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Forgiveness and Letting Go

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Mending the Heart

If only a Band-Aid would mend your heart. source

If only a Band-Aid would mend your heart. source

The Difficulty of Forgiveness

Why are forgiveness and letting go so difficult? Almost everyone has been hurt by the actions or words of other people; we've been treated badly, our trust was broken and we felt heartbreak.

Some examples are a mate that cheats, a parent that criticizes the way we are raising our children or a friend that tells your secrets behind your back to someone else.

These wounds will often leave you feeling angry, bitter or probably even vengeful. Even wanting to forgive the other person is not always easy. Sometimes we are so caught up in pain or humiliation we cannot move beyond those feeling for a period of time, as we just don't know how to let go.

The definition of forgiveness according to the Merriam Webster dictionary:

Definition: "to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong): to stop blaming (someone): to stop feeling anger about (something): to forgive someone for (something wrong): to stop requiring payment of (money that is owed)"

Forgiveness is a Choice

Certainly forgetting and forgiving are two different things. If we are really hurt we will probably never completely forget, although with time we may be able to look back at the situation without as much pain.

Forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. The best reason to make that choice is to help you, not for the other person necessarily. The decision to forgive is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge.

When you do make a decision to forgive, you may have more understanding, empathy or compassion for the one who hurt you. Most importantly you will be at peace and much less stressed.

Catherine Piderman, Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic describes forgiveness as” a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge.” When you forgive you are able to focus more on the positive aspects of your life. It may even lead to a better understanding or empathy toward the person that hurt you.

It certainly doesn't mean that you deny the other person's responsibility, and it doesn't minimize or justify the wrong either. You can decide to forgive the person without excusing the act, which should bring you a kind of peace and help you move on in your life.



Erma Louise Bombeck-a Beloved Lady

“People are always asking couples whose marriage has endured at least a quarter of a century for their secret for success. Actually, it is no secret at all. I am a forgiving woman. Long ago, I forgave my husband for not being Paul Newman."

How to Let Go

The feeling of freedom is a new beginning and it can happen for you today. source the forgiveness Institute

The feeling of freedom is a new beginning and it can happen for you today. source the forgiveness Institute

The question is How to forgive?

First, you have to commit to letting go. This step may take time but when you commit to change is because you recognize the pain is hurting you.

Evaluate the pros and cons of the situation:

  1. Is the pain hurting your relationships with the other person?
  2. Does it affect you at work or with your family?
  3. Does it make you unhappy?

Think of the benefits of forgiveness, which occur when you're no longer in pain, including more happiness, and your relationships, in general, will improve.

Know this is your choice, and that you can't control the actions of anybody else. You can choose to stop reliving the hurt. The powers are yours, you just need to learn how to use it.

Scroll to Continue

Try to empathize and put yourself in the other person's shoes. Try to understand why the person did what they did, making the assumption they are not a bad person but they just made a mistake or used poor judgment.

You can ask yourself what could have happened to this person in the past to make them act that way. You are not saying what they did is right, but you are trying to understand.

Be sure to take a look at yourself to see if you had any responsibility for the event. Was there something you could've done to prevent it? Sometimes you have to learn how to forgive yourself.

Move your thoughts into the present and understand that the past can't be changed but your attitude can. Look at what brings you joy right now and when your mind takes you back to that event you should gently bring yourself back to your present circumstances.

Forgiveness and the Freedom of Letting go

Soar with the Eagles Instead of Walking with the Turkeys!


Benefits of Forgiveness

It usually helps to do meditation and/or yoga to keep a positive attitude and a healthier body. Focus on your breathing, imagining each breath that goes out is the pain you have been living with as it is released from your body and mind. Welcome the peace that enters your life.

Forgiveness will bring you peace that would help you enjoy the rest of your life. When you let go of hurts and grudges and you have room for compassion and kindness.

The benefits of forgiveness will lead to:

  • Healthier relationships.
  • Greater spiritual and psychological well-being.
  • Less stress and hostility.
  • A healthier body, such as lower blood pressure, fewer headaches, etc.
  • Fewer symptoms of depression, anxiety or chronic pain.
  • Lower risk of alcohol or substance abuse.

Alicia Keys Pray For Forgiveness

In Summary

Obviously learning how to let go and forgive will make for a happier, healthier life. You are moving away from the victim role and into a place of more joy.

I heard an old saying years ago and I don't know who the author is but it's so true; He who angers me controls me." I do not like the idea of being controlled at all, so this little saying has helped me numerous times.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 17, 2019:

Hello Piotr, Thank you so much.

