How to Forgive When You Don’t Really Want To

“Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.” ~Jean Paul Sartre

Like so many other women, I had a complicated, often fractious relationship with my mother. I had moved thousands of miles away, but an email or a phone call was enough to irritate me.

Visits were tense, nail-biting experiences, where I couldn’t help but analyze each thing that she said to see if it contained a passive-aggressive double meaning, at which point, an argument would brew.

For years, it had not mattered what anyone told me about how to forgive, and they had told me a lot:

  • Resentment is the poison you feed yourself, hoping someone else will die.
  • Forgiveness is a choice.
  • Refusing to forgive is living in the past.

I thought I wanted to forgive her. I knew what it was costing me to carry around the resentment, the replaying of old arguments and the anticipation of future conflict.

Yet something in me didn’t want to forgive, and this was the truth that I had resisted owning for so very long.

We don’t like admitting to the fact that some petty part of ourselves doesn’t want to forgive people. We say we “don’t know how,” and that might be true, but the other truth is that some part of us often doesn’t want to forgive.

We don’t want to admit that this part exists, because of all the stories it piles on top of us—stories that we’re mean, petty, judgmental people.

Of course, we’re expressing mean, petty, judgmental behaviors when we refuse to forgive.

It’s not intentional. It’s just that we’ve been hurt, and forgiveness feels like letting someone off the hook, or pretending that it was okay that they did what they did.

The irrational fear is that if we forgive, someone else will do “it” again. But the truth is, whether or not we forgive has nothing to do with controlling another person’s behavior.

People do what they do. The only person to let off the hook is ourselves, by not concerning ourselves with monitoring someone else’s behavior, or replaying the past.

So, how can you move through the process of forgiving others?

These aren’t “easy steps” by any means, especially because many of them are worked in tandem, but nonetheless they are pieces that make up the whole.

First, acknowledge the parts of you that don’t want to forgive.

The parts that want to punish by not forgiving, that derive some artificial source of power from withholding forgiveness.

It’s a sign of health that we become aware of those places rather than pushing them away, pretending that they don’t exist.

Secondly, if you’re aware already of the fact that you don’t want to forgive, consider the stories that go along with that.

I’ve already mentioned a few. Perhaps the most common is that forgiveness will mean that someone is absolved from responsibility for their behavior.

Here is what I know: When someone wrongs another, they always suffer. They might not tell you about it, or they might put on a bravado. They might not even be aware that their behavior is at the root of their suffering.

But trust me, they suffer. If someone is unkind, they suffer from either the conscious belief that they were unkind, or they suffer from the unconscious fallout of their behavior. (“I don’t understand why people leave/I always get fired/I feel so isolated and alone.”)

Third, find the common ground.

Where are you just like this person that you don’t want to forgive? This is the part that people resist most.

Perhaps your partner cheated on you, and you know for certain that you would never cheat on your partner. But, if cheating is a form of deception, can you see places in your life where you have deceived someone else? Are you 100 percent honest on your taxes? Did you ever shoplift as a teenager? Do you tell “little white lies” at work?

No, I would never suggest that a cheating partner is equally as painful as stuffing a t-shirt into your purse when you were a young, reckless teenager.

What I’m suggesting is that the two are borne of the same places. Deceit has its roots in fear—fear of being honest, fear of not getting something needed.

When we see that we are equally as capable of acting out as the next person, and especially when we compassionately see the fear that drove them to behave the way they did, there’s the potential for release.

Finally—and this is the big one—realize that lack of forgiveness is rooted in a lack of boundaries.

This goes back to the fear that if forgiveness were granted, “it” might happen again because the person thought that they could “get away with” it.

The person you know you need to forgive in your life might not even be alive anymore, but if they’re alive and real in your head, that’s enough.

This is the moment of choice: Are you going to decide that you won’t tolerate XYZ behavior, dynamics, and beliefs in your life?

The moment that you decide that you won’t tolerate the behaviors that lead you not to forgive is the moment that things shift.

Caution: In movies the hero or heroine “gets back” at someone and then walks off into a happy ending.

That’s not what we’re talking about here. If your boss routinely puts you down, you don’t tell her off and that’s your “power.”

Rather, you decide that you won’t tolerate the put downs, you come up with a plan for how you’re going to handle it when they arise, and then you actually assert that boundary, while looking at her with pure love because you know that her put downs are causing her immense suffering (even if you can’t see the suffering).

What happens in moments like these is that the put downs become about as believable as a drunk, homeless man who is shouting obscenities on the street. He’s clearly not altogether there, and you can have compassion for him because his suffering is so visible and his words so illogical.

