The Choice To Forgive Is Yours
When you think of all the people in your life whose behavior bothers you, you're bound to be overwhelmed by the enormity of the task of forgiveness. You may ask yourself, " how do I deal with a challenge like this?" There are two ways to look at the forgiveness process.
1. As an impossible task.
2. As a fascinating challenge.
The choice is yours. You have free-will to do as you like but consider the following:
As a man thinks, so he is, and as a man chooses, so is he and so is his nature. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essay, "Spiritual Laws."
Why bother to forgive others in the first place? You may be wondering "what's in it for me?" if you do decide to forgive and let go. After all, forgiving others is just about the hardest thing in the world to do.
But help is on the way and I'm going to help you through the forgiveness process. Together we will learn how to let go of the past and celebrate the future.
Tips And StepsTo Forgiveness
- Tear down those walls. Do you pray for God's favor and yet hold on to grudges? That's like asking God for a happier life while you carry a large bag of hate around. You can't enjoy happiness while holding on to anger. This behavior will block your dreams from coming true.
- Move Forward. Turn your scars into stars. You can do this if you're willing to forgive. Hanging on to past hurts and unfair treatment will do nothing for your future. It will only hold you back.
- Forget Payback. Don't go around trying to pay everyone back for the injustices done to you. Yes, it's natural to feel bad about being lied to or betrayed. You're not expected to be a rock that can't be penetrated. But forget about seeking revenge.
- Return good for evil. We need to be kind to people and do good even when they are unkind to us. This isn't easy to do but with practice it's possible. We can all learn to return good for evil. Now I'm not suggesting we become a doormat for anyone but do your best to be a peacemaker. .
- Make a commitment with yourself now to do what you need to do to feel better. Once you've practiced forgiving those that have caused you anger and pain your burden will feel lighter.
- Stop mentally playing your hurt. Use your positive energy to accomplish your goals instead.
- It's about them, not you. Forgiveness comes easier when you remember that when someone hurts you by deed or verbally, it's about them and not you. Try not to take things personally.
- Forgiveness is healing. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, let go of your excuses and allow your emotional wounds to heal.
Bernie Siegel, M.D. gives us the following wise advice:
"Forgiveness is a method for giving love. It is a way of saying, "I am going to let go of the wrong you did; I am not going to be bitter and I am going to go on loving you anyway." Forgiveness allows us to go on loving and to begin healing. It is in for-giving that we receive."
Forgiving Others Isn't Easy
The point is, forgiveness isn't really about the other person, it's about you. The other guy may never know or even care whether or not you've forgiven him. He'll go about living his life anyhow not affected one way or the other.
But you will continue to burden yourself and your life by reliving the past offense again and again. Each time you do this, you are single-handedly punishing your own body and mind. Why would you do this to yourself?
You can' possibly live a happy life and be free unless you learn to forgive. Bitterness sets in and poisons and imprisons us when we hold on to anger and grudges. Forgiveness is the key to freedom and joy. You must forgive the people that hurt you. Does this mean you condone their behavior and actions? Heck no!
Is it easy to forgive others? Good grief no - not at all. In fact it's the most difficult thing to do.
This is why I'm writing this article. And I'm as guilty as you when it comes to holding on to past hurts. You and I deserve a life filled with joy, peace and harmony. We can truly have this just as soon as we forgive and let go.
Forgiving Yourself Is Healthy
The biggest obstacle to self-forgiveness is the tendency to serve ourselves a big plate of guilt.
This is even more difficult than forgiving others. We have a tendency to wallow in our own guilt, punishing ourselves before anyone else can. When hard times come we take it as a form of self-punishment and depression soon follows. We feel miserable for the rest of our lives because of course we deserve to.
Fred Luskin, PhD, director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project has this to say: "When we make the decision to feel miserable for the rest of our lives, this can have tragic consequences. For one thing misery loves company. If you continue beating yourself up, then the person who is trying to love you gets beat up too. This includes your spouse, children, parents, friends and even your dog and pets. Everyone around you suffers."
