7 Ways to
Forgive and Let Go

7 Ways to  Forgive and Let Go

Up until my early twenties, I carried around a lot of anger in my life. I had been hurt by a person I trusted, and for a long time in my adolescence I was angry at everyone and everything.

A short, inspirational story:
A wise woman and her young disciple were walking down the street. Suddenly, out of nowhere, an angry man in a carriage drove haphazardly by the two, insensitively pushing the woman out of his way. She landed in a ditch filled with muddy water.

The woman yelled after the man in the carriage, ‘May you have everything you want!’

The disciple, surprised by the wise woman’s response, said: ‘I’m confused. Why did you say that to a man with such horrible behavior?’ The woman replied, ‘Because a happy man wouldn’t have thoughtlessly pushed a woman into a ditch.’

No one is purely bad, and everyone carries their own pain which influences the decisions they make. This doesn’t condone their thoughtless, insensitive, or selfish decisions, but it makes them easier to understand.

After all, we’ve all been thoughtless, insensitive, and selfish at times. And for the most part, we all do the best we can from day to day. Even when we hurt someone; even when we’re too stubborn, ashamed, or in denial to admit the hurt we’ve caused.

So how do you forgive someone when every fiber of your being resists? How do you look at them lovingly when you still have the memory of their unloving action? But forgiving is necessary, because forgiveness is divine and it gives you a chance to be a better person…

Say a prayer

Whenever angry feelings about a person who’s harmed you enter your mind, tell yourself: ‘We are all good, loving souls who occasionally get lost.’ Pray for this person to find their way back to a happier place, in the same way the woman in this story prayed for her offender.

Just look to the present instead of focusing on what’s past

Let go of the past, and stop reliving it. You can’t undo the past, all you can do is to make today the best day of your life. When you focus on the here and now, you have less time to think about the past. When the past memories creep into your consciousness [as they do from time to time], acknowledge them for a moment. And then bring yourself gently back into the present moment.

Put yourself in their position

You may never understand why they did what they did, but it can sometimes help to see things from their eyes. It’s important you never blame yourself for anything—or try to find excuses for them—but taking some time to empathize with your wrongdoer for a moment can make it easier to see the reality of the situation. Remember, we’re all human and we are nowhere near perfect.

Let go of resentment

‘Resentment is the poison you swallow hoping the other person will die’ ~Carrie Fisher
Recognize that when you resent someone, you are not only hurting yourself, you’re also giving this person control of your emotions—and you don’t want to give this person that much power over you!

Put your feelings down on paper

Some wrongdoings will take longer than others to overcome. It could be months or even years before you’re ready to move forward with forgiveness. For the really hurtful things, some deliberate introspection and expression of feelings is necessary, and writing is a great way to do that. Write them a letter. It might take you four months, a week, or even a day. No matter what, your letter is not finished until you can write ‘I forgive you’ at the end, and mean every word you say. You don’t even have to send your letter to anyone – it is for you.

Stay centered

Recognize that when you respond with hate to hate, anger to anger, bitterness to bitterness, you are ironically becoming part of the problem. Choose to resist becoming like them. Instead put in the conscious effort to remain a loving, soulful, happy person.

Remember forgiveness doesn’t mean reconciliation

The old phrase of ‘forgive and forget’ isn’t really beneficial in real life. You should remember what someone has done to you, even if it means you can no longer be a part of their life. Reconciliation requires both parties working together. Forgiveness is something that is entirely up to you. Perhaps you have no reason to believe that a relationship with the other person is healthy for you. If you don’t want to be around them, that’s your call. This is the time to be selfish and decide what’s right for you!


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Still holding grudges or can you forgive and move on?
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Mirjam Stoffels

Founder of seven2success, author of ‘Daily Little Secrets to Success’ and guest blogger at TEDxRoermond, Project Eve and 365 dagen succesvol. In my mission to make seven2success the biggest platform of knowledge and inspiration for women, I want to inspire you with our content! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter! Let’s to connect! And do you want to inspire other women? Write for us!

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