Here’s the big secret: When humans are unkind to one another, they’re not so very different than that guy. Many of us are just using different language and wearing nicer clothes.

When you decide what boundaries to put in to place, and what you will and won’t stand for, you release the fear that “it” will happen again. What “it” can touch you when you’ve already decided that you aren’t going to let it penetrate?

The moment came—and it was a completely innocuous moment for me, sitting in six lanes of backed up traffic, my thoughts discursive—when I realized that when it concerned forgiving my mother, I get to decide who I am.

My life was what I said it was, and a painful relationship with her need not be a part of it any longer, if I decided that it was so. I knew that all I wanted to do was simply love this woman who had given me life and who had taught me so much about who I wanted to be.

There was nothing but gratitude in my heart.

Before my own experience of deep forgiveness, as I waded through years bouncing from one therapist’s couch to the next trying to “figure out” how to forgive, I would have thought this moment impossible. I would have doubted the elegance of its simplicity.

But it really is true: “Freedom is what we do with what’s been done to us.”

It is not the circumstances of our lives that matter. It is what we choose to do with them.

Photo by crismatos

About Kate Swoboda

Kate Swoboda is a coach, speaker, and writer who works with women who want to live unconventional and revolutionary lives through practicing courage. She’s the creator of The Courageous Living Guide and The Coaching Blueprint, and she hangs out online at

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  • Drew

    What a wonderful read – and so relavant to me right now. Thank you for sharing this, Kate.

  • Mlowndes

    How far do we take forgiveness. Do we forgive murder? Do we forgive abuse and exploitation and do we forgive deception? I don’t think so. We must have standards.

  • MLC

    Had a similar negative relationship with my mother, and now she’s dead. While I was able to see that she suffered from mental illness, I can’t let go of how her problems messed up my childhood in numerous ways. Our relationship improved as I got older, but I still harbored a lot of hatred. And now that she’s gone, I find that I can’t 100% forgive her. Part of me can’t and part of me doesn’t want to, and I’ve come to terms with it. I was able to take control of my own life and, for the most part, got past it. When her poor choices and narrow-minded beliefs are deeply rooted in my psyche (I took negative and made positive), I dare say it’s hard to just let it go. It was emotional abuse, not physical. I can only imagine how victims of the latter feel about forgiveness. Thank you for making me think.

  • Aymiderham

    I’ve just come out of a relationship with a real psychopath & been struggling to accept his nasty & cruel behaviour & needed to read this right now. He who makes others suffer is suffering himself after all. Thanks 🙂

  • I wonder if “forgiveness” is the same as realizing that the person that you have issues with did the best that they knew how to do with what they had?  This is the conclusion that I came to one day and it was like a burden had been lifted from my shoulders.  While
    I still didn’t agree with their trying to control and manipulate me, or even worse, try to make me feel guilty, I kept going back to “they are doing the best with what they’ve got” and let it go. 

    This person was my Mother and we hadn’t spoken for 10 years when she died.  I was at peace with this arrangement because I realized that we could only communicate through very unemotional surface letters.  The saddest part of this is that at her funeral everyone kept whispering to others about how angry she had always been during her lifetime.  That’s a sad legacy. 

    To this day, this is still the same way I deal with others who feel the need to control my life in some form or another.  I think I raised myself to be a pretty good person in spite of some hurdles.

  • Anom

    great article!

  • Donna_Marie_Anew

    It’s very relevant material for me too. Part of my unforgiveness is the need I feel for the other person to care or understand how I’ve been hurt.  This has gone on for way too many years and now is the time to set myself free from it all. Blessings to all….. 

  • Summer

    Hmm. This is something that has been on my mind a long while. I had a “friend” who not only bullied, belittled and emotionally manipulated me for two years, but who has used her manipulative skills to damage (and in some cases destroy) my relationships with nearly every mutual acquaintance we have. The only power I felt I had in that situation was to kick her out of my life so as to prevent more damage from being done. I have since acknowledged the part I played in the situation and have forgiven myself for letting it happen and not speaking up for myself sooner — but forgiving her is where I get stuck.

    Unfortunately, we belong to the same spiritual group, and I still have to encounter her occasionally. Up to this point, I haven’t been able to figure out how to gracefully deal with her in this context. I don’t know how to behave toward her in person after she treated me — especially considering that she refuses to own her actions and places all the blame at my feet to whomever will listen, making herself out to be the victim. I am highly uncomfortable with the idea of being fake and acting like nothing happened. Yet my previous tactic of simply avoiding all contact with her, even in face-to-face settings, has caused problems between me and others within our social circle.