Your health is also at risk when you feel miserable. Studies have shown that when we have a problem forgiving others:
- Our heart rate increases
- Our blood pressure goes up
- Our digestion is disrupted
- Our muscles cramp and spasm
- We experience depression.
As you forgive others in your life you also forgive yourself.
Bitterness Devours And Destroys
Bitterness is a poison and makes our life bitter. Our thoughts become bitter, our words are bitter and our attitude is bitter. Being bitter never improves a situation. Our health is at risk when we hold bitterness within. It serves no purpose at all. Resentment ruins our life as it takes control consuming us and robbing us.
We want to see the other person punished for the pain they have caused us or our loved ones. We want and deserve revenge and even use good and bad karma to heal our wounds. Tell me, is this love?
It's impossible to live in a relationship where we won't be hurt at one time or the other. We are all human beings, not robots. Give yourself permission to make mistakes and give others the same permission. Bitterness can be dispelled with love.
Hurtful Feelings - Questions To Consider
Do you hold a grudge? Love does not hold a grudge.
- Are you easily offended or resentful?
- Do you get your feelings hurt about everything?
- Do you keep a mental record of how others have hurt you?
- Do you keep count of everything others do wrong?
Studies show that 95 percent of the time, when people hurt our feelings it wasn't intentional. People don't lay awake at night trying to figure out ways to offend us. In fact, most of the time others are even interested in us. It's our poisoned pride that keeps us hanging on to the list of judgments we make on others.
All the prayer and meditation we do to help us be a more loving person is a waste of time as long as we refuse to forgive others.
Forgiveness is a process. It's all about constant, diligent practice. The process never stops. Forgiveness is a tool that helps us move on and let the past go. The art of forgiving is a gift. When is the last time you've used this valuable tool?
Remember the following as you practice forgiveness:
- Don't be a prisoner of the past.
- The courageous forgive, the weak do not.
- Forgive yourself and stop beating yourself up.
- Instead of dwelling on past mistakes think about all the good things you've done. Maybe you were a bad mother but you can be a great and marvelous grandmother.
- Allow emotional wounds to heal.
- Let go of bitterness. Once the bitter root is gone, you'll be able to break free of your past. Joel Osteen
- Today can be a new beginning.
- Turn your scars into stars. Keep moving forward.
- It's during the tough times that we find out what we're really made of.
Remember the word "give" in the word forgiveness. Be a giver. Go out and help somebody else in need. Ask yourself the question, "Who can I bless today?" You can always be a blessing to someone else in some way.
Fred Luskin, PhD, director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project
Joel Osteen, author of Starting Your Best Life Now
Arnold M. Patent, author of You Can Have It All
Bernie Siegel M.D. Author of Prescription For Living
A Big Thanks To You
Thank you for being here. You've taken time out of your busy schedule to read my article. I'd love to hear how you feel about forgiveness. Please feel free to leave a few words in the comment section.
© 2015 Audrey Hunt
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on December 01, 2019:
Forgiving others, especially when we've suffered devastating emotional pain, is hard to do. Still, it's in our best interest to let go and move on.
I'm glad you've found my article helpful. Thanks.
Fin from Barstow on November 29, 2019:
A very important but difficult topic to address. I know that I hold onto things sometimes and it does result in the health issues you mention.
I think that reading passages such as this is really inspirational to try and work on forgiveness. It is important to develop a mindful perspective.
Your use of professional references is also a useful technique in getting your point across. A great tool for guidance.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on July 30, 2017:
Thank you for you wisdom and light on the subject of forgiveness. I love your comments.