Piotr Dariusz Makowski from Verona Italy on October 17, 2019:

Nice Post

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 20, 2012:

Jane, I am glad you are happy and thank you for your comments.

JANE on November 20, 2012:

I had to write back and say what an amazing experience I had with Dr Ekaka. I was desperate for a kind and gentle man to enter my life when I ran into your Email: doing some surfing. I had a phone consultation with ekaka and I found him to be so helpful, gentle and reassuring. Within a couple of weeks, I met a guy in a dance club who really swept me off my feet. I’ve been with him for several months now and we seem to be the perfect couple. All it took was one visit to Ekaka and my life is as good as it has ever been. I need to thank ekaka for caring about me enough to send me such a wonderful and powerful spell.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 25, 2012:

PegCole, That quote is surely true. Thanks so much for your comments.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on July 25, 2012:

Pamela, I'm incredibly glad I found this hub to start off my morning. What a lesson for us to put to use everyday. I have a long way to go to let go of all the things I need to, but this quote really put things into perspective for me. "There is no future in the past." from the wonderful video.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 25, 2012:

remaniki, I think you have chosen to live your live in a wonderful, peaceful way. I really like your outlook and that is the way I want to live also. Thank you so much for your comments.

Rema T V from Chennai, India on July 25, 2012:

Hi Pamela,

What a wonderful message you have passed on to us! Great hub. When someone hurts my feelings, I would like to think that behind the action lies some sort of insecurity and I try my best not to take it to heart and believe me, it makes me feel lighter though the hurt is there somewhere inside.

It is up to us to decide whether or not to forgive; if we decide to ignore the wrongs, it becomes easier to regain the lost peace and life becomes normal and happy once again.

Lovely hub presented beautifully. Sharing it across for the hub community to know. Cheers, Rema.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 18, 2012:

brake12, That must have been so difficult for that man but i believe forgiveness is the key to peace in our hears. Thank you for your comments.

Audrey Selig from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on February 18, 2012:

Hi Pamela - I like your hub on forgiveness. You have outlined it so well and have made excellent comments. A man in our area had to forgive the criminals who killed his parents, before he could get his life back. It almost ruined him forever. How difficult that choice would be, but he did it. I hope that all is well with you and good luck with your writing.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 16, 2011:

naturalsolutions, I agree except that acceptance is important and I believe you reach acceptance through forgiveness. If you keep the pain hit the way it is always going to pop up and hurt every once in a while. I appreciate your comments.

naturalsolutions on September 15, 2011:

Mending your heart is not an easy 100% true if you asked the people who is suffering to this kind of ache.

For me this is a process to walk through. It is really hard, every time you see even a little thing that will reminds you of your past. You will surely cry and reminisce for a while.

But i'm here to say and advise, letting go is an easy thing if you try accepting everything, accepting is the better way than forgiving.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on July 10, 2011:

Mar, I couldn't agree with you more and he certainly love tranquility. Thank you so much for your comments.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on July 10, 2011:


This is a lovely article to happen upon right after writing an article on peace in my Kylie series. I have found in my personal experience that forgiveness is essential in order to feel a personal sense of tranquility. Hanging onto what we cannot change is so self-defeating.

This was fabulous, well done! Voted UP & UAB, mar.

carolina muscle from Charlotte, North Carolina on June 27, 2011:

This is a beautiful and well thought out hub, as are all of your hubs, Pamela.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 25, 2011:

Nell, I think most people are working on forgiveness. Thanks for your comments.

Nell Rose from England on June 24, 2011:

Hi, yes you are right, I must admit I am working on it! lol

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 23, 2011:

Bethany, You are absolutely right. Thanks for your comments.

Bethany Culpepper on June 22, 2011:

Pamela, You always write thought provoking articles. Thank you for sending this one out into the world. It's obviously touched so many hearts. I find it's easier to forgive than to forget!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 21, 2011:

Nell, I don't think forgiveness means you forgive or even necessarily trust again. You don't even have to have any relationship with the person. The forgiveness is so you can be rid of negative feelings that might be having a negative effect on you. I understand your reasons and I'm not saying they are not valid, just trying to show you another aspect of things. Thanks so much for your comments.