    I want to forgive her — at least I think I do — but I am not interested in mending any fences. I cannot trust her in my life and don’t want to let her back in, to any degree.

    I guess my question is, what does forgiveness look like toward a person you simply do not want in your life ever again? Where does the enforcement of that boundary end and forgiveness begin?

  • This is such a complicated and touchy issue, and this is such a great piece with so many good points.  It took me a long time to understand that I don’t have to take on what other people have said or done to me, and that while I totally acknowledge how painful and hurtful it can be, I can remain separate from it.  When people lash out or do something hurtful to others, it is coming from a place of pain in themselves.  When I take myself out of the equation, so to speak, I can have compassion for them.  I don’t condone or even understand the behaviour, but I can see the probably root of it and let it go.  Many people who have hurt me will never be able (or willing) to accept or understand what they have done, and it’s not my place to “make” them understand or acknowledge it.  What’s important is that I don’t allow it to continue to hurt me for years past whenever it actually occurred.  By understanding these things, I am not condoning or excusing the behaviour, but I don’t have to hold on to it.

    Also, in response to the person who asked “Do we forgive murder?”, I do think that is possible.  You can see everything with the eyes of compassion.  People make bad choices, come from a place of hurt and desperation and illness and pain… again, not condoning or pardoning the action/behaviour, but yes, you can forgive.

  • Thena

    I liked reading this. I agree with the philosophy and I try to live by it being in recovery and doing step wrk helps me in this. The only aspect I didn’t like and maybe it’s the wording, I don’t know. The “cheating husband” in my case. I will never compare it to anything I’ve done that was “deceptive”. I can forgive it, but I don’t have to feel sorry for him because of where it came from and it irritates me that anyone suggest that. I really like what Alannah said. She is not able (or willing) to accept or understand….To me, it’s a huge statement that “it’s not my place to “make” them understand or acknowledge it.” I will remember that because I tend to want to do that. Thanks 😉

  • Tanveersidhu7

    This article is quite useful in understanding what goes behind the entire thought process of forgiving . The whole scenario of forgiving works for a certain time and then it keeps surfacing again with some new issues cropping up. I really wanna understand how to let go off that hatred completely.

  • Kammie


  • Forgiveness can be easier said than done. But we must if we want to feel good and enjoy our life. We can’t control the behavior of others, this I know.

  • Michelle

    Does forgivness come with age? I am only 18 years old and still in a relationship with someone who cheated on me. I forgave him or so I thought but I found myself bringing it up in fights. So I haven’t really forgiven him, have I? I still get sad and think about leaving. I want to forgive him because I believe he has changed and is trying and has said he is sorry and proved many times he loves me. But I can’t bring myself to truely forgive.

  • It’s beautiful that you are willing to choose to see that! 😉

  • What has you hesitate to forgive? What pieces do you believe would need to be in place in order for forgiveness to happen?

  • I love that you pointed this out. I often think of forgiveness as being sort of like unpeeling the layers of an onion; it’s an illusion that forgiveness always happens in one big “a-ha” moment, all of the time. For me, letting go completely was the understanding that who that person was, and the experience that happened, had no power over me in the present–if that was how I was willing to define myself. So without knowing the details of your situation, investigating how there might be a story of the past dictating the present is a good place to begin.

  • You bring up some good questions related to forgiveness. Personally, I choose to forgive murder, exploitation, and deception. I see that when I don’t forgive, it’s a form of keeping myself in my own personal hell. I’m the one re-living it, re-playing it. The person who did those things is already in their own world of pain. My unwillingness to forgive would never keep it from happening again.

    Would I advocate that someone serve time for their crimes? Yes, absolutely. I would also forgive.

  • As you share your story, I feel such a sense of admiration for the “little you” that survived all of that, and has emerged today to give voice to her story. I agree that it’s hard to just let it go, all at once–it can be a continual unfolding. It could also be interesting to ask the question from the flip-side: What do you get out of not forgiving, 100%? What’s the payoff? (I don’t ask this in an accusatory way; just as something that I know I’ve contemplated when I have trouble forgiving).

  • Oh, these are good questions! I love the questions everyone is asking on this topic. They make me think so deeply about the topic. Here are my thoughts about your questions–I hope this is helpful. If I want someone out of my life, forgiveness is a wonderful way to go, because as long as I haven’t forgiven them, energy is tied up in rehashing what they did or putting energy into maintaining a distance from them, or getting upset about things that they’re saying to others. Forgiveness, in my experience, has meant that I’m able to truly release them and it just doesn’t bother me anymore what they’re doing or saying about me. Why would it? I’ve forgiven. And for me, the vehicle into forgiveness is always to have compassion for the behavior, imagining the kind of pain that someone must be in to live that kind of life. They’re isolating from *you* after all, and just from reading this comment I can see what a good soul you are.