Matthew Frederick Blowers III from United States on July 30, 2017:
Forgiving is For Giving peace and absolution to others. It is one of the hardest task we have to face but so many good things can grow out of the blessing of someone else mistake for you. then it can somewhat be forgotten. We all carry the scars from a cutting tongue, a lack of fidelity, a lie told to hide what truly was obvious, the list is endless and leaves so many friendless with others. But an embrace or perhaps a tearful kiss or simply a few bentle words can heal most any breach. Lovely article Audrey.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on July 23, 2016:
Thank you for your wonderful comments. Good words of wisdom my friend. Hope all is well in your world.
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on May 23, 2016:
What a great article. I find it hard to forgive but I do eventually. However, I find it hard to really forgive myself. My past mistakes continue to haunt me. They shape who I am and the time has to come to let go.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on April 12, 2016:
Thank you for your insightful comments. And also thanks for sharing this book. I'll order it and look forward to reading it. Take care my friend.
rajan, dear friend. Thank you for being here and taking the time to read my hub and leaving your valuable comments. Forgiveness is difficult for some people...for me it 's easy as I don't judge others in the first place.
Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 25, 2016:
I completely agree with the points you make in this hub Audrey. For our peace of mind and body we ought to forgive others and move on. Sharing.
RTalloni on March 21, 2016:
Articles on the topic of forgiveness are always intriguing because the scope and scale of the way humans aggravate and even truly hurt each other seems infinitely broad. Thank you for presenting this guideline from the perspective of Bible principles.
Something God has helped me keep in mind is that He loves mercy and He wants us to love it like He does, but that did not come easily. First, my own human-ness always got in the way. Learning more about His Word enabled me to begin learning from His Word. That was (still is) a process that required a deepening relationship with Him through Jesus the Christ.
Then, a specific heartbreak was so severe that it caused me to have to choose to draw closer to God or to allow my faith to fail. Thankfully, God is faithful to His Word. He really is omnipresent and His omnipotent power really is omniscient. His greatness contains incredible mysteries to even believers, but He is well able to help those who will turn to Him. Of course, putting it all this way is simplistic, but nonetheless true.
Fast forward to today. Besides providing for me through the counsel of His Word, God was kind to provide me with resources that I can now recommend to others. If you haven't read Unpacking Forgiveness by Chris Brauns
you would find it very useful because as you've alluded to here, forgiveness is something that is a constant need in our lives and the deepest hurts often mean that we must remember the truths of God's Word that apply to the unique circumstances they are wrapped in.
Thanks again for an insightful read that reminds of the need! :)
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on September 24, 2015:
stricktlydating Thank you so much for your kind and valuable comment. Really do appreciate this. Enjoy your day.
StrictlyQuotes from Australia on September 24, 2015:
You always give such fabulous advice thank you!
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on August 13, 2015:
teaches12345 - One of the best gifts we can give ourselves is to forgive others. As you have said, it's for our own good. It's also a difficult thing to do. Like you, I've only been able to forgive when I turn to God. Thank you and bless you my friend.
Dianna Mendez on August 13, 2015:
As always, your article is a very good read. I have learned to forgive others for my own good. It's not been easy but with God's help I've moved forward each time.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on August 07, 2015:
Thank you Robin for sharing your comments about my hub. Of course I agree with you. I appreciate your vote up for interesting and useful. I'll be visiting your articles soon.
Robin Grosswirth from New York on August 05, 2015:
Though this is sage wisdom, it cannot apply to all cases, particularly those that are sociopathic in nature. However, will vote up for interesting and useful.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on July 01, 2015:
rajan jolly - Your words are true. Peace only comes with forgiveness. Easy? Not at all. But necessary. Thank you for voting up awesome and sharing.
rebeccamealey - Yes, it takes a big person to forgive as forgiveness is the most difficult of all character challenges. Thank you for letting me know that my hub is helpful. Appreciate it Rebecca.
CatherineGiordano - I'm eager to read your hub on this topic. I love your "Forgiveness heals." Thank you Catherine.
CrisSp - I'm happy to know that my tips are useful. Appreciate your comments my friend.
CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on June 28, 2015:
"Who can I bless today?" I will remember that!
Thank you for the most useful tips. I thought I already knew it until I read this.
Love from the sky~
Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on June 22, 2015:
Excellent advice and good insights into forgiveness. I wrote on this topic myself. I wrote something very different from what you wrote, yet our conclusions were the same. Forgiveness heals. Voted up , I, E.
Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on June 10, 2015:
It takes a big person to forgive. Words like this sure help. Thanks, Audrey. Well done!
Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 09, 2015:
Forgiving is surely the most difficult of things to do. But if we need to be at peace with ourselves it definitely becomes necessary that we let go of hatred and ill feelings.
Wonderful write Audrey and very useful tips.
Voted up, awesome and sharing all over.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on June 04, 2015:
radhikasree - Thank you for your lovely comments my friend. Appreciate the vote up, beautiful and interesting.
Shyron - Oh, thank you for returning to my hub on forgiveness. I really appreciate your sharing. Joy to you!
ignugent17 - I do appreciate your sharing this hub with others. We all need a little help with forgiveness. Thank you.
ignugent17 on June 04, 2015:
I agree that forgiving is healthy. Thank you for sharing your great hub. :-)
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on June 03, 2015:
I came back to share this again.
Have a blessed day.
Radhika Sreekanth from Mumbai,India on June 03, 2015:
How nicely you wrote about forgiveness. All the quotes and the purpose to change a scar are very well described here. Voted up, beautiful and interesting.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on May 23, 2015:
Entourage 007 - You are so right! Very happy you mentioned getting something off your chest and moving on. Thanks so much!
Stuart from Santa Barbara, CA on May 23, 2015:
Its always nice to get something off of your chest when something is bothering you. When I forgive someone and just move on, the feeling is euphoric. Great article
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on May 22, 2015:
MartieCoetser - Oh, Martie, I love your comments. I so relate. I, too, am my own mother, talking myself into forgiving some of the heartless people that occupy a spot in the world. And above all, I must stop giving energy to their rudeness. Thanks so much.
sgbrown - You make a good point. Understanding why a person acts a certain way is a huge step in forgiving. Thanks for voting up and useful.
AudreyHowitt - I know just what you mean about forgetting. And your point is well taken. By remembering a particular thing that hurt us so much we are careful not to let it happen again. Thank you Audrey.
Audrey Howitt from California on May 22, 2015:
There is forgiveness which I think is healthy and necessary--and forgetting?? Maybe not so much--we sometimes need to remember not to go back to the thing that hurt so badly the first time---but I am digressing I think--this was a great hub on the issue of forgiveness--
Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on May 21, 2015:
Very good advice and tips for learning how to forgive. I learned that once I understood why someone did something, I could forgive them. Forgiveness is very important in our lives. Awesome hub! Up and useful!
Martie Coetser from South Africa on May 20, 2015:
Excellent tips and steps to Forgiveness, vocalcoach. Life is too short to live with grudges in our heart. Smell the flowers and move on, I say. I have to be my own stern mother, forbidding myself to ponder over those assholes who had hurt me in one way or another. Instead of wishing them bad luck, or swearing at them, the relief one feels when saying 'Bless them!' is quite amazing. So, yes, I say, 'Bless those assholes, for they have no idea how rude they were to me."
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on May 16, 2015:
TolovajWordsmith - Thank you kindly my friend for leaving this marvelous comment. I appreciate your story about your professor. Sending peace and harmony your way.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on May 16, 2015:
fpherj48 - I completely understand your "auto-forgive" process as I too seem to be this way for the most part. " I love so completely and unconditionally, trust, appreciate & act in concert with these emotions.....when I am wronged, betrayed or worse.....it is at that point I am simply DONE. My exit walk is not only easy, but nothing less is expected from myself nor can I accept an alternative." This is powerful Paula and I respect you for it.
I would love to have your uncanny knack for completely erasing someone from your mind. I don't seem to be able to do this. When I am hurt by someone I picture their face in my mind. When I forgive, I find that their picture fades releasing me from a kind of bondage. Make any sense?
Thank you beautiful Paula for your wisdom and thoughts on this difficult subject. I so appreciate you in so many ways. To love you is as easy as breathing. Hugs...Audrey.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on May 15, 2015:
torrilynn - I love your comment very much! This is a very important step to forgiveness - to be at peace with yourself first. In fact I wonder if forgiveness is even possible without being at peace with yourself. Brilliant point! Thank you!!!
Tolovaj Publishing House from Ljubljana on May 13, 2015:
I think you nail it with 'looking at forgiveness as a challenge", because we live in society where a payback is instilled in each on of us through all kinds of institutions. I had a professor, who had had a lot of (jealous) enemies and he managed to focus all the anger caused by their actions into passion for more work, more writing, more international networking. He achieved spectacular results. When I face similar situation, I always remember him and try to use something as powerful as anger to my advantage. I am not always successful, but with years wisdom comes and I think I am becoming better at forgiveness too.
Thank for great another read!
Suzie from Carson City on May 13, 2015:
Audrey.....This is beautifully presented and there's no doubt that I can understand the full impact of the truth in what you describe. I'm not at all unfamiliar with this concept of "forgiveness." In fact I have accepted this belief that is so widespread and fostered by the majority. Your special sort of compassion and kindness makes a strong impression.
For whatever reasons (and I have delved quite DEEPLY for years) while I am perfectly able to get on well with my life and far past injury or pain inflicted by someone, it simply hasn't seemed necessary for me to "forgive" that person in order to completely forget they exist & that I never knew them.
Perhaps in some strange way, I am on "auto-forgive" without going through the thought processes or the motions. It takes such grave and deeply serious, prolonged torture for me to arrive at the point of anger or disdain for someone in my life.....I truly think an actual "switch" simply goes off without my conscience intent.
This may be difficult to understand, but what I have finally come to terms with in my particular case is; I love so completely and unconditionally, trust, appreciate & act in concert with these emotions.....when I am wronged, betrayed or worse.....it is at that point I am simply DONE. My exit walk is not only easy, but nothing less is expected from myself nor can I accept an alternative.
I have an uncanny knack to literally erase someone from my mind, heart and life in general......as in never think of them ever again. This even frightened me when I realized I was able to do this. However, because of this, it surely does not seem necessary for me to feel the unbearable need to forgive anyone.
I hope you can understand what I've shared. When considering my children & their children & loved ones....there exits a blanket and completely unconditional forgiveness present before a possible situation even presents itself. This should go without saying.
I love this hub, Audrey. Thanks for sharing your ever-precious wisdom with us....UP+++pinned. Peace, Paula
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on May 12, 2015:
Hi Peggy. You are 100% correct! We are the ones who are suffering when we fail to forgive. And letting some people just exit our lives works for me too. So happy you like the hub and do appreciate your sharing with twitter and pinterest. My sharing buttons are nowhere to be found.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 12, 2015:
Being bitter and hanging on to past hurts only hurts us in the end. I also agree with Bill in that sometimes it is easier to just let people exit our lives if possible. Excellent hub and one definitely worth sharing! Also pinned and tweeted.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on May 11, 2015:
FlourishAnyway - Glad you found my tips helpful. This is my purpose for writing this hub. Thanks for commenting.
Shyron E Shenko - Forgiveness really is a gift we give ourselves. Provides us with freedom within bringing a kind of peace. So glad you stopped by and appreciate your hugs, votes up and more. Thanks for sharing.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on May 11, 2015:
Genna East - Thank you dear lady for approving my hub with your comments. This is a tough topic. To know others will receive help by reading my article is important. Enjoy your day.
Ann Carr from SW England on May 11, 2015:
Lots of wisdom and great advice here.
It is difficult to forgive sometimes but it does unburden us when we do.
This is very useful for setting out the whys and wherefores which you've done so well. I like your writing style, talking to us quietly and encouragingly. It works wonders!
Mary Hyatt from Florida on May 11, 2015:
My wise Mother told me once: When someone hurts your feelings or have just been mean to you, bake them some cookies. In other words, kill them with kindness.
I don't waste my time by holding grudges or being resentful!
Voted this UP
torrilynn on May 05, 2015:
I feel as if forgiving and letting go of past hurt from someone first starts with being at peace with oneself. You can't forgive another, if you first can't love and understand yourself in knowing that experiences like pain happen and that it is not your fault. Overall, great hub and voted up.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on May 05, 2015:
drbj - Hello my friend. Yes, forgiveness is a huge challenge (I have my own demons) but a wonderful way to release and let-go. Thank you for your kind comments and for your support.
Kristen Howe - Making peace with your mother was a wonderful thing to do - especially for you. Thank you my friend for sharing.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on May 04, 2015:
mcbirdbks - You share so much wisdom in so few words Mike. I love your comments and appreciate them. Forgiveness is a tough one, for sure. Thanks my dear friend.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on May 04, 2015:
Faith Reaper - Your wisdom rings true about forgiveness. We have been commanded to forgive and this doesn't mean 'selective forgiveness.' We've been told to forgive all people and to do good to those who hurt us. As you've said, emotions run high which can be a stumbling block on the road to forgiveness. Still, as children of God, we must proceed. Trust is another thing. Thank you for your lovely comments dear friend.
Many blessings sent your way.
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on May 04, 2015:
Audrey, so much good advice, fantastic article on forgiveness. I agree with Flourish that forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves. I know what I want to say and don't know how to express it.
Voted up, UABI and shared.
Blessings and (((((Hugs)))))
FlourishAnyway from USA on May 04, 2015:
Forgiveness is a journey and a gift you give yourself, as bitterness destroys from the inside out. You provide some good motivational tips.
Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on May 03, 2015:
Audrey, this is a topic that touches all, deeply. “It's about them, not you. Forgiveness comes easier when you remember that when someone hurts you by deed or verbally, it's about them and not you. Try not to take things personally.” Forgiving is not always easy…as a matter of fact, it can be darn hard. But by doing so, we help to heal ourselves and move forward in a positive, healthy way. This is a wonderful article, Audrey, and should be read by everyone. Thank you for sharing this with us.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on May 03, 2015:
MsDora - I'm very happy to see you here. Your comments are full of wisdom - all can benefit from them. Thank you!
Nell Rose - Letting go of hurtful comments is not easy to do. I'm still 'holding on' to one that about did me in 5 years ago. I know I'll experience a kind of freedom when I do. You and I both deserve this so let's do it girlfriend!
brakel2 - Hello my friend. Forgiveness is a huge challenge for sure. I would have loved to hear your talk on this subject. I need all the help I can get. I'll look for your hub on this subject. Thank you for your kind and supportive comments and for pinning.
Blessings and love,
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on May 02, 2015:
Audrey, this was beautiful and inspiring for everyone to read this hub about forgiving and forgetting the past. I did this before my mother passed away last year. When you let go, you feel so much better. Voted up!
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on May 02, 2015:
Hi Bill - I find that some people are easier to forgive than others, depending on the enormity of the deed. I'm still working on 2 people who are directly responsible for hurting my grandchildren. It's a tall order. I like your comment reminding us that we can live without certain people in our lives. Best to move on.
LaddyFiddler - Yes, absolutely. "Father forgive them...they know not what they do" is the most powerful example of all. If Christ forgave all those who persecuted him, then who am I to not do the same? Thank you dear friend.
Ruchira - Thank you wonderful lady for your comments and for the virtual hug. Somehow you knew how much I needed that.
denise.w.Anderson - I hope everyone visiting this hub will scroll down to your comments and read them. Your expression of a "pity party" is right on! Forgiveness is a tough one but we each need to take responsibility and practice this. Like you say, forgiving ourselves is really a challenge but so liberating. Thanks denise.
drbj and sherry from south Florida on May 01, 2015:
Forgiveness can be a tremendous challenge, Audrey, but your simple, realistic tips may go a long way to help folks practice that sometimes almost impossible task. Thank you for putting this well-written hub together and sharing it with us.
mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on May 01, 2015:
These are wise indeed. So many of us carry burdens that should long since be gone. Often the people that handed us the burden are also gone. Good advice, yet so difficult to follow.
Faith Reaper from southern USA on April 30, 2015:
Lovely post, Audrey. You have shared great wisdom here. A lot of times we have such emotion about another person for what they may have done to us or said, and that person has no clue and is going on with his or her life just fine, and then here we are miserable. It is a hard thing to forgive, but oh so necessary for our own peace of mind and good health. God tells us we are to forgive others no matter what. Having said all of that, we must forgive, but that does not mean we will be able to trust that person and that is okay. A lot of people have a hard time with understanding boundaries once trust is broken.
Up ++++ tweeting, pinning and sharing
Audrey Selig from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on April 30, 2015:
Hi Audrey - I love this hub, and I have written about forgiveness. The only successful version was a speech I gave about the subject. You have covered the topic so well, as usual, and outdone yourself. I need to take some tips from you, as you put so much passion in your writing. Great to stop by. Pinning. Blessings, Audrey
Nell Rose from England on April 30, 2015:
I do find it hard to let go, but these days its much easier, but boy I still have a grudge against one girl from many years ago, I don't want to feel like it, but can't help it! lol! great hub, and interesting reading, nell
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on April 30, 2015:
Thank you bravewarrior, my friend. For too many years I allowed my sensitive nature to misinterpret and dramatize the words of others. I caused my own pain. What A waste! Like you've pointed out, others don't mean to hurt us. Your comments are always paved with wisdom!
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 30, 2015:
"Stop mentally playing your hurt." The entire article is right on, but this step appeals to me. Our thoughts can destroy us unless we control them. Thanks for your very practical approach and counsel.
Denise W Anderson from Bismarck, North Dakota on April 30, 2015:
That is so true, that we tend to punish ourselves when we feel that we have done wrong, so that others won't have to! This business of wallowing in our own guilt is like a pity party that just won't quit! The rumination that accompanies it surely does lead to depression. I know that from my own experience! Learning to forgive myself was the most liberating thing that I have ever done!
Ruchira from United States on April 30, 2015:
Wise Words indeed!
Forgiving is so daunting but it is good for one's health so, gotta let it go!
Loved all your pointers, and while I send you a virtual hug, I will continue to keep the above in my mind for my well being :)
Joanna Chandler from On Planet Earth on April 30, 2015:
Well said Audrey I guess we are all guilty of holding onto grudges especially when we were hurt...
Great advice and we should all endeavor to follow the examples laid out above, but it really takes a change of nature/thinking to do this. God can help us if we pray and willing to do like He did. "Father forgive them for they know not what they do"
Thanks for sharing :)
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 30, 2015:
Wise words, my friend. I believe I'm there. I have no ill will towards others....I have forgiven...I have moved on. Some I know longer see. I am not angry with them, but I also no longer want them in my life, and I believe that is fine.
Anyway, good to read your work, as always.
Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on April 30, 2015:
You offer very sage advice, Audrey. I love the line, "turn your scars into stars". How very profound!
Holding a grudge can certainly eat you up. Best to let it go. Live and learn. Learn to forgive. As you say, many times people don't mean to hurt us. Sometimes it's the result of misinterpretation, which leads to misunderstanding. Talk it out and work it out.