Nell Rose from England on June 21, 2011:

Hi, I do agree with everything you say, but I do believe that sometimes to hold on to a grievance can be the one thing that makes you feel that you are right, but it does all depend on what it is, I tend to have a memory like an Elephant! lol can't let go, another reason is that I find if someone has done something to you, then you shouldn't really forget it, because they may just do it again! cheers nell

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 21, 2011:

AskAshlie, I am glad you enjoyed the hub and I very much appreciate your comments.

AskAshlie3433 from WEST VIRGINIA on June 21, 2011:

Voted up and useful Pamela! I always enjoy your hubs because they always have a lot of information handy. You did a great job AGAIN. Be good friend.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 21, 2011:

Good Guy, I like your analogy of the scar on your face is there are times when it doesn't make sense to trust the other person, however, by choosing to let go at least you can feel more at peace. I appreciate you sharing your experience and thank you for your comments.

Justin Choo from Malaysia on June 20, 2011:

Hi Pamela99,

I fully agree with this defination by Catherine Piderman, Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic, that it must be a "let go" decision.

People find it hard to "forgive" because they wrongly think that they must bring back the love for the offending person. Forgiving is just like living with a terrible scar on one's face. There is nothing one can do about it (maybe a bit of corrective surgery). When one can let go of the feeling of ugliness of this scar, and accept it as a little part of "ugliness" in life, then one is free from the torment of hate and resentment.

I too have quite similar experiences as the first comment by Partisan Patriot. The scar will remain, but for my own well-being, I choose to let go and defuse any thought of hatred and resentment as and when it emerges.

Just my 2 cents of thought.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 20, 2011:

Cagsil, Thanks for your comments. I appreciate the thumbs up.

Duchess, I hope the hub will help. Thanks for your comments.

Duchess OBlunt on June 20, 2011:

I know I should, I've said the words, but when I see them - I remember still. Remembering what happened isn't the problem, it's remembering how it made me feel.

Good hub - I'll try to keep it in mind the next time I see them.

Raymond D Choiniere from USA on June 20, 2011:

Hey Pamela, I came by to see your latest hub and found this one. Very nicely written article about forgiveness. Definitely a Thumbs Up!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 19, 2011:

Wayne, Thanks for sharing your experience. We all have to find our path out of the mire to let go and I agree that anger takes a lot of energy. It is not worth hanging on to the anger because as you said you can't move forward. I choose lead over follow anytime. I appreciate your comments.

Wayne Brown from Texas on June 19, 2011:

A broken marriage involving children is a situation which no one should have to live through...on the one hand you want to let go but the children keep you in place and the dynamics which made the marriage bad continue for years while the children grow. I lived that scenario and my heart bleeds for anyone else who does. Your point of letting go is the best piece of advice. In this scenario, sometimes it means letting go of the kids a bit too. The priority is to shut down the pain and then heal the hurt. As long as our focus is distracted by something of this nature, we will never be able to give our full attention to anything else in our lives and that becomes so apparent to everyone around us. Anger requires a lot of energy and focus but it is really just a long waste of time. Life goes on and we can choose to either follow or lead. Thanks for sharing a very wise wealth of information, Pam. WB

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 19, 2011:

Spirit Whisperer, I think you are absolutely right. Thank you for your comments.

Xavier Nathan from Isle of Man on June 19, 2011:

This is a very important message and if more people realised how central this is to their well being and happiness I am sure they would heed your very wise advice. Thank you.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 18, 2011:

Tara, You went though a terrible time and I appreciate you sharing it. I am glad that you were able to forgive as I'm sure you are better off today because you were able to do that. I very much appreciate your comments.

drkathleenfuller, I'm so glad this article is helpful to you and hopefully to your patients. Thank you for your comments.

Cari, I have been in the same position as you and we do need to be proactive. Thank your so much for your comments.

Cari Jean from Bismarck, ND on June 18, 2011:

Pamela - you make so many good points in the hub. One of them being that you can forgiving and forgetting are not the same thing. YOu can still forgive but remember that it happened but the pain will lessen as time goes on. One of the fallacies we struggle with is that time heals all wounds. This simply isn't true because we have to be proactive in healing and forgiving is often the first step. I have had to forgive many people in my life - it isn't easy but it is so worth it.

drkathleenfuller from 322 SW Ocean Blvd, Stuart, Florida 34994 on June 18, 2011:

Great article and I'll use it as a resource for my patients. Thank you!

Tara_in_NE on June 18, 2011:

Almost thirteen years ago now, I was thirty two and happily married until a car accident killed my husband and left me hospitalized for almost six months. The other driver unintentionally swerved into our lane and our car. Totally his fault.

