Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Forgiveness is about willingly letting go of past hurts so that we are able to live a happier life in the present.

Forgiveness is one of the hardest things for us to do. It is easier said than done, especially when something has caused us great pain or hurt in our lives.

We have all experienced events in our lives that have and will continue to affect us in a negative way if we allow it.

These hurts cause us to have feelings such as sadness, confusion, guilt, bitterness and anger and can lead us possibly to wanting to seek revenge. The more that we dwell on these hurts the more powerful and destructive they become. They can poison our lives. They can also consume a lot of our focus and energy; focus and energy which could be better directed to more important things in our life that will bring us joy and happiness. While we are dwelling on the past hurts we could be missing out on wonderful opportunities in the present.

In my own life experiences I have had situations where I found it difficult to move forward in my life because I was being bothered and consumed with scarring events from the past. It was only when I took some action to heal these scars that I felt a sense of liberation.

Sometimes we fail to realise that we are holding on to past hurts. They do however show themselves in our thoughts, actions and results that are occurring in our lives. As an example, you may have a tendency to automatically think the worst about situations or people or you find yourself becoming easily upset by trivial things. The underlying root cause may be that you have not yet forgiven something that occurred to you in the past.

It is important to point out that forgiving is not forgetting what happened and it definitely is not excusing or denying the event or act that has caused you hurt.

Forgiveness is for your benefit because when you are unforgiving it is you that suffers the most and becomes the victim. Don’t allow the past hurts to rule your present life. If you can learn to forgive others and yourself you will improve your overall psychological, physical and spiritual wellbeing. You will experience greater peace and happiness because you will have less anxiety and stress to deal with.

So how do we let go of past hurts and begin the process of forgiveness? Below are a few suggestions.

1. Writing down your thoughts and feelings surrounding the offense and either pass it on to the person/s involved, if you are comfortable with that, or carry out a symbolic letting go of the hurt by destroying the paper that you wrote on.

2. If it is not too threatening or awkward for you, communicate your true feelings by having a conversation with the person/s involved and indicate you desire to forgive them.

3. View the offending act/s in a different perspective that will allow you to forgive.

As I mentioned at the beginning, forgiveness can be a difficult process, however remember that the benefits of doing it are for you.

If it is too difficult to deal with on your own, think about using a coach who can facilitate this process by helping you to identify areas where forgiveness needs to be applied and offering you valuable support during the process.

Author: Steve Decker – Life Management & Success Coach

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