The Psychology of Forgiveness: 7 Lessons on How to Finally Let Go and Forgive Someone

A former client of mine we’ll call Mary was the childhood victim of some of the worst abuse I’ve ever heard of: She was chronically beaten by her alcoholic father—having to be admitted to the hospital several times as a result—molested multiple times by another close family member, and frequently manipulated emotionally by her mother in order to hide her father’s abuse and “keep the family safe.”

As Mary recounted her horrific childhood, I was struck by the obvious fact that she was in her mid-seventies and had been living with this pain for a lifetime. She went on to explain how, as bad as the actual abuse was and all the effects it had on her growing up, it was her inability “to let go” now that bothered her most:

I just can’t seem to let go of this… I’ve been in therapy almost my whole life trying to deal with my trauma and be free of it, but I think about it constantly. Dozens of things remind me of my parents and what they did to me every day, and every time I get upset.

I’m 74 old. More than anything I want to be able to forgive them and move on with what’s left of my life.

Needless to say, I was stunned—both by the tragedy of what I’d just heard but also by the challenge ahead of me professionally. How do I help someone who has every reason in the world to be angry, upset, and resentful, to “let it go,” get on with her life—and even, to forgive?

Mary and I worked together for over a year. In that time we gradually uncovered the obstacles to the forgiveness Mary desperately wanted. In the process, Mary slowly found her way to a kind of forgiveness of her family—and along with it, she discovered a degree of peace in her life she’d never known.

It’s one of the great privileges of my life that I get to work with people like Mary and learn from them every bit as much (if not more) than they learn from me.

What follows are 7 lessons on genuine forgiveness I learned from my work with Mary and other clients like her.

1. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting

Baked into our culture is the notion of “forgive and forget,” the idea that in order to forgive we need to forget the wrongs done to us.

This is nonsense.

Barring some form of serious neurological condition, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever be able to forget a serious wrong committed against you.

But, if your bar for achieving forgiveness is elimination from memory, you’re setting yourself up for chronic frustration and even guilt since it’s simply not biologically or psychologically possible.

While we can’t control what memories stick with us or not, we can control our attention. Specifically, we can exert control over how much we choose to focus on and ruminate about past wrongs committed against us.

Obviously, some amount of reflection and processing of the offense is likely helpful. But it’s a mistake to assume that because your mind is drawn to a specific thought or memory, you should allow your attention to stay there.

If you choose to engage with and elaborate on these spontaneous memories of your offender or the offense, you will make it more likely that similar thoughts and memories arise in the future. On the other hand, if you acknowledge them but then choose to re-focus your attention elsewhere, you will make it less likely that these memories will intrude on you in the future.

Set and enforce healthy mental boundaries. Your mood will thank you for it.

You can’t control your memories, but you can control your attention.

2. Forgiveness and anger don’t mix well

It’s normal to feel anger toward your offender. There are good evolutionary reasons for this related to the maintenance of social order and fairness. Feeling angry also temporarily feels good—it’s an ego boost.

But in the long-run, unchecked anger often leads to unhelpful amounts of mental elaboration over the wrongs done to you, which keeps those memories strong and readily accessible in your mind.

The less you mentally elaborate on your anger and what happened to you, the less frequently your mind will remind you of what happened.

When you notice yourself feeling angry, pause briefly and acknowledge the anger, validating that you have every right to feel angry. But then ask yourself: Will continuing to elaborate on what happened and extending my anger do me any good in the long-term?

Just because your anger is justified doesn’t mean it’s helpful. Validate your anger, but don’t feed it.

3. Forgiveness does not mean endorsement

Many people who struggle with forgiveness have been given the advice that they need to “accept” what’s happened and move on. The problem is, terms like “acceptance” are fuzzy and mean different things to different people.

Many people hear the word “accept” and assume that it implies endorsement, that you’re somehow okay with what happened or justifying it.

But acceptance does not mean endorsement or justification. Many people who are victims of an injustice are further victimized by being manipulated into believing that they were somehow at fault for the bad thing that happened to them. That’s not acceptance.

