zero effort to be with me I shall seek positive revenge by spending more time with those who DO love me and make the effort to spend time with me (and follow through), reach out to me through text, phone calls or coming to visit me unlike him. We all deserve happiness.

  • I’m trying to work out how to let go of problems that actually aren’t mine. I’ve spent my whole feeling responsible for other people at the expense of my happiness and peace of mind. It’s driving me completely insane.

  • Hi ,

    Marc and Angel , thanks again for that great article .
    Truly , very inspiring . It’s what I needed to read right now .
    @ Faiza :
    Faiza , don’t you worry . You have done your ” job ” .
    If you do feel really sorry for what you did , or said or whatever : Everything is FINE .I have been in a same situation as you , regardless of how much I apologized ( actually I apologized 3 times ) yet they don’t forgive . So , now it’s up to them . What needs to be said is that : my consciousness is crystal clear .
    You have to let go and move on with your life .
    You deserve to be Happy Again .
    Nothing . Matters .

    Good luck
    :)
    PS : For more detailed info. feel free to contact me at
    elliekelly21@yahoo.com

  • I need to forgive my fiance’s mother who has convinced him to call off our wedding or better yet postpone it. She has maneuvered her way into our relationship and I need to forgive him for allowing it. I need to forgive them for this suffering and move forward knowing that my love is real, I will give him time or whatever he needs I just cannot resent them or I will continue to live in agony as I have these past few day.

  • Forgiving others is the best thing you can do for you. Period. Forgiveness can often take a lifetime. Some of us have horrible things to forgive.. and for us it takes more time and effort to get there. But we get there. We get there, and live our lives more free than ever before. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. xo

  • I think your next book title is already written, “Forget about them. Remember you.”

    Years ago, in my garden, I realized, I choose the plants in my garden, CHOOSE THE PEOPLE IN MY LIFE.

    From that moment I hit the eject button on many people, including some family. Seems selfish until understanding you can’t give away what you don’t have, happiness….

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  • I wake up every morning for the past six months since I’ve found your site and look forward to reading these daily affirmations. Somehow I’m not sure how you know but it seems to stem exactly into what has happened in my life and how I can move forward. I can’t thank you enough for your positive truths that lift me up and humble my negative thoughts about my past. Today especially has proven just that, thank you from the bottom of my heart for these gifts.

  • Hi Faiza,
    Forgive yourself. No one is perfect. Learn from your old choices and make better ones moving forward. Once you’ve done all you can earnestly do to apologize then let it go. You are punishing yourself more than the person who doesn’t forgive you. That person is in the midst of their lesson as we all are. It’s ok, everything will work itself out.
    Be love and enjoy your life.

  • I think my major fault in forgiveness is that I keep wanting it to be a one time event (I forgive you, now everyhting is done), and in reality (for now) its not. Its the act of forgetting that gets me in trouble. I have to remind myself that its over, and that the forgiveness is already in place.

  • I love the last line: Perfection doesn’t exist. Forgiveness is oftentimes the simple realization that there is nothing that actually needs to be forgiven.
    but what if a person totally lied about you to protect themselves. I can forgive their need to lie but where do I place the harm that they may have done.

  • Thank you once again for the insight! I really appreciate the time and effort you put into this site. Every time I come here I find the solace and help I’m looking for.

  • Another great set of points to meditate on.

  • I needed to hear this…. Thank you 😊

  • This is very useful advice for a some of the issues I am currently struggling with.

  • I need to forgive myself more than those who did the wrong. I could not stop events in my life but have lived it as if I could. It has only caused psin and regret. Thank you for reminding me that life is so much more

  • Boy, did I need this article this morning. Last night, my stepson made a false suicide attempt. He lied about taking pills, called his friend whom called me in tears begging me to do something. My ex husband is out of town at a music festival and unable to be reached. I was filled with fury at my stepson for playing with people’s emotions by saying he overdosed when he didn’t. And I was furious with my ex husband for being an incompetent, unavailable parent. My mind was filled with judgments. Number 2, above, really centered me. It’s about observing thoughts and not investing feelings into them. My mind is working out the issues I mentioned, but that doesn’t mean I have to be emotionally involved in them. This helps me to let go, and not feel harmed or angry by the things people are doing. I’m not going to take this personally. I’m going to see the beauty in my life.