Endless days and night of anger sapped me so much of my strength that not only was my recovery stalled, but my health was in danger. I had to let it go.

Slowly, after much misery, I came to the realization that my husband would not want me to live like this. And that the event was an accident. The other driver wasn't drunk, or on anything, he had NO priors- it was a freak accident.

Then came the black-hole period of the legal fallout stemming from this. I was pressured by those who I can most kindly describe as ambulance chasers to go full boar in the litigation process. But at the last minute decided I couldn't. He was a man about to retire with his wife and I slowly came to the realization that destroying their lives wouldn't help me or bring back my husband.

We settled out of court. I forgave them. I've been on my own since. But I'm okay.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 17, 2011:

anginwu, I agree and I appreciate your comments.

anglnwu on June 17, 2011:

Great hub. I agree forgiveness is a choice. If we choose not to, it's our loss and we actually imprison ourselves in grudge. Thanks for the lovely hub--love Erma Bombeck, especially the quote you included. Rated up.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 17, 2011:

bellawriter, When you have been in a painful situation for a long time and not able to totally step away, it will be difficult to forgive. As you said you know the damage, but the problems is persisting. I hope things ease up for you soon so you can live your life with more happiness, then sometime when you are ready forgiveness will come. I appreciate your sharing all your comments.

Erica Sanchez from California on June 17, 2011:

Pam, Forgiveness is the one thing I struggle with the most can I say it drives me which I am fully aware of the damage it is causing it is easier to carry the burden to release it. But forgiveness comes with the change of ones actions.If the person that caused sorrow continues to cause sorrow and makes no difference then how can you forgive and forget? One that has been hurt needs closure and I may be wrong but I believe that my father can do miracles but does that put me in denial? I am confused within my own mind I want to but then I dont.....

Thanks this opened up my eyes and gave some answers appreciate the hub!!

smiles :)


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 17, 2011:

prasetio, I think your description is perfect. I appreciate you comments as always. Love and peace.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on June 17, 2011:

Very inspiring hub, Pam. You taught us about something substantial in our life. We all social creature, it means we need other people. Sometimes we find difficulty to give forgiveness to someone who have mistake. We have to break this ice block and try to share "patiently" with others. You have great opinion about this topic. I agree with you 100%. Well done, Pam. You got my vote. Cheers....

Love and peace,

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 16, 2011:

tipoague, I think it is wonderful that you have taught your children as they will surely have an easier time with life by following your principles. Thanks so much for your comments.

Tammy on June 16, 2011:

A hub that touches the heart of things...thanks! Forgiveness can be very painful. I have often been asked why it was that I can be so forgiving at times, to some, it seemed as an impossible task. I tell them that if God can forgive us for our sins, I could try to do the same. It doesn't make the "sin act" acceptable, only easier for me to feel better about myself. This is something that I have tried to pass along to my children.

Terrific thoughtful hub with very useful tips! Thanks for sharing them!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 16, 2011:

Rev Lady, Thank you for explaining the Christian perspective so thoroughly. I very much appreciate your comments. God Bless.

RevLady from Lantana, Florida on June 16, 2011:

Thank you Pam for this mind stimulating article.

From a Christian perspective, unforgiveness means we have usurped God's authority and made ourselves the judge of the offender. It is our distorted way of meting out "justice." After all, our hurt is deep and our heart severely punctured. At the core, of course, is our own selfishness—the “me” factor. We are deeply focused on what was done to “me.”

God endowed us all with the capacity to forgive though, granted, it may not be easy. Nothing God requires is. It is not easy to forgive because it requires an acute awareness of our own need to be forgiven. There are two sides to forgiveness that are forever linked together: the forgiveness we need from God and the forgiveness we owe to other human beings.

Christians do not have the choice to forgive or not forgive. We have a COMMAND from God TO forgive. It is not optional, it is obligatory. Yet, He gives us what we need that enables us to freely forgive.

Voted up!

Peace and joy in Him who empowers us to accomplish all things through His blood.

Forever His

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 16, 2011:

cherrycrime, I'm so glad the hub was helpful to you. Thanks for your comments.

January Moon from NY, Now Living in Atlanta Ga on June 15, 2011:

This is a great hub! I have tried so desperately to forgive someone who I've known since I was 14, a male of course, and I'm still not getting good results, but with the tips from this hub, I think I may ne able to move on:-) Voted up!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 15, 2011:

Hanna, That is a simple statement that sums it all up. Thanks so much.