Acceptance means acknowledging that you don’t have power or control over the past.

This is a surprisingly hard thing to do for people who have been abused or otherwise wronged somehow because feeling like the past is controllable makes us feel more powerful.

But ultimately, it’s an illusion. Choosing to let go of the desire to control the past is key to taking control over your future.

You can accept an offense against you without excusing it.

4. Forgiveness does not require reconciliation

Many people who have been wronged assume that they must achieve reconciliation with the person who wronged them.

This is especially common, I’ve found, among people with a strong religious background. While I can’t speak to anyone’s specific religious beliefs, I do know that from a psychological perspective, reconciliation is not required for forgiveness. And in fact, holding out for it can actually be detrimental to achieving genuine forgiveness.

The problem with making forgiveness contingent on reconciliation is that other people aren’t under your control. No matter how much you want the person who’s wronged you to see the error of their ways, offer a heartfelt apology and restitution, and mend the relationship, you can’t control that. And it’s dangerous to spend time and energy trying to control things we don’t ultimately have control over.

Specifically, I’ve seen many people who are so focused—borderline obsessed—with achieving reconciliation with their offender, that they don’t have the mental and emotional energy left over to work on the aspects of forgiveness they do have control over. In other words, there’s tremendous opportunity cost in making forgiveness dependent on reconciliation.

Hope for reconciliation if you wish, but don’t expect it.

5. Forgiveness is not one decision

Forgiveness begins with a single decision but it doesn’t end there.

No matter how many stories you hear about the “moment of forgiveness,” realize that forgiveness is a process, a journey.

A firm decision and commitment to forgive is an important first step, but be realistic about the fact that it is just that—a first step. There will likely be many more steps along the road to forgiveness:

  • You will continue to see that relative you had the spat with at future family gatherings.
  • Memories of your trauma will pop into mind from time to time.
  • Your efforts at reconciliation will not be reciprocated.

One decision to forgive is not enough. Be prepared to continue to forgive, day in and day out. And while it may get easier with time, forgiveness is forever.

Forgiveness is not a decision; it’s an attitude, a habit of mind.

6. Forgiveness is not a feeling

Many people struggle with forgiveness because they confuse the act of forgiveness with their expected emotional outcome. Specifically, most people who are struggling to forgive desperately want to feel better—they want peace of mind, less anger and hate, calm and equanimity, perhaps they even want to feel compassion or love toward their offender or the person responsible for their hurt.

But how we end up feeling is a consequence of forgiveness, not forgiveness itself. What’s more, the feelings that follow (or don’t follow) from forgiveness are not always the same. They vary greatly depending on the specifics of the people and circumstances involved.

There’s no law of the universe that says everyone is guaranteed to feel at peace as a result of forgiveness. In fact, one of the things that make genuine forgiveness so difficult is coming to terms with the fact that how you feel emotionally about a serious wrong committed against you is not fundamentally under your control.

You can control your actions—how you think and how you behave, including the decision to forgive—but how we feel is not something we have direct control over.

People do tend to feel better as a result of forgiveness, but it’s a mistake to expect a certain set of feelings.

Forgiveness is a commitment, not a feeling.

7. Your road to forgiveness is your own

After being wronged, our emotional landscape gets dominated by one or two loud (and sometimes culturally-engrained) emotions, typically some form of anger. But there are almost always other emotions present and worth considering on the road to forgiveness.

Cultivate the habit of looking beyond and beneath your most obvious emotions and noticing smaller, quieter ones. These are emotions are just as valid as your anger, for example, but they may be more helpful.

If you can allow yourself to feel the sadness, regret, and pity for what happened, for example, you may be able to see your offender and offense in a new light.

In turn, this may help you think about and act differently, perhaps in a way that better aligns with your long-term values and desire to forgive and let go.

Embrace the emotional distinctiveness of your own road to forgiveness.

All you need to know

Too often we think about forgiveness in vague ethical or philosophical terms. But fundamentally, the road to forgiveness is psychological, not moral:

  • What are the habits of mind that genuinely set us free from past offenses and wrongdoing?
  • What are the decisions we can make and actions we can commit to that will lead to true peace of mind?
  • What relationship with the past is most likely to help us move forward?

To find genuine forgiveness and move on with our lives, we must understand the sometimes counterintuitive psychology of forgiveness and commit to our own unique journey toward genuine peace and freedom.

As my client Mary said at the end of our final session together:

I spent my whole life obsessed with what had happened to my past self and how I could fix it. But finally, at 75 years old, I’ve learned to be selfish—to really consider what I want and what I can do to make that happen.


Add Yours

Thanks for this article Nick. I wish I could afford to hire you to help me because your articles help me out so much. There’s a lot of great info here and I’m going to share it on my linked-in.

For me it was when I let go of the anger, the hurt and the misinterpretation of what my part played in someone else’s pain & suffering that healing began. Sometimes people closest to us do terrible acts. It wasn’t so much about me personally, maybe, but I needed to understand the human mechanism that makes others inflict their pain on to others.

Jules,I think that maybe people inflict pain on others, because they’ve been hurt by someone else or depressed about something, so then their miserable. So maybe then they cannot stand to see other people happy, so they inflict pain on them to make them miserable too. You know the old saying, “misery loves company”.

Great article Nick. Understanding better what forgiveness actually is very helpful.

Thank you for your valuable and insightful points to ponder. I agree that forgiveness is psychological and not necessarily visible to those around us because forgiveness doesn’t always result in continued contact. Sometimes I think I have smoothly navigated through an episode until I encounter an offender and emotions associated with the hurt are re-triggered. Avoiding the person seems like the best way to reduce re-opening the wound caused by habitual hurtful behavior. The emotional energy required to interact charitably with certain individuals can simply be exhausting.

Thanks, Anna. And yes, I agree as well—avoidance and forgiveness are not incompatible. And maybe avoidance even helps at times.

Nick, your articles keep renewing me “innermostly”. I think if everyone could learn this lesson about forgiveness, there will be no fighting in our world. Anyway, we will make a world of our own in our various spheres of influence. Thank you for always making time to contribute to our well being.

I’ve been trying without success to forgive an extended family member who sexually abused me for years as a child. And he received payment from who knows how many other men to also rape me.

How do I forgive this man who is now dead – and the other men who I haven’t a clue how many nor who they are???

Hi Becka,
My heart goes out to you dear. I also was sexually abused since I was 5 by my bio dad and trafficked at 18 by him.
He passed away in 2009 and my mother passed in 2000 without asking for forgiveness. I chose to forgive him and my mother for allowing such atrocities to occur.

Becka, forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself. When we choose to let go of all the pain in our past we are actually releasing ourselves from the mental prisons we find ourselves in. Forgiveness is a commitment, a process, a journey, not a feeling.
The more you acknowledge and let go of every emotion that shows up, the faster you’ll clear your internal energetic field and be free from those emotions. It will get easier as time passes.
When negative information in the form of a memory shows up in the future, choose to acknowledge it and transform it into Love, Peace and Harmony.

I have struggled with this ‘elusive’ need to forgive the wrongs not only of the past, but of those that persist and continue. I am emotionally handicapped by the impact I constantly beat myself up over having allowed to hurt me so deeply. I am a mother. My ‘wrong doer’ is a woman who, to keep the financial comfort, my son has provided, through her deception and manipulation, secure, she intends thatvIvbe removed from my sons life. This is due to her undisguised, honesty to me, regarding who and what she is and wants. My medical background as well as a long journey through the numerous religions of our world, searching for that common thread that units them all, has enabled me to quickly surpass the stage of anger. My trauma is in the hurt, pain and heart break. Your ‘7 Steps To Forgiveness’ has allowed me to take my first unrestricted breath. The truths you proclaim have allowed me to feel okay about how I FEEL. That was the ticket with me. Everyone kept telling me I was giving away my control and power because of how this person has made me feel. I, long ago, acknowledged that I had no power or control to change her or protect my son. I have, instead, tried to focus on regaining my peace. I have failed miserably. You have clarified, why. A change in perspective. A change in expectation. Taking charge of my own Road to Forgiveness. A heart felt and deep thank you.

Hi there, I just came across your article in my search of forgiveness. It’s been a serious struggle forgiving the wrongdoer. I’ve been feeling ‘stuck.’ Your words gave me insight and hope.

Thank you Nick.

I totally agree with all the points made in this article. I find that when I forgive someone, it is not so much about the other person but more for myself in moving forward.

If I cannot forgive someone, I cannot move on with life.

I find this quote by Nelson Mandela to be extremely true: “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

What a great article! When the person needing forgiveness is one’s self, are there any considerations that should be made to your points. I would be very interestedin your perspective about self forgiveness.

Looking for forgiveness to move on from childhood abuse, I spent a long time trying to ‘control the past’ by seeking reconciliation and also to improve the person – who was a child when he began abusing. This ultimately led to a major breakdown but more than this a failure to put myself and my work first in any area, that led to chronic self sabotage and frustration (I’m a focused driven person). So i came to read this four months after the breakdown, having already resolved to no longer behave in this way, but concerned regarding how to forgive without making these continuing self-harms or sufferings. This article’s careful but direct distinctions of the issues around reconciliation were gold dust. Thank you so much. Your articles are so clear. I’m in the UK btw so you’re helping people globally. Good for you. Sometimes a bite size helps push all the other work done over a lifetime into a manageable reminder when habitual thoughts or uncertainty of how to manage thoughts arises. I find that your articles really help re-focus my mind and give a lot of hope with that – re-energising the belief in forward movement.

I really found your article insightful. I am “stuck” and need to forgive a person in prison for killing my daughter. I need my life back and to move on. What books do you suggest on this subject. Mahalo.

There is no such thing as forgiveness. It has never existed. Just a maladaptive behavior we created to make us feel better. Totally useless and complete nonsense. Great fiction. 🙂

Lladnar, that is a very sad and depressing response.
No one will ever get anywhere in life or find JOY if they can’t forgive. SURELY you don’t believe forgiveness is nonsense!!

Thanks for the well written article, Nick. Gives a different perspective of forgiveness.
For me, my experience is bitter and long. My wife’s brother cheated us (she and I) financially, during a time that we were at our lowest point when we were struggling with finances. He’s a self-confessed gambling addict who cheated on everyone else in the family, including his own parents.
Years later, when I thought this was all behind me, he stuck again. And again and again – total 3 more times. This has caused strains in my relationship with my wife too. I’m now left feeling many times more bitter and honestly, I’m not sure if I can ever “really” forgive. I have burned bridges with him with the hope that I will love myself more.
Praying very hard to be strong

Hard to forgive someone who is unwilling to apologize for an obvious wrong doing. A Narcissist views forgiveness as permission. Do not go back for round two if you are dealing with a Narcissist…..If someone is unwilling to apologize and engages in blame shifting, gas lighting etc…… WALK…

Thank You ????at 77 , Now I’m
Understanding … allways thought I needed My Family to understand … I have forgiven ,
asking them to forgive Me for becomming “The Black Sheep”
at 13 I left School ,made it around the World ???? ????
(My Suitcasd was My Best Friend ) Learned to Love My International Life ..but
ALLWAY feeling a failure…
Despite the fact I made it !
Raised 3 Beautifull Men …
I Forgave many People
Yet, My lack of Self,-respect
Often invite / attract same
offenders …I NOW , can
Say NO … ❤

When I adopted Eastern philosophies, the psychology of accepting the past and future do not exist in my “today,” I began to understand how to forgive. An abusive adopted mother, a first husband who smothered me into the white light, and other people along the way who worked to diminish me…at age 64 I learned how to forgive all of them. I can speak freely now without significant emotion and I am not influenced by the pain of memory. The desire and implementation of forgiveness is what I’ve come to know as peace. Without forgiveness you will never know peace. My life is happy now. Joy is the true reward of forgiveness, and the only way you’ll ever experience it. Thank you for a thoughtful piece, Nick, and for your contributions to improving the lives of many! ????

Hey Nick. This is Nick. One of the best articles I’ve read on forgiveness . Like to hear more nuts and bolts on the process. Based on the comments, most people really struggle with this one. Thanks

This is the best article I have ever read about personal struggle with forgiveness, but I need to hear more, I need to read more . I am looking for information on how to handle past traumatic experiences. The memories stick in my mind daily.I wonder if this is what we call negative thinking. If it is,I am then so negative on a daily basis. I just need professional help.

Great article! So true and it helps me to put a lot into perspective. I will read it everyday while I work through my own issues of forgiveness. I needed this, thanks.

I asked “Siri”, “How does someone truly forgive the hurt caused by what they did to cause the hurt?”
Your article popped up, which I believe is providential!
I learned so much from your advice and remembered that many eons ago, that after praying for the offender to “change”, (he never did)), but I realized that “I” changed! My feelings towards him became the ability to just think of him as just being an individual with a problem: there wasn’t any hate or any type of animosity. I felt peace. That was over 40 years ago and he still remains the same; I still pray for him and any enemies I may have.
But back to your advice on “forgetting”, it was just what I needed to know I am dealing with currently with a trusted family member that betrayed my trust! I was livid at first but was able to forgive her, however, I am having difficulty “forgetting”!
Today is a funeral for her brother who died from COVID-19, , my nephew, and I do not know if I should attend. The family is upset with me because I “quarantined” myself for a month after some of the family visited him. I did not allow myself to get upset and feel I was justified in doing so and they had the right to react anyway they choose.
After texting this, I decided to attend because I loved him and I am doing it out of respect for him and his immediate family!
Thank you for your insight and the fact that you are sharing your knowledge free of charge! God bless you and your family!

Thank you so much for this article. I feel as if you wrote it for me. I didn’t realize how much anger I carried with me on a daily basis that had everything to do with how much I had been wronged in the past. I must move forward and forgive, and never forget because it made me into the person that I am today. It will surely be a struggle for me on a daily basis because I just can’t fix bad behavior (anger on my part) in a day. God bless you.

Thank you for this article, so it’s true! I’m still struggling 16 years later as a post abortive women who felt intense pressure with no option other to abort and I thought I was trying strong enough to live with it. It is difficult to forgive all those involved, including an industry that didn’t provide me with adequate counseling, information and options, so that is an injustice in my eyes.

Forgiveness is a term for ourselves. Giving ourselves permission to feel the pain, process the pain, and heal the pain. It is a journey. One thing that is incredibly helpful is empathy and being kind to ourselves. We will never forget but eventually the pain will lessen by not taking up as much space as it did at the experience point of trauma. I agree with others that reconciliation is not necessarily the goal. Self love and reframing our present and future lives to create new positive memories are within our control. No one is saying that this is an easy journey. It can be very helpful to remove as many trigger reminders as possible….again to create new space. I have heard of others putting their anger and hurt down on paper….everything you want to say to the abuser and then ritualistically burn the letter. It is a way to acknowledge the pain and hurt and then watch it burn into hell and then envision yourself as rising up from the ashes reborn, rebirthed like a rising Phoenix. I pray for peace to you all. Blessings to you.

Revisiting this article and it is just as helpful as the first time, if not more. I was really struggling with forgiving someone who had assaulted me, and feeling totally shocked, confused, and overwhelmed. Since it happened, though, I just want to learn how to move on with my life. It’s hard to stop ruminating and obsessing over it, questioning myself and the offender over and over again. It’s so easy to get totally trapped by the past. Forgiveness requires selfishness. It’s less of something you do for others and more of a tool you use for your self and own well-being. What is the best for me in this situation? How do I stop ruminating? I can’t stress how important this article is in deconstructing forgiveness. It’s a practice that you choose for yourself, a breaking of habits, and a way to live in the present. Thank you.

Hi Nick,
I am struggling with my constant feelings of guilt. When my son was a child I beat him and would often shout a lot. I became a single parent when he was 2 after his father started being physically abusive and moved to be closer to my family because my mother promised me she would help us. She did not but resorted to her old psychologically abusive self. We ended up in a B&B then rented accomodation. My son developed type 1 diabetes when he was 5 and I cannot explain the fear that arrives in your life when your child is diagnosed with a life changing and threatening condition. I tried to plan for a better future and went back to college and even got into university but with no familial support and only constant criticisms I eventually had a break down and did not finish my final year. My son was a lively, cheeky and pretty much an always in trouble at school and home child but I never got a break no matter who I turned to for help. I started to drink heavily, at first in order to turn off my constant anxiety and get some sleep but it did not take long for me to become dependant. Our lives were a living nightmare and my poor son suffered a lot. I can never forgive myself for the terrible way I often treated him and I have punished myself for my failures as a mother for these last 25 years. Now my son has children of his own but will not let me see them and he is always angry and constantly reminds me of my abusive ways. Sounds bad I know and it was/is but here’s the thing – I was physically punished as a child by my elder sister who was beaten by my mother (I now recognise my mother as being a covert narcissist). My sister even let go of me in the deep end of a pool before I learned to swim! I was given alcohol from a very early age and drugs from age 14. I believe I am a caring person who acted out of character when I was abusive to my son but my mother continues to remind my son and his partner of how horrible I was and she also makes things up or exagerrates stories about my badness. I know it but I have no power to prevent any of this. My son actually beat me when he was a teenager, he was viscious and terrifying at times but I believed I deserved it at the time. Obviously I cannot explain everything here but I have always expressed how sorry I was/am and like I said I asked the authorities for help at the time and only more punishment for me was the outcome of that. My mother knew what was going on but did nothing to help and only ever made matters worse with her constant belittling of me and my concerns. I went no contact with my mother 2 years ago – she still makes me want to curl up and die! Do you believe I am sn essentially flawed humam being as my mother and son would have everyone believe or do you recognise a chain of familial abuse of which only therapy (which I nor my son can afford) will help us out of the seemingly endless recriminations, blame and guilt? I feel my heart is breaking almost every day..

Hi Viv. I couldn’t help but respond to you. My prayers and my heart go out to you. You cannot, I repeat cannot live in the past. Yes you have regrets about choices that you made but always remember that there is not one thing you can do for your past but move on. You have apologized to those that need apologies. That’s all that you can do. If you apologize and change your old behavior you have done your part. We cannot make others forgive us, we can only seek forgiveness from them and pray that GOD will deal with their hearts to forgive. It sounds like your family members need to ask for your forgiveness as well and be willing to change their wrong behavior. Remember that the enemy ((Satan)brings about division. He has done that in many families. Keep praying for healing and the needed changes in your family. I too was treated wrong by an adopted mother. Praying for you.

Hello Barbara, I only just noticed your reply to me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind words and prayers.

I have been reading dozens of articles about forgiveness and they all say the same thing. All of them say if you want to forgive you have to make the conscious decision to “let it go”. What does that mean and what is that process? If somebody has purposely done you wrong, how can you honestly “let it go” when you know what was done to you was willfully, purposely and unapologetically and even though their actions doesn’t consume you one a daily basis when their name is mentioned you are taken back to the anger and rage towards them? Explain how that process works.

Thank you for sharing some valuable lessons in form of this article and I do believe in forgiveness but as much as it is important to forgive, it is also very difficult to do so.
May God give everyone the strength to forgive.

I find your guidance so helpful. I am taking notes and referring to them as the day unfolds and review them before I go to sleep at night.
I have had bad things happen to me that I have internalized as my own fault and stupidity. I was doing well for 3 years then it suddenly started preying on my mind again. I am so happy I found this site.

Thank you so much for this article.
I have an older sister I’ve looked up to my whole life, but she has become an alcoholic. Recently, during a gathering in my home as our mother was dying in care facility in town, this sister took offense at something I said, and just blew up.
She ‘revealed’ that she has never liked me, etc etc.
I was crushed.
Our step-sister told me afterward that she’d had a similar experience.
I know a lot of it was the booze talking … but some of it was the booze letting her filters off too.
She’s never going to admit she was wrong, or ask for my forgiveness.
So thank you for helping me see how to deal with it for my own good.

Thanks again Nick. A couple of days ago, after being “border line obsessive” for my adult life I decided to try to lead a happier life. Lo and behold your latest newsletter was in my inbox when I looked today. I’ve read it twice and no doubt will refer to it many times but now I feel I have a chance.

Hello, I have one question, what if the person who did the wrong was oneself ? And what if the wrong done was to oneself. For example a choice that completely violated ones own moral code and sacrificing a life long goal for the sake of another?

What if all the anger, resentment and disgust is directed at yourself ?

Hi, Nick, I’m another Mary, only many years younger, so I’m hoping to achieve some peace of mind soon enough… Congratulations on your successful work with her, by the way and thank you so much for sharing it.

Anger kept me alive, literally, so many times that it’s really hard to let it go. For me, the most difficult part is to accept that people who are capable of such sadism and cruelty can get away with it without punishment, without everyone knowing who they really are; or even thrive because of it, because they got some kind of profit out of it. It feels so unfair and unacceptable…
After reading your article, I guess it’s probably because the idea of not being able to control or influence anything regarding what they do in general is simply unbearable. Also, knowing that they are not feeling guilty or sorry, let alone willing to change anything or make it up to me in any way doesn’t help at all.
For decades I left the door open to receive some kind of apology because I thought that would help me move on the most, but it never happened. I wasn’t doing it for them, but by expecting it I have been putting myself in degrading situations that didn’t allow me to grieve and let go. When it all probably comes down to engaging in a life-long grieving process after all…
Thank you, Nick, for pointing this out and for doing what you do. Your articles are beyond enlightening and spot on.

Thanks for your insights. I have begun a book on forgiveness, because I have an issue with it. I have person growing issues, with adult trauma as well. Although having worked an A.A. step work, and most of my childhood issues and flashbacks never come back, unless I am helping another human being with theirs, the idea, concept, and understanding concerning “Forgiveness,” needs clarification, defining, refining, and qualifying in my life. Thus, the book…So, thank you for your work.

Thanks for this article Nick. I wish I could afford to hire you to help me because your articles help me out so much. There’s a lot of great info here and I’m going to share it on my linked-in.
For me it was when I let go of the anger, the hurt and the misinterpretation of what my part played in someone else’s pain & suffering that healing began. Sometimes people closest to us do terrible acts. It wasn’t so much about me personally, maybe, but I needed to understand the human mechanism that makes others inflict their pain on to others.

Forgiving is the best way to let go of someone. To forgive another individual is to free ourselves from resentment and anger towards them. It’s not easy though but it helps in letting go of your pain and turning into a fresh new start with a clean slate. I know how it feel, been there. Good article Nick!

Thanks you, Mr Nick for this article. Can’t really say much here personally, as much as I need to confess that I just learnt a lesson that’s going to save my family and make me a man of honour. This was written for me. As I read, I cried all through; simply letting off over 3 decades of an emotionally retrogressive baggage. I feel so relieved. I feel so new. Now I know why I should forgive “70×7” deep in my heart, while being empathic to understand, tolerate and over/under look anything toxic from others.

The power “forgiveness” holds is something to be felt. Once in a while, learn to forgive others, and you’ll feel that you’ve added positive energy into your life. Thank you for explaining the concept of forgiveness in such detail. It’s inspiring indeed. Thank you.

Thank you Mr.Wignall. I forgave thems and ME. Going forward I will check my thoughts way better. Im also reading a book called living successfully with screwed up people by elizabeth b. brown(some times its me so the book is for both sides). It has helped me identify how I make matters worse and did lead me to the aforementioned forgiveness.

I was thinking if i successfully forgiven someone, the situation and its analysis should not pop up in my mind again. I’ve always thought I’m bad at forgiving. you can write with your hand an official note to God, that you have forgiven that person. It’s doesn’t mean God will not punish them, it means you will get an everlasting reward from God for your patience and strength. This life is short, but life after death is eternal.

This was great to read; a lot of helpful insights. I most appreciated your point on how anger can be so problematic to forgiveness, drawing us back into constantly remembering what happened and impeding acceptance. Thank you Nick.

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