  • Great reminder to step into what we want for ourselves. It is part of the Be-Do-Have triad. First you have to be it, then do it (whatever it looks like), then and only then will you eventually have it. If you want to be happy, start being grateful and happy for what you have already. If you want to be a certain profession, think of yourself as one already and then find anyway you can practice the trade.

    As for forgiveness, I forgive myself for past missteps and mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, it is a part of learning. I will not rehash them and move one.

  • Forgiveness is always a gift we give to ourselves. The gift includes love, peace of mind and a renewed focus, free of judgement and negativity.

  • Great post!

    I especially liked Points #1 and #5. I never thought about stop trying to forgive, or letting go of the need to forgive every person and/or situation. I like these because they’re different. It’s not the ’same old, same old’ advice on forgiveness.

    Have a great day. :)

  • Hi,

    Great article! :) I had a big revelation about forgiveness and moving on from feeling like a victim a little while ago. I read Elle de Champagne’s book ‘Live Your Dream Now” and although I had read of other people learning to forgive and move on after traumatic life events I was finally ready and at a place in my life to realize that I have never been a victim of anything or anyone. Everything I have experienced to this point in my life has been about making me the strong woman, healer and teacher that I am today. It was a big moment for me! I feel incredibly thankful to finally have gotten it. I wrote this article about it. manifestyourlifedream.com/lessons-on-life/ I hope it will have the same effect to heal as Elle’s book did for me.

    Blessings to all for peace and abundance,
    Mary Jane

  • I really love this post and the last point is my favorite - “Let go of the need to forgive every mistake.”

    Sometimes we are so afraid to make mistakes, forgetting that we learn more by making plenty of mistakes.

    One of my favorite quotes is - “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
    Albert Einstein”

    Jon

  • I would like to say thanks to everyone who encourages me. It seems like my surgery date was forever. Finally lumpectomy on 7/5, recovering is no fun. But, each day I am getting better with positive thoughts. Now I know. I learned a life lesson the hard way but that’s all right as long as I learned. It hope not to repeat such an experience again. Knowing that life is learning process, I will develop and learn how to process stress in my life. I would like to say thank you for your blog.

  • This was a good read. I have been going through constant turmoil lately and reading this makes me feel a little better. Thanks

  • BahriaTownOnline
    July 8th, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Great post; simply amazing!

  • Thank you, as always, for your wisdom, comfort and guidance; a true constant in my life.

    I shall read and re-read this post for it to hopefully take its hold.

    At present, I am in a consuming grief at the loss of my relationship. So many promises were shared that this was an ever-lasting thing. Then I fell ill, and so the distance began.

    It is not that I am unable to forgive through any spite. It is just that I find it all so raw and hard as I still love deeply and cannot understand.

    As ― E.M. Forster wrote in ‘A Room with a View’…

    “It isn’t possible to love and to part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal.”

    ― E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

  • Thank you so much for Great Words of Wisdom. I am so desperately working diligently on forgiving myself. I have been so wreckless with myself when partying while on alcohol to the point I have lost great friends and more often than I care to admit have been in some situations with individuals that have been deemed by many and me as disrespectful of myself. Today I live my life in a new light but I’m still haunted by my past. If I see someone from my past I try to leave the scene before they see me. Like I said I’m trying to forgive myself and let go (it’s to painful and I’m tired of feeling this way). Thank you again I really appreciate your words.

  • Favourite line - “If you’re trying hard and haplessly making zero progress, stop trying. Stop trying and start being.”
    Eckhart Tolle’s work on being present and letting go is awesome, both his books created major pivot points for me.
    Thanks for this post.
    Bernadette :)

  • I’m so grateful for these posts that remind me again and again that forgiving myself is all that is really needed. Forgiving the other seems unimportant when I forgive myself. I imagine them off on their life path doing whatever they are doing and I cannot do anything about it. What I can do is be here in this present moment with myself, loving myselk through all the “mistakes”. The joy I am experiencing from that is indescribable.

  • I am a huge fan of Eckhart Tolle, and have been following his teachings in The Power Of Now for a while now. Words can’t describe for me how point number one of this post, Stop Trying has influenced my life.

    Once you stop, you can just be the moment. Once you just except the moment for what it is, you stop thinking about it, and become part of the moment itself. Then what ever you seem have been “trying” to do more often than not falls into place.

    True joy comes from acceptance, and letting go.

    I still have a long way to go to make this state of mind a habit. But the journey their is half the fun!

    Great post! Resonating with me beautifully.

  • #1 should have just had my name right on it.

    This couldn’t have been timed any better!

    xoxo

  • I love number 4. I printed some quotes off to that effect for my son when he was having a hard time with bullies in school so he could look at them when he was down.

  • Marc, you are The Man.

    Today I spoke to my son who has not spoken to me in 25 years. He had a daughter on Saturday. I called to say congratulations. We talked for 45 minutes. It was not like “good old times”. There are no good old times to remember. It was not about forgiveness either. It was about being 40,000 feet up on a mountain somewhere where the air was clear.

    G-d bless you.

  • A great reminder about true forgiveness. I especially like the idea of looking at any situation from a higher point of view.

    For myself, I know that to truly forgive, means I must forget. If I haven’t forgotten, then have I really forgiven?

  • Thank you, now I can finally stop trying to forgive what was really a lesson.

  • Thank you for helping me to lift the weight I’ve been carrying around on my shoulders for the past week, family oh so hard sometimes. Thank you.

  • Who would you like to forgive? What stressful burdens do you need to let go of and rise above?

    I would like to forgive everyone and everything else but myself, for keeping myself burdened and stressed out , for thinking those useless thoughts. Instead of just observing them, I used to get deep down and involved to the core. I had a fear of losing my people, my best friends. I had a great fear of losing my beloved, my life I always had a sense of insecurity that was always creating problems. Instead of missing loving and caring for my partner, I started worrying and getting insecure which made matters worse. Instead of doing acts of love and kindness to take the relationship to a greater level and to feel satisfied and amazing, I always kept myself feeling low thinking only about my significant other cause I always used to concentrate on what the other person is feeling and what all i can do to keep him in my life and close to me, closer than ever.

    I wanted to give all my love to my man but the way I was following was not very appropriate. Always either worrying about the future or getting down and low thinkin about the past, i could never rejoice the present moment, the most beautiful part - my life, to be alive. It feels so awesome now that I have forgiven myself and taken away the pain; I no longer have any fear,i feel free.

    I now wanna give love with no demands; I no longer have an urge to be accepted and be loved; I just want to be loving and that makes me lovable. I wanna fret less and do more think less and love more i wanna breathe the fresh air .. i wanna be alive .. I wanna live life to the fullest and every morning I wake up I tell myself “The greatest miracle I have seen today is .. life .. the present moment ..” and trust me it feels awesome to be alive .. to feel life.

    When you have no fear you experience peace and eternal happiness - something that words cannot describe. Only when you have a greed to win or a fear of loss, you feel low and upset. When you do things just for the sake of doing it, just out of love and just because it gives happiness to you, just because it brings out the person in you, you no longer feel chained and now feel free .. I am ready to experience life and I am breathing, living it and loving it .. and trust me its awesome cause you, my friend, are the best person alive. …

  • Make that almost 27 years. I had lost count.

    Land sakes, what a community is at this blog. Hi @Pepper, glad the date has come and gone. Wishing you an encouraging recovery.

    @Toni, I like this: “now I can finally stop trying to forgive what was really a lesson.” Perspective is everything.

  • I needed to hear this!

    I do not struggle with forgiveness as such but of late i seem to feel so angry with my huby whom i feel is taking me for granted, will never say thank you, doesn’t care whether i am sick or not? All he wants is his needs met. I have really tried my best to overshadow this with love but i think i feel overwhelmed. Can you help me please Angel and Marc? I will really appreciate.

    I found your article more informative and thoughtful hence my having to share with you my current challenge.
    Jane

  • Wow “forgiveness” translated for me “release”. I realize now we are all worthy of forgiveness even myself. I need to forgive and love again, as though I have never been hurt. Until I am able to truly forgive, I realize I stay stuck in the muck. Thank you for this post today, it brings even more awareness for me.

  • What a gret read and something I needed to think about. I need to forgive someone and let go of the relationship. I also need to forgive myself for the mistake I made in betraying those I care about and love deeply. Thank you.