Audry, I think moving forward is very important also. I appreciate your comments.

Ancillotti, I agree with you 100%. Thank you for your comments.

easylearningweb, I agree. I appreciate your comments.

Amelia Griggs from U.S. on June 15, 2011:

Well written hub and wonderful topic to touch on. It's a positive action to take and has good benefits all around!

Ancillotti from Brasil, Vitoria - ES on June 15, 2011:

Pamela, nice Hub! It's really difficult to choose to forgive when someone from our entire trust betrays us, but it is the best choice to make to achieve serenity.

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on June 15, 2011:

Forgiving is always easier for me than forgetting~ However, I am a firm believer in moving onward and upward and not letting the past hold you back. Great information on a truly important and vital subject!

HealthyHanna from Utah on June 15, 2011:

The best way to improve the past is to chose your memories. Remember the good. Forget the bad.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 15, 2011:

Will, That sums it up nicely. I appreciate your comments.

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on June 15, 2011:

It's amazing how much time and life we waste on bitterness and things we cannot change. Forgive, forget, and move on.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 15, 2011:

Frog Prince, I certainly understand that. Sometimes it is not wise to trust the person again. I have one person I've forgiven and fell good about that, but it would be stupid for me to trust this person again. We can't change people, only ourselves. Thanks for your comments.

always exploring, You explained that concept beautifully. Thank you so much for your comments.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on June 15, 2011:

Your Hub is a wonderful reminder that forgiveness is necessary for happiness. I'm happy that i've learned to forgive, not only to forgive another, but to ask for forgiveness when i'm in the wrong. This is a work in progress. Hurt feeling's take time to heal. Thank you for sharing.

The Frog Prince from Arlington, TX on June 15, 2011:

Pamela - Well written with sage advice. With me forgiveness isn't hard for most transgressions. The problem is after the forgiveness is out there, it is much harder to forget what was done and why. "Trust" enters into the equation there. I have a problem letting go of future trust. That is me though. I might forgive you but that doesn't mean you'll get my trust back very easily.

The Frog

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 15, 2011:

POP, A murderer would be very difficult and I don't want to be put to the test. I have had to forgive someone over a very painful situation as I couldn't move past that point, so I did it for me. Thanks for your comments.

breakfastpop on June 15, 2011:

I have no doubt whatsoever that every word you say is true. Having said that accomplishing forgiveness is very, very difficult. I just can't wrap my arms around, for example, forgiving a murderer, although I have heard people who have forgiven say that it freed them. Up useful and awesome.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 15, 2011:

bearclawmedia, What a blessing! I am so glad the hub was helpful to you. Thanks so much for your comments.

Stephanie, Yes, I know I was at that spot and it is a wonderful relief not to feel that way anymore. I appreciate your comments.

Stephanie Henkel from USA on June 15, 2011:

I think many of us have been deeply hurt by someone close at one time or another. It is a relief when we can finally find it in our hearts to forgive because then we realize that by holding onto that grudge we were only hurting ourselves. Your hub is so helpful and well written. Voted up, useful and awesome!

bearclawmedia from Mining Planet Earth on June 15, 2011:

It is always the timing. I was ready to hear your message, I needed to be reminded of the truth of forgiveness and my angels brought me to it. Thank you

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 15, 2011:

Hello, I considered you a friend after these past 2 years of making so many comments and I appreciate your thanks.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on June 15, 2011:

Thank you, Pamela, for your heart felt and heart warming message.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 15, 2011:

Hello, I think it is most difficult to forgive mates when it is a long term situation and affects your children. I'm sorry you had to live through that situation. You won't forget and you will probably never trust him in any way again. but maybe as time goes by you will learn to forgive him for your sake and the sake of your son. Of course, it would be nice if he left you alone right now. Thank you for sharing your painful experience and I wish you all the best for a happy life.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on June 15, 2011:

I appreciate you well written hub. The problem with forgiving is you can't forget. My ex tried to force me and out son9from small age) with everything available out of the house. I fought for 10 years for our marriage, home and family. At the end I had to face divorce. Sorry, but I can't forgive. Now, after five years he turned up again and keeps pestering us to come back. No thank you. He not only ruined my life but our son as well. If he found another one, which I suspected, you sit down like Adults and sort it out and I suggested it and would have accepted it but not that way.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 14, 2011:

Steph, I'm glad you agreed with the hub and I have found it to be true in my life also. Thanks so much for your comments.

Susan, I guess many of us have had this experience and I sure appreciate your comments.

Happyboomernurse, It really is our choice to forgive. There is such a relief when we quit reliving the pain. I appreciate your comments.

katrinsau, You are right it isn't easy but it's worth it. Thanks so much for your comments.

Acetnna, It truly is and I appreciate your comment so much.

Mentalist Acer, Amen! That is an excellent goal and prayer. Thank you so much for your comments.

Divacratus, Often the other person doesn't even know how angry we are, so it is definitely something we do for ourselves. I'm glad you liked the hub and I appreciate your comments

Davidkaluge, It is more difficult if the person who hurt you doesn't care or ask for forgiveness, but if we forgive for our own benefit than it is worth while. I have found that I get angry much less often since I have become more spiritual in my beliefs. I appreciate your comments.

Lady_E, You forgive people for the right reason and it would be nice if most people could do that and not be bitter. Thanks so much for your comments.

Om Paramapooyna, Your last statement is very true as I know someone who is so caught up in guilt that they are just stuck in a place that's not very happy. I agree that it is important to learn from our mistakes also. Thank you so much for your comments.

Om Paramapoonya on June 14, 2011:

Hi, Pamela. This is a beautiful hub. I agree that forgiving can be very liberating whereas holding grudges only prevents us from moving on. It's important to learn from our own mistakes and forgive ourselves as well, though. Some people don't hold grudges against others but can't let go of their own guilt.

Elena from London, UK on June 14, 2011:

Lovely read. I often wonder too, why it's difficult. As you wrote it's healthy. Some people develop sicknesses when they get so bitter inside, due to unforgiveness.

I forgive people for my own peace of mind. Thanks for sharing this. It will help and soothe many people.

davidkaluge on June 14, 2011:

The truth is that only few people may not even get annoyed so no need to ask them for forgiveness. These are those that have learnt some spiritual lessons. Some people can get angry and forgive easily because it is their being or for spiritual benefit as they believe. Generally, it is not easy for most to forgive and let go when they are deeply hurt. However, it maybe easier if the person that hurt you asked for forgiveness. What is most difficult is when one hurts you and never cares to know how you feel.

Kalpana Iyer from India on June 14, 2011:

I love the quote - "Forgiveness is not something we do for others. It is for ourselves to get well and move on". So true! An inspiring hub.

Mentalist acer from A Voice in your Mind! on June 14, 2011:

I willingly forgive in hope and prayer that I've more to forgive than be forgiven for?.;)

acaetnna from Guildford on June 14, 2011:

To forgive, to truly forgive, is the most empowering and wonderful feeling. Awesome work here. Voting up and pressing your buttons too.

katrinasui on June 14, 2011:

Fantastic hub. It is not easy to forgive but forgiveness is the best recipe for healing and liberation.

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on June 14, 2011:

Another well written and comprehensive hub that teaches us to live in the present and clear our hearts and souls of past pain and victimhood. I particularly agreed with the following sentences: "Know this is your choice, and that you can't control the actions of anybody else. You can choose to stop reliving the hurt. The power is yours, you just need to learn how to use it."

Forgiving others and/or being forgiven by them is definitely very empowering and freeing.

Voted up, useful and beautiful.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on June 14, 2011:

Excellent hub. Took me many years to forgive someone in my life and once I did it was such a relief to let all the anger go that was eating away at me. Up, useful and awesome.

Steph Harris from Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom on June 14, 2011:

Pamela, very well put, resentment and holding grudges does, I believe,hurt us inside, and to be able to forgive can set us free. I know this from personal experience, and nearly nodded my head off through your article I was agreeing with what you said so much. If more people were able to think like this, the world would be a happier place. Voted up and useful and awesome.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 14, 2011:

Patriot, I know there are situations like that in families. Forgiveness is certainly a choice and I understand why you don't see any reason to get close to him again. I think it is very difficult when trust is broken in that magnitude. Thanks for your comments.

Cardisa, I absolutely agree that forgiveness is not for the offender before the victim. I appreciate your comments.

Carolee Samuda from Jamaica on June 14, 2011:

Very well written Pamela, forgive is not for the offender but the victim. It takes a lot of strength and courage to move on but when you do you will experience a fuller happier relationship or life.

partisan patriot on June 14, 2011:


I have a younger brother I haven't spoken to in well over 15 years; he took everything my parents had to give when they were alive and then turned his back on my mom after my father died.

I see no reason to get close with him again and frankly don't waste much time thinking about it!

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