The Power of Forgiveness

White stones spelling forgive.

Forgiveness is a powerful tool that helps in overcoming anger and in healing. (Image: Raywoo via Dreamstime)

It is said that humans are not creatures of logic, but rather of emotions. Human as you are, it is natural for you to feel resentment, hurt, or pain when other people hurt you. Forgiveness is complex, and it involves an intense and complicated process.

Before you can forgive the person who has caused you to feel pain, you still need to confront your own emotions that come with the experience of being hurt. Yet despite all these, forgiveness is a compelling thing to do. They say people who can forgive others who have hurt them are strong individuals.

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Why? It is because forgiveness entails a strong character, the ability to heal yourself and to bring peace not only to your own life, but to other people’s lives as well.

But what does forgiveness mean?

You have probably heard the saying: “Forgive and forget.” Forgiveness does not mean forgetting or making an excuse for other people’s negative behavior. Instead, forgiveness is acknowledging and making a conscious decision to let go of the negative experience and the unpleasant emotions accompanying it.

Forgiveness is letting go of resentment or anger toward other people. It is also the ability to let go of the desire to seek vengeance or hurt others who have hurt you. At its core, forgiveness is showing compassion toward yourself and the person who has caused you to feel offended.

Why is forgiveness hard to do?

It is difficult to forget what others have done or let go of the experiences that hurt you. More so, you will feel so much resentment, especially if the person who has hurt you is a person you love, a person you would least expect to hurt you. Just remember: “The strongest people are the ones who can forgive.”

Forgiveness is not easy to do at all because it needs you to face your own hurtful emotions. So naturally, when you feel hurt, you will feel angry and betrayed, and all of these emotions can be overwhelming. But most of the time, your strong feelings protect you from being hurt even more.

Once you experience feeling betrayed by other people and other people break your trust, you learn to keep your walls high and not allow anyone to go near you. You often feel like you can’t justify the negative emotions you harbor within yourself because they validate your feelings.

It is difficult to forget what others have done or let go of the experiences that hurt you.
It is difficult to forget what others have done or let go of the experiences that hurt you. (Image: Kiosea39 via Dreamstime)

What can you gain by forgiving?

Ironically, holding on to pain, anger, or hurt can negatively impact your physical, mental, and psychological health. Keeping negative emotions can make you feel stressed, can cause you to be disturbed, and can even cause you to become sick. Indeed, being unforgiving is a curved blade because it comes back to you. The more you carry this anger and resentment, the more you suffer.

On the other hand, the act of forgiving feels like pulling a thorn out of your chest. But what exactly do you gain by forgiving? 


Forgiving can help you become more compassionate and empathetic toward yourself and others. Empathy allows you to place yourself in the shoes of other people. You learn to recognize that no one is perfect and realize we all make mistakes.


Forgiveness can contribute to your overall happiness. Can you imagine somebody who is always angry or who is always aggressive toward other people? That is somebody you don’t want to be around with, right? People who practice forgiveness are happier and can see the goodness in other people and situations. They can tolerate differences, put a smile on their faces, and let go of unnecessary grudges.

Good relationships

Forgiveness opens the door to healing and reconciliation. It helps you patch broken relationships, establishes bonds, and improves your relationship with yourself, your family, workmates, and everyone you meet.

Forgiveness can help you become more compassionate and empathetic toward yourself and others.
Forgiveness can help you become more compassionate and empathetic toward yourself and others. (Image: Евгений Полишко via Dreamstime)

How to forgive 

Forgiveness is a deep, thorough, and personal process. It is not always easy to do, but forgiveness is not impossible if you are willing to do it. To practice the ability to forgive, follow these steps:

Acknowledge your emotions

It is best to be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to see the parts of you that are bruised or wounded. 

Show empathy

Seeing the situation from other people’s perspectives is essential to understand why they are like that. Showing empathy shows you that the person who has hurt you has their struggles. As the saying goes: “Hurt people, hurt people.”

Choose to be kind

Kindness is something that you can give to yourself and other people for free. But in truth, kindness is not easy to show, especially to those who have hurt or offended you. That’s why kindness is a choice. You must choose to be the better person and consciously try not to let your emotions sabotage your happiness. 


We all have our ways of healing. One person may heal faster than another. At the same time, other people may heal slower than others. But that doesn’t mean that forgiveness is impossible. You only have one life to live, and holding onto grudges or pain will make you live your life miserably. So build a bridge instead of burning it.

In conclusion

Forgiveness is a compelling thing to do. However, it is an act that can bring healing, and it can also transform yourself and your relationships with other people. It may not be easy to do, but it can be done through practicing empathy and kindness.

Acknowledging your own emotions, seeing things from the perspective of other people, and making a conscious effort to bring them to your mind are some of the ways you can start forgiving. Instead of holding onto grudges, open up, get honest with your emotions, and learn to forgive and forget.

You may not always get the apology you seek, but at least, by choosing to forgive for your own sake, you can bring lightness and love to your life.  

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