  • An excellent short film on the power of forgiveness is Romans 12:20 which can be viewed for free at geoffthompsonwriter.com The film is written by Geoff Thompson and it is based on the true story of him forgiving the man who sexually abused him when he was a child.

  • Love #4

  • @Faiza: The key is in forgiving yourself. The one person you can control is YOU.

    @Nick: Thanks. Welcome! =)

    @joy: Spot on! I couldn’t agree more.

    @Sandra Hamlett: Sounds like you’re in the right mindset. Good luck on the journey forward.

    @Black Roses: It’s a difficult choice, but remember, “Johnny” is choosing too. It’s not all on you. You simply have to love yourself and practice your own mindful presence. If he doesn’t want to be a part of it, he chooses to have you move on.

    @tara dillard: I love that book title. Thanks for the continued support.

    @David Rapp: Agreed. It’s all about reminding yourself of the truth.

    @Mike Martel: The Be-Do-Have triad is a process Angel and I live by,

    @Mary Jane Allen: I haven’t read that one. Thanks for the insight and recommendation.

    @Pepper: Stay strong. You are in our thoughts.

    @Bernadette: Agreed. The Power of Now was a life changer. PS: Loved your guest submission. I’ll be emailing you soon.

    @DW: Thanks for the continued love and support.

    @All: Thank you for another inspired, insightful set of comments. You just gave me an idea for a new post. ;-) Time to write a few of the initial points down…

    Hope you all are having a wonderful week.

  • “Don’t try to cover darkness with darkness. Find the light. Act out of love” amazing thoughts, wonderful article. Thanks for Sharing!

    Act of forgiveness is one of the best deeds, the moment we forgive someone, we feel lighter and relaxed. As the famous saying goes “A heart filled with anger has no room for love.” so lets forgive and share happiness.

  • With two ex husbands you would think I would be judgmental and angry, but no. I realized a long time ago that they are just being perfect in their imperfections, nothing to forgive. This article made me realize how grateful and happy I am. Thank you.

  • Well, after reading such an enlightening article; I realise that it’s a great trigger to help us “keep going”. Now I’m better to hadle the situation, I’m going through my life. Thanks a lot. These are the golden words. And they have made my goal achievable.

  • I needed this.

    I’m the “other man” in an affair that lasted over a year and ended recently. She re-dedicated herself to her marriage, and has told me she still wants to be friends. It’s complicated, because I play keyboards in her husband’s band (I met her first). As far as I know, either he doesn’t know the affair happened or chooses not to acknowledge it.

    I know that sounds horrible.

    I’ve tried to figure out how to make a clean break from both of them without raising flags, but I’ve been so lonely and depressed, considering suicide and/or revenge.

    Thank you for your article. It’s a much needed break from this torrent of dark thinking.

  • I started reading your articles and found they were so close to me, situations that I have faced and felt extremely depressed with. Thank you so much for showing right direction and giving me positive energy to face world and be what I am thanks

  • Thank you for this post. I have a lot to work at when it comes to forgiving. That is one thing which I have not been able to do for the past three years. - after reading this article I am able to understand that in order to carry on:

    -I have to let go of my hurt n mistrust.
    -I will try my level best to get out of it.
    -I have to forgive my family members
    Thank u for this post.

  • THANK YOU so much for this. I am so thankful for this article; this is the first time I came across your site and rest assured I will continue reading it. I have exerted so much energy into a relationship that has not given much back, full of dishonesty, lies and pain. Its been 3-4 years now and just recently in April 2013 I have finally taken the step to move forward, but have trouble understanding the “forgiving” part and learning to just live happily with a forward thinking perspective. I sometimes look back and think about it almost daily but talk myself back out of it. I just DON’T want to spend one more second thinking of it. How do I do that? So frustrating. Its a daily work in progress, I know.

  • I agree with Sandra Hamlett. There are things done that are unforgivable. I believe forgiveness happens as a result of taking some action. If a perpetrator does not apologize, forgiveness does not really happen. However, what is important is what I do with this unforgivable act. I can go on victimizing myself with this person or event or I can empower myself as Sandra has clearly done…”living a full and amazing life” in spite of what happened.

    Also, I believe there is no such thing as mature adult “unconditional” love. We can have that with our pets, but if we are mature and individuated, we do have conditions. People do have to treat each other well and behave responsibly to feel loved and truly be loved.