    I would support you in having a conversation in which you actually let this person know that you are aware that they say things about you, and that it’s your request that they stop–speaking with kindness. I would support you in letting people she’s spoken to know that the two of you have different versions of the story, and that you’d really like things to be harmonious–that you’ll share what you know to be your truth if they ask, and otherwise, you’d like to work on forgiveness…so would they support that?

  • Amazing article and great comments. It really isn’t our place to “judge” and be unforgiving. It doesn’t do us anything positive — anger, resentment — all this negativity, it just fuels the fire even more. Sometimes I find it even hard to forgive myself for the horrible things I’ve done or said to others in times of pain. Love thyself first, everything else would fall in place.

  • Hi Kate,

    This is a very thought-provoking post.

    I think the hardest and most important part of forgiving is acceptance. We often hold on to the pain and hurt because somewhere we do not accept the reality in front of us, and in a weird sort of way the pain becomes a distraction that keeps us from facing the reality.

    Once we have accepted things for what they are, we have already taken a step towards forgiveness. It allows us to truly feel the pain and release it. Then, as you pointed out we are in a position to place boundaries.

    Where loved ones are concerned, we do need to look at the part we play, and forgive ourselves for that, no matter how big or small. I believe we cannot forgive others until we have the ability to forgive ourselves. And this could be as simple as forgiving ourselves for allowing ourselves to be hurt. Also, if we do love the person and truly want a chance of a continued relationship, then holding on to the past destroys the future possibilities.

    For me, it is about acceptance, acknowledgement, expression and release of feelings and emotions, setting boundaries (not expectations) and a desire to move on, whatever the outcome might be. To forgive we have to be prepared to let go, and when that happens all things are possible.

  • David

    This is always my stumbling block, especially in my relationship with my closest friend. It’s not that I want revenge as much as I want him to know and care that I’ve been hurt. But I’ve come to realize that for him to accept the pain his actions sometimes cause creates guilt which he doesn’t know how to handle. I can see that his actions and responses are rooted in fear and I can feel compassion for that. I can almost forgive, except for my need to make him understand and care. I think perhaps I need to recognize that he does understand and care as far as he presently able and to accept that and let go of the anger and resentment I hold on to and to completely forgive.

    Thank you, Kate, for this wonderful article!

  • carolynk

    this was a very good article and something I struggle with.  I have distanced myself from a former friend and have refused to engage in contact with her because I do not think I can trust her. I often wonder if this is because I can’t forgive her or that I am afraid of being hurt again. I think I have forgiven her but  am very afraid that if I let down my guard, i will be hurt again.

  • Glenda Shineedht

    Resentment only hurts you. Letting go is a gift you give yourself!

  • Shawn

    Thank you so very much for this. it is impossible for me to overstate how much I needed to see this when I did.

  • Recovering from a psychopath boyfriend is tough. I broke up with my psycho ex-bf b/c he hid a knife under his matress with my name on it and his personaility split – one loved me, one wanted to kill.  First, forgive yourself for staying with him so long. 2nd, be brave in knowing you lived through it. Now, start moving on and know that your time with him is in your past now.  “It too is in your past.” a mantra that helped me get through it all. 
    Best of luck, glad you got out when you did.

  • Hey Carolyn, I can see how that feels; I know how that has felt for me. I’m curious about what it would look like to let your guard down again, to be able to give yourself that freedom. One thing to consider would be the in-between. Perhaps it can be true that she is not trustworthy, AND it can be true to decide that her lack of trustworthiness has no effect on you, because you already know that this is how she behaves.  She’s doing that from a scared, small place. Perhaps her lack of trustworthiness could be the equivalent of a small child saying, “I hate you!” when it throws a temper tantrum–nothing to be taken seriously. And, at the same time, you get to practice good boundaries for yourself, where you don’t intentionally set yourself up by telling this friend intimate things or loaning them money, things of that nature.

  • This is wonderful. It reminded me of some research I read about a while back that found that forgiving others makes a genuine biochemical difference for the one who forgives; here’s a piece that describes the work

    The piece talks about forgiveness as an aspect of mercy, which comes from moral strength. It’s hardly the “meek” behavior some may think of as a sign of weakness (one of the things I think holds some people back from forgiving, as if it’s a form of surrender and you’re “losing” a battle).

    I found the ability to move past old hurts through reading a lot of Buddhist writings, working on nonattachment, and encountering some concepts that helped me. One is the story of the two monks at the stream ( 

    For me the takeaway was that if I don’t forgive and move on, I give that other person space in my head rent-free. Why would I give mental energy and attention to someone who did something I found painful, when instead I could be giving it to people I love and activities I enjoy?

    I also realized that the more times I thought about an old injury and reran the scenario, the more times I was giving myself the exact same experience all over again. I was both digging the rut of resentment deeper and literally reliving all the same physical responses, since our minds create those for us. Why would I think myself into a space of anger and hurt?

    Not forgiving doesn’t change the past. I’d rather look ahead than over my shoulder.

  • LaurahertzLee

    Summer, I have NEVER made a comment of any kind online, but reading your story has compelled me to comment. 

    I am in a similar situation…replace “friend” with “in-law family members”.  My husband battled cancer for a year and passed away.  During the battle and after his death, his family treated him and me and our children with so little compassion and care and it wounded all of us to the core.  Your phrase “places all the blame at my feet to whomever will listen, making herself out to be the victim” struck such a chord with me.  This is exactly what happened in my situation ie. my husband and I shut them out and they didn’t know what to do.  None of them feel they did anything wrong or could have done anything better…they feel they have nothing to be forgiven for so I personally always struggle with even the term “forgiveness”. 

    I, too, am not interested in mending fences or having a relationship of any kind.  I don’t want these type of people in my life. Is forgiveness in my situation simply getting to a place of “not thinking about them anymore”?  This is so difficult when, similar to both our situations, you know the other party is sharing their story whenever possible and victimizing themselves and “bad-mouthing” you.

    I loved it when you said you are highly uncomfortable being fake and acting like nothing happened.  Again, exactly how I feel….yet that is exactly what it seems like is expected from me because of their lack of resposibility and ownership of their actions and the pain caused. 

    I understand the concept Kate describes as negative energy being held on to and that releasing all thoughts of them is the goal, but then I completely bristle in the next sentence when she describes “compassion for the behavior”…ooooohhhh, compassion to them seems impossible.

    Ultimately, I almost feel l ike what I want is to “forget” but am not able to “forgive” when using the usual concepts of forgiveness.

    This is such a thought provoking topic and situation.  All I can say to end this is, thank you Summer…You articulated my feelings so well.  I am sorry you are enduring what you are – you are not alone in your feelings and thoughts…thank you for reminding me I am not alone in mine.

  • Elevenohclock

    After dealing with severe trauma in my life caused by immediate family, and feeling absolutely incapable of what I understand to be forgiveness, I decided to research alternatives to forgiveness.  I actually felt better knowing that forgiveness was not necessarily the end goal for healing and happiness. It may work for some, but it may not be appropriate for others. The inability to forgive when there is the idea that one is obliged to, in order to be completely healed, can be counter-productive.

  • Av

    Really nice posting about the lessons everyone has to learn, but can be a long journey to get there!s Really appreciate the time taken to share, the superb clarity and non-preachiness. Thank you!

  • Tiny Warrior

    Same here. I have to follow through with the lawsuit anyway, but same here.

  • Tiny Warrior

    I like this, Vickie, but I wonder about those people who hurt us so callously: they are human just like we are, and vice versa — there is an inner voice that warns us if we do XYZ, it will harm another, and most of us choose to listen to that voice. The people who hurt us hear that same voice but defiantly choose to ignore it in order to cause mayhem.

    Those people are NOT doing the best that they knew how to do. They are doing less than their best, and intentionally.

    It is those I keep attracting into my life, and I cannot forgive at this time. I am trying, I am learning… but I simply cannot and am not able to, at this time.

  • dona

    I cannot forgive and move on please help me. I worked with some Europeans and I couldn’t stand them and I still can’t forgive them even I was budddhist and born in Sri lanka

  • I understand exactly what you are saying Tiny Warrior. Believe me, it took me years and years to reach the stage that I finally did. I got to that stage because I knew I had to “save” myself. I couldn’t ever change my Mother but I could change how I responded and how much baggage I’d allow myself to carry. We each travel at our own pace and know when we need to change our path. Nancy Friday wrote a wonderful statement in her book about standing up for yourself. She said to alway remember when you decide to stand up for yourself you will be standing alone…something to that effect. People don’t like it when you stop playing their game. Good luck and look for the lessons.

  • vinnyvinf

    thanks for sharing what you’ve learned, it’s really quite beautiful and exactly what I wanted/ needed to hear!

  • Thank you so much – I’m so happy it helped you in some way!

  • Abhishek Gupta

    Is there a way I can contact you? I need some advice…..

  • Clover

    After years of struggling with a difficult relationship – refusing to forgive, this article just gave me the ‘ah-ha’ moment that will perhