Forgiveness: Forgiving Yourself and Others

How hard is it to forgive someone for an actual or perceived wrong? How hard is it to go day in and day out with the pain and resentment of recent, and often time, not so recent hurt? Do you find yourself full of resentment and bitterness? Do you find yourself replaying certain events and scenarios over and over in your head?
If you’re having these feelings odds are you are holding on to some deep hurt and it’s time to forgive.

Here are some things to think about and consider on your path to forgiveness.

What does it mean to really forgive?
When you forgive someone, you make the choice to give up your desire for revenge and feelings of resentment. You also stop judging the person who caused you the hurt. Instead of revenge, resentment, and judgment, you show generosity, compassion, and kindness. In forgiveness, you don’t forget that the offense occurred nor do you excuse it. You substitute your negative with positive feelings, thoughts, and behavior (Enright et al., 1998). (Psychology Today)

Forgiving someone, especially yourself, can seem difficult. You replay the wrongs, feel betrayed, feel angry and find it hard to let go. Regardless of how hard it is, it is necessary. To truly forgive means to set yourself free from the betrayal and anger.

Why do people find it so hard to forgive?
I’ve thought about this one long and hard, talked to many people, read many books and articles and I believe people find it hard to believe because they think forgiveness = reconciliation or accepting whatever is.
This is NOT what forgiveness is. Forgiveness is the ability to move on without resentment or the need for revenge. This does not mean you have to put yourself in

What would your life be like with more forgiveness?
Think about it, really think about it. How would you move differently? How would you think differently? How different would your life be if you learned to forgive others, to forgive yourself more.

How can you forgive yourself?
When I was in my twenties I struggled with this one the most. Like many people, I use music as a way to celebrate, express my feelings, and to change my mood. One song that I listened to on repeat was Forgiven Me by Mary Mary on the album, The Sound. In the song The Marys sing:

I hold a memory of myself
Reflections of what I used to be
These broken roads that got me here
Can’t make it hard to face reality
But a new day is here
It’s time that I embrace it
Can’t wait another day
Right now I gotta face it

I never ever wanna press rewind
Never wanna go back in time
Not much glory
In that story but it’s mine so I’m
Loving who I am today
The past has past away
Finally I
Have forgiven me

I hold a memory of myself
So young and foolish and not knowing
Careless decisions that I made
I wish somebody would have told me
But a new day is here
It’s time that I embrace it
Can’t wait another day
Right now I gotta face it

This song helped me to realize that I can’t change the past. What’s done is done. What I can do is learn and grow.

Who do you need to forgive? Who needs to forgive you?
This one is more personal for me, so I won’t be sharing my answer publically at this time. I wanted to include this question for my readers to really reflect on.

Do you think you can make a forgiveness resolution?
Look, 2017 is almost over. It’s the time of year when everybody is assessing and reflecting, making vision boards, setting resolutions. Resolve today to begin the process of forgiving others and more importantly, forgiving you.

3 thoughts on “Forgiveness: Forgiving Yourself and Others

  • This is an amazing post and it definitely struck home. I’ve spent a lot of time this year being upset with myself and other people and wondering how to forgive them and me. Your post definitely puts things in perspective for me and I’m really glad I read it.

  • Thank you❤️. I struggled for years battling guilt with things I couldn’t change. Once I made peace I felt so much better. Forgiving myself allowed me to forgive others. Thanks for reading.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *