FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM – you’re allowed to let go

Forgiveness is a necessary life skill for anyone living a human existence. We are going to make mistakes; other people are going to make mistakes. We must accept this as a fact of life and learn how to let go of anger and resentment and move forward in a healthy way in order to heal.

Usually when we think of forgiveness we think about forgiving people who have wronged us but even more important and profound is learning to forgive ourselves. Yes, we must let go of the anger, frustration, disgust, disappointment we have towards ourselves; we are allowed to. Forgetting or repressing what we have done keeps us trapped.

When we have been around people who are very hard on themselves and others it can make it difficult for us to learn to forgive. Search for forgiveness stories and realise that people are able to let go of deep hurts and heal. People have found the strength to forgive themselves for worse than we have done, it’s time to stop carrying these burdens.

Compassion towards ourselves leads to compassion towards others and vice versa. This is a cornerstone of healthy relationships. Forgiveness can set us free from people who have hurt us or betrayed our trust. When we hold resentment towards someone, they don’t suffer, we do. We think it brings justice but it’s actually just hurting us. Forgiveness is not for them, it’s for us.

What forgiveness is NOT

Let’s clarify some forgiveness myths:

  • Forgiveness is NOT: Denying or pretending something didn’t happen. 
  • Forgiveness is NOT: Having no consequence for a behaviour. 
  • Forgiveness is NOT: Having the pain magically go away. It might take a long time to heal.
  • Forgiveness is NOT: Finding a way to allow that person to stay in our life.
  • Forgiveness is NOT: Changing our boundaries to accommodate Someone else’s behaviour.

If we are suffering due to an inability to forgive ourselves, we can begin by trying to right the wrong. Often, expressing an apology in any form will help you towards self-forgiveness. That doesn’t mean the other person has to forgive us. Our own self-forgiveness is not dependent on others. That being said, if we are really honest and vulnerable with the person about our mistake and offer a heart-felt apology, they are likely to forgive us. We shouldn’t be attached to this outcome though.

If there is nothing more we can do to make it better, we gain nothing by living with guilt and regret. There is something to be learned from the experience, so consciously acknowledge the lesson and implement it in life. Self-reflection is key here. We may need to venture into deep and uncomfortable places within ourselves to truly see why we did something but only then can we understand it, heal it, and trust ourselves not to do it again. Remember that all humans make mistakes and it does not make us bad people. These life experiences are crucial for growth. What is that thing you are still punishing yourself for? Time to let it go.

3 thoughts on “FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM – you’re allowed to let go

  1. Hi Natalie……this isn’t a specific reply to your recent post, but it is the only way I could figure out to get in touch with you (I don’t do Facebook, Twitter, etc.) Anyway, I want to THANK YOU most sincerely for your video “An Unbiased Review of The Untethered Soul !! This book was highly recommended to me by my therapist, but I found it very troubling, for all the reasons you stated. So when I came across your video it was such a help. I agree with everything you said…..some of the ideas are good, but the whole approach is way too simplistic yet very confusing. I’d like to write more,but this is cutting me off. THANK YOU again!

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    1. Hi Marjorie, thank you so much for your lovely message. I am so glad my Untethered Soul review was reassuring for you. A book with a similar theme but way more palatable in my opinion is: Letting Go by David Hawkins. Again I don’t buy into all of the ideas presented in the book, it’s always good to critically engage with these things in my opinion, but I did take away some valuable lessons. Anyway I wish you the best on your healing journey, I will be with you in spirit as I move along my own. Big hug, Natalie 🙂

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      1. Thanks so much, Natalie, for your kind reply. I appreciate it. I will definitely check into Letting Go by David Hawkins. I also wanted to tell you that in my searching I also found The Power of Now by Eckhart Toll. VERY deep, but VERY interesting—about halfway though it. Same basic ideas as Singer, but told in a much kinder, gentler way…..and much more understanding and accepting, while being quite profound. I see you listed him as one of your “gurus” and he definitely has become one of mine. Who knew at age 81 I still had so much to learn! 🙂 Thanks again…….Love and hugs, Marjorie

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