Life & Love, Top Stories

Why Is It so Hard to Forgive?


Finding Forgiveness

We’ve all said it at least one time in our life about a person or situation; “I will NEVER forgive them for what they have done.”

You talk about it, think about it for weeks, months or even years, holding onto that powerful feeling of blame, self-righteousness and the need to be right. And maybe you are right! Maybe the person or situation does feel and look unforgivable and the only outlet you have in order to feel some kind of control over your heart being crushed or to bounce back from humiliation or outrage is to completely withdraw your presence, love or even a glimmer of a future forgiveness.

Unfortunately, 90% of the time the only person who is miserable over the situation is you, which is not being very kind to yourself. In truth, there are some despicable acts that it would take a saint to let go of and not want to strangle those involved. We are seeing it in the news everyday where innocent lives are being shortened by men with semi-automatic rifles filled with rage and self-hatred.

The biggest test of the soul

Regardless of what your religious or spiritual beliefs are, forgiveness is the biggest test of the soul and the one which most of us fail at first attempt, several or maybe never get it right but if you have designed in your life journey that you are presented again and again being put into a victim situation, then your higher self is asking something really big of your soul’s journey.

In the traditional view of forgiveness, a common element is that a crime has occurred against you, either directly or indirectly. By crime, that means any transgression that caused you pain, sadness, anger, fear, or other emotion that you did not want to feel at the time.

It could have been as large as a rape or murder or as small as a nasty look or icy silence. The bottom line is that being unable to forgive on any level is a judgement of self. The ego looks at it as though you could have, should have or would have somehow been able to stop it from happening and since you did not, you must blame someone. Even if it seems to be the most ridiculous situation that was out of your control, your ego still will tell you blame must be placed.

If you have lost someone through violence, then you think about all you should have said or done before the action. If an unloving action was taken against you, then your ego tells you somehow you should have been able to stop it. So, the ego always brings the inability to forgive back around to you. The bottom line is it is never easy but it is the only way of bringing peace to yourself and letting karma do its job.

16 tips to help to forgive

Here are some guidelines from the experts that may help in releasing the negative energy of unforgiveness.

  1. You cannot find peace unless you learn to let it go. That does mean holding those involved accountable but somehow finding enough love for yourself to stop the suffering YOU feel.
  2. Accept that you cannot change the past or events regardless. Some things are just in the big picture and we will never understand why.
  3. In the bigger outcome of a soul’s journey, there are no victims or predators, only participants.
  4. Try to be honest with yourself on how powerful it makes you feel to blame as it seems everything else has been taken away from you.
  5. Be willing to listen to forgiveness affirmations before you go to sleep or in your car.
  6. Talk to an impartial spiritual counsel not just continually “bitch” about the world being so unfair. (the world isn’t fair but it is how we accept those bad times is what makes us grow spiritually.
  7. If you are mourning the loss of a loved one through an act of violence, create a sacred space for your process to heal and forgive.
  8. Keep your focus on the love of self and for those you have lost and not the one who caused the pain.
  9. Get energetic healing bodywork done. If we continue to hold onto hate, anger, resentment, sorrow, pain or self-righteousness, your body will eventually take the hit and become ill or diseased.
  10. If only for a moment, find compassion for the one who brought on the pain. If you can do it once, you may find it will happen more.
  11. Be accepting that you may not understand what this soul’s lesson is about for you but to pray for the strength and guidance to get you through it.
  12. Be consciously aware that negative emotions, regardless if you feel they are justified, is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die from it.
  13. There is a grieving time that must be met and it is different for everyone. But if five years later, you are still talking everyday about the rat bastard who did this thing to you or your family, you are not only miserable but you are making everyone else miserable also.
  14. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean you have to forget. There are times where it is not possible to forget something. Forgiveness also does not mean it will instantly fix your friendships or relationships with the other person. But, it does mean you have come to terms with what was done and you no longer want to have a hard heart about it.
  15. Get rid of the idea that forgiveness is about condoning what the other person did, giving in, turning the other cheek, pretending nothing happened or forcing yourself to put up with a situation that will break your heart again.
  16. Embrace a new definition of what forgiveness is. That is being able to let the past go and moving on. Choosing serenity and happiness over righteous anger, stopping the instant replays in your mind over and over again like a broken record and realizing that anger and resentment is a sure plan to remain in misery for a long time or for the rest of your life.

Susan Z’s Verdict

In my many years of practice as an Emotional Addiction Counselor and Life Coach, the hardest clients to reach and have them embrace loving self were the ones who carried a hurtful grudge of how unfair life has been to them. Not realizing that projection came from their inability to forgive the past, themselves and others. Be free, be happy, be amazing and let the balance of karma do its thing….as it surely will.

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  1. This was really really good and helpful. It took every idea I have ever heard and put them together in a beautiful flow I can reference back to as needed. Thank you so very much for posting this. Truly a gem to savor. Have a lovely day. Thanks for making mine!