  • Something learned over time is that the only person you can control is yourself. You can control how your respond to someone whose acts require forgiveness on their part, and you can control the world around you by how you react, but you cannot change or control another person. Why try to? In keeping with being true to yourself, you’ll find less reasons to need to apologize in the first place. Perhaps there’s nothing at all wrong with you in the first place.

  • I forgive those who hurt me because carrying around hate is just too heavy of a burden to carry. I won’t forget though. By remembering, I will make better decisions in the future. And you know what? It is really paying off! Being a better and happier me is the best revenge!

    @Dave - you need to make that break from the band. Seeing him or her will not help your situation. Don’t worry about red flags - worry about your well being. Please focus on yourself. Seek a family member, clergy, or a friend that you can come clean to. Being able to speak to someone will help. Revenge is not the answer. I played many scenarios in my head for revenge, but 8 months later - I can hold my head high that I didn’t act. Moving forward and taking care of yourself is key. Time will help your wounds, although they will not fully heal until you commit to making your life better. You shouldn’t be the “other man”, you should be the “only man” in a woman’s life. It may seem impossible now but seek help. I turned to God, positive sites like this that speak openly and honestly, and confided in people I could trust. Do what works for you. Fresh start. Better tomorrow. I wish you the best.

  • The first part brings me to tears immediately. I have been working on some issues for quite some time. A lot of negative feelings rose during the period. Deep in my consciousness or unconsciousness I feel unworthy of love and acceptance. The text reminded me that it is an illusive prison that I was told to be in. There is nothing actually preventing me from being me, except for the past experience. I need to let go of all that garbage and of course there are a lot of values in me right here, right now. Thank you.

  • This girl who I thought was my friend turned out to be just a selfish coworker. She tried to get me in trouble just to save herself. So, now I don’t talk to her anymore. I do forgive her but I don’t need people like that in my life. I will go on stronger and happier. Thank you for inspiring me to make the best decision.

  • This article was/is great. I just recently started back therapy. And she said the same exact words that were here. Confirmation. I need to let go, and let God, and I am “working” on it. Although, “not really working on it”, sounds better. More like moving through it with a new perspective. It is so much easier to hold on to the things that hurt us and anger us. However, I don’t want to do that anymore. It hurts even more. So, yesterday was the beginning of my path to forgiveness. Forgiving myself, and the people who have truly hurt me. And I as forgive them, I pray for them to forgive me and my errors. This life is not easy, living it is hard sometimes (shoot most times), but with the right guidance (God) it can/will get easier.

    Up until yesterday I thought forgiving someone literally meant letting them off the hook, but I now realize it’s only letting me off the hook. Letting me off the hook of resentment, and anger, and frustration, and hopelessness, and hurt. Who wants to be on that type of hook?? I don’t. Not anymore. It is so amazing how many ways God speaks to us, it brings a tear to my eye as I type because when we think He is not there, when we think He is just watching, He really has His hand right on our situation. This blog was verbatim what I talked about with my therapist yesterday. Wow. I’m rambling. Be blessed everyone! Forgive and let go!

  • This article brought me a bit of serenity. Thank you!

    I need to forgive my ex-girlfriend. She cheated on me with an ex that she always held on it. And then she broke up with me because she admitted to not being able to end her relationship with him. It’s so difficult for me to accept the situation. I feel betrayed and very hurt.

    However, I don’t like being angry. I don’t like my thoughts and emotions constantly revolving around the pain I feel. It seems to come down to a daily act of deciding to let go.

    So here it is for today. I let it go. I accept the world as it is. I hope this anger and negativity is lifted.

  • This post made me look at the brighter side of things. Right now, it just dawned on me that the one I love will never love me back. It hurts– too much that I couldn’t help but feel so down and so ugly, so unworthy.

    But then, I realized that this was meant to happen– for me to wake up and let go of this feelings that I’ve been holding on for so long. I have to move on, and not only that, I have to accept that there are things that cannot be, no matter how much we try to make it the way we want it to be.

    The one I love may not be in love with me, but I know someday, I’m going to find somebody I love who will feel the same way about me. I know I just have to wait and have a little more faith. :)

  • I’d like to forgive a friend, who used me for attention when her marriage grew stale. I cut her out of my life, and I’ve been trying to forgive and move on ever since, but it’s been hard, especially since I do miss her friendship, and we share the same facebook friends (I’ve unfriended her, but she still pops up every now and then since she comments on friends’ status, photos, etc as well). this has been a struggle. I wonder sometimes if I should just bite the bullet, re-friend her, but keep her at a distance.

  • 6 years ago, I drove a wedge between me and my fraternity brother whom I thought I hated. Deep down I really care for him deeply. We still to this day have not spoken, and have barely acknowledged each other’s presence when we are in the same room or place. Sometimes I feel very down about the situation, but if I ever hope to heal our relationship, I’m glad to be reminded that mistakes need to be accepted. If I’m still hung up on the past, then how can I hope that he will let go as well.

  • I’ve been searching for answers all over as to what to do…how do you forgive your spouse hurting you the very same way each time. I’ve been hanging on to this hurt this time around because I’m hurt to my core. I know in order to set myself free I must forgive and I just ask you all to pray for me and my husband and that he too will break free from his addiction.

    This article is just a breath of fresh air for me…Thx

  • Hello,

    I have to say this article touched home on so many levels and I have to say thank you for taking the time and effort putting this great piece out there for everyone to read.

    Over a year ago someone special left me and her parting words were “You think you are the best at what you do but you’re really not” Those words really cut deep and took a lot out of me. Needless to say I had the opportunity to make a choice after all what was said done and that was to 1)seclude myself or 2)surround myself with those who are a positive influence in my life. Of course the choice was a no brainer and needless to say surrounding myself with loved ones helped a great deal but the process of forgetting what was lost was still a difficult one.

    I can say though just by exercising all the points you mentioned be it willfully or simply by accident I came to realize what my own self worth based on seeing the value I bring to those I hold dear to my heart. The journey made me realized more then anything that my heart or rather my ability to love is the culmination of the love and kindness bestowed onto me by my friends and family and I am all but obligated to protect my heart but more importantly share it throughout without fear.

    Your last point “Would this wiser version of yourself conclude that everyone in their own unique way was doing their very best. And if everyone is trying to do their best, what needs to be forgiven? Not being perfect?”

    Really helped bring a years worth of self reflecting into full circle. In that what I thought was a great lost was only another step towards reaching that kinder and wiser individual sitting at that high viewpoint.

    Thank you again!

  • I cheated on my husband and I am truly sorry about it. My parents have both passed, and I couldn’t communicate my pain to him. He has since left me and won’t forgive this terrible thing I have done. I have apologized repeatedly. I am trying to forgive myself but having the hardest time. I did enjoy reading everyone’s comments here. I hope to heal further as time passes.

  • @Kayden:

    My heart goes out to you. I too cheated on my partner. I’m still trying to forgive myself 20+ years later. I still love him, which makes things even more difficult. And I can see the wonderful life he’s created with his wife in France. They have a blog and YouTube channel. I’m pleased for him even while I’m sobbing through the pain. I’m trying. I’ve stopped looking at his blog. I’m trying to be a better person. Please don’t be like me. Move on as swiftly as you can. It’s not easy to move on but I wish you well.

    Dee

  • This is mind blowing! Thank you so much!

  • This along with some other websites are helping a lot. I have not been able to get past some things that have hindered my relationship with my girlfriend. We are at a boiling point and for the first time Ive been able to smile and I forgive you for everything. I have love for her and if I truly love her I must forgive and honestly I have forgiven myself for the wrong that I have done her in the past and recently. I would always pull from the past and throw it in her face when I felt she hurt me and she would do the same. We were malicious arguers. No more!! I forgive her and all that is in the past can stay in the past I can not wist a brighter past I can only work with what I have now at this moment and make it brighter. I feel alive right now, as if the first time I don’t have a heavy heart and bad feelings towards her about an argument.

    T, I forgive you for all the things that i perceived as hurtful to me. I forgive you for all the angst and bitterness that I formed due to the words, And I forgive myself for the things I did to hurt you. I can now move ahead and not carry that load on my shoulders and work at being a better man, and if I can continue this journey with you then you can expect a better man by your side. I have always said sorry but I have never asked for forgiveness nor have I offered it until today.

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