Free Yourself With the Healing Power of Forgiveness

At one time or another we’ve all been wronged by somebody. Whether it be a friend, family member, acquaintance, the car that just cut you off in traffic, the rude person that shoved to the front of the line at the grocery store, a disagreement with a coworker, and so on…it happens to all of us.

Taking this a step further perhaps you have been deeply wronged by someone close to you and sometimes it’s easy to get fed up and say ‘screw forgiveness!’ It’s in these very moments that we’re presented with a great opportunity to use the F-word! Probably not the same F-word you’re thinking of, but it can be equally as therapeutic. I’m talking about the healing power of forgiveness.

But it’s Not My Fault…

Forgiveness can be especially difficult if you feel like ‘but I didn’t do anything, this is not my fault, why should I be the one to say sorry and forgive?’ This is a tricky one for sure. Learning to apologize or telling someone you forgive them when you’re not to blame demonstrates great strength and humility, both extremely admirable characteristics.

The Healing Power of Forgiveness

To quote Gandhi “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.” But this takes a deeper understanding.

Understand that forgiving someone even when you’re technically not to blame is not the same as releasing them from their accountability in the situation.

Sometimes people say or do things in a moment of anger, frustration, or a feeling of helplessness that can’t be taken back. In that moment we can either choose to take it personally or realize that they are coming from a wounded place, and projecting their own reality.

It helps to have compassion knowing that we too have made the same mistakes at times. But an invaluable lesson to always keep in mind is: being immune to the opinions and actions of others releases us from being the victim and frees us from needless suffering. It frees us from carrying the heavy burden of sadness about the situation.

Free Yourself With Forgiveness

When Someone Refuses to Forgive You

What about when you have done all you can to seek forgiveness but someone is still unwilling to forgive you? This can be painful, extremely painful at times, especially if it’s a family member or close friend who has disowned you or cut you out of their life because of it.

A circumstance like this can take some time to heal from. This is especially true if you are a person that forgives easily and sees the importance of moving on. It may be hard to grasp how stubborn the other person is being.

Have you ever gotten into an argument with someone and then afterwards stopped and really went back over the details and thought ‘how ridiculous…silly, so petty.’ Maybe you even have a good laugh at how silly it really was. The best is when you can’t even remember what the argument was about in the first place!

What happens next in those moments is key though, this is where the beauty of choices comes into play. After things have simmered down if we stop and think, we can either choose to ‘not bend, stand our ground, be a right fighter’ whatever we want to call it (the reality is we’re being stubborn) or we can choose to ‘lay down the sword, be flexible, and lighten up’ (choose our battles).

I say life is too short so choose your battles wisely. Let it go…move on.

Let Go of the Poison – You Know Your Own Truth

When you think about it, does it really come down to who’s right or wrong? If that’s how you choose to look at life or relationships be prepared for a long and miserable journey.

Why not instead seek to harbor an awareness that each of us has our own stories and no one knows our truth better than our own selves. People will always have their versions of how they perceive your truth and it can very easily get skewed especially if they feel wronged by you, and vice versa.

Holding onto anger, hurt, or resentment manifests as poison in the body. It takes a toll on us physically, mentally, and emotionally. We close ourselves off and harden our hearts.

In his book The Mastery of Love Don Miguel Ruiz puts it this way:

“Once we open the wounds, we are going to clean the wounds of all the poison. How are we going to do this? The same Master gave us the solution two thousand years ago: Forgiveness. There is no other way but forgiveness to clean the wounds of all the poison.”

“You must forgive those who hurt you, even if whatever they did to you is unforgivable in your mind. You will forgive them not because they deserve to be forgiven, but because you don’t want to suffer and hurt yourself every time you remember what they did to you. It doesn’t matter what others did to you, you are going to forgive them because you don’t want to feel sick all the time. Forgiveness is for your own mental healing. You will forgive because you feel compassion for yourself. Forgiveness is an act of self-love.”

Looking at it this way allows us not to take accountability for that which is not ours, while teaching us that if we choose to forgo forgiveness the only person we are hurting is ourselves. Any negative charge we carry is a charge against ourselves.

If you have any relationships that need mending why not reach out and let them know that you apologize for any wrong that you may have caused them and ask that they forgive you too.

If this does not work hopefully the other person will realize that life is too short and come around to letting go at some point. Your heart is open, you have forgiven inside and at least you can take comfort in knowing that you have done all you can to rectify the problem. You can heal and free yourself through the power of forgiveness.


  1. Sharon Chapman

    I totally agree that forgiveness is good for your soul. I too believe that you will be free and feel so much better if you do forgive, no matter the circumstances or who is right or wrong in your mind, it is now of the past and you should be living in the “now” each moment. It is a very cleansing and healthy feeling and you will find contentment and smile :0). Otherwise, the hatred or ill-feeling will fester in you and only make you miserable not affecting the other party involved at all.

    1. Jess

      Thank you for your thoughts on forgiveness Sharon. Letting go of the past doesn’t necessarily mean we forget what’s happened it just means we make a choice to be present in the current moment and focus on moving forward. I definitely agree with what you mentioned about our holding on not affecting the other person because ultimately the ones not forgiving and not letting go are the ones that suffer the most. Keep up the great work. Light and love to you :)

  2. Cheryl Kelley

    “Forgiveness is an act of self-“love”, do I forgive myself each day? Only then would I be able to forgive others. This has really encouraged me to think deeper on something that I do believe. I want to be forgiven for my actions that have not only hurt, but scared others, but I have not taken the first step, to forgive myself. I thought that I had, until while reading this I felt sad. I believe this is something I need to practice, to take the time to reflect on each and every day. Perhaps I will be rewarded with not the illusion that I have had but with a kind of peace that will heal my heart. Jessica thank you…

    1. Jess

      You’re so very welcome Cheryl. I applaud your courage to share your feelings. Your comment really touched me and I’m sure there are many people that can relate. It’s a part of this life that at one time or another we will either directly or indirectly cause hurt to someone or be hurt by someone. I totally agree that it’s only after we forgive ourselves that we can project the same light to others. Sadness can evolve into a reason to grow and move into a healthier place if we choose. I wish you the peace, love, and healing you so deserve :)

  3. Emily

    Hi there!
    oh how your post resonated with me! I recently did a review of the Mastery of love (such a great book) and a post on Miguel Ruiz Four agreements. Forgiveness is for the strong as you say. Hard as heck sometimes though! But so healing. Letting go. Such freedom that comes with that. because of become free of the hold that person had on you

    1. Jess

      Hi Emily, I’m so glad this resonated with you! Another Don Miguel Ruiz fan…Yay :) I learned so much from his books. I agree that his simple concepts aren’t always easy to apply (probably because they are so simple…there goes our tricky mind trying to over think again) but they are so worth the reward of being able to live authentically and find peace in it. This sort of freedom is truly liberating for the soul.

  4. Keye

    Lovely, forgiving is really an act of freeing ourselves…when people are so caught up by being angry on sb/sth, they are actually hurting themselves. As you said, once you let go the poison, we are truly free in life :)

  5. Jae

    Wise words, Jess! You’re right; so often we get stuck in past hurts, and the more we play it over (and over) in our minds, the more painful and toxic the experience becomes, even if it happened years ago.

    I think it’s a big threshold for most people, just being able to rise above our own ego and pride, and forgive others for their mistakes, just as it can be bloody hard to forgive ourselves, whenever we slip up.

    As you said, it doesn’t remove the factor of accountability (far from it, especially in some cases), but it’s a remedy for the suffering you go through, every time your mind backtracks to that hurtful moment.

    You can never erase past experience, but you can change how you allow it to affect you – in the present, as well as your future life.

    Another great post – thanks for sharing it!

    1. Jess

      Thanks Jae, for sharing such a thoughful perspective! Stripping off and letting go of the ego is one of the most difficult lessons to learn. Especially since the lessons don’t show up as much in easy situations, but mostly in the darkest moments of our lives. The hard and painful times. But as you mentioned getting stuck in the past hurt makes for a more toxic experience, so it helps to look at shedding the ego as a sort of cleanse, unburdening the mind, body, and spirit and starting fresh.

      I totally agree that we should no longer focus on things that are not within our power to change (negative experiences) , and instead focus on changing how we let them affect us :)

  6. Stu

    Very thoughtful article!
    What you said is so true, sometimes we need to realize when the situation is bigger than us. Letting go and moving forward is what I have been striving to do this year. I am actually in a similar situation to this article and you gave me some confidence to approach that person..
    Thank you!

    1. Jess

      Thank you Stu! Sounds like you are reaching out for a better place. I applaud your efforts as it’s not easy, I also wish you much success on your journey. It makes me so happy that this post sparked some confidence in you, those moments are by far the most rewarding part of the work I do. I wish you all the best and please let me know how it turns out!

  7. Nicole

    I love this article for so many reasons. The last year of my life has been a road of forgiveness, accepting people for who they are and releasing past hurts. “Forgiveness is an act of self-love” really stuck out to me. It’s so true! Everything in this post is so true! I wanted to share it on Facebook but there’s only a google+ and email link. Great post!

    1. Jess

      I’m so happy you found this post to be useful! I too have been on that same road you’re talking about many times in the past. Good for you for having the courage to take the journey. Although it isn’t easy, you will feel so much better after clearing out all the negative energy. Thank you for sharing this post with others…the Facebook link should be working now :) I would love to hear more as your journey progresses!

      1. Nicole

        Hi Jess, wow the website is really coming along! I just saw that you have an ad for Secrets of Meditation and I LOVE that book! I used to work at the Chopra Center in Carlsbad before I went to India last year and I got to go to one of his workshops. Super inspirational. Sharing now!

      2. Jess

        Thank you so much Nicole! Yay, a Davidji fan :) His meditations are so powerful and his voice is really soothing. I really enjoy listening to him. How neat that you were able to work at the Chopra Center! I bet that was an amazing experience. I got to listen to some of Deepak’s lectures while attending The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and would love to see him live someday. Thanks for sharing/spreading the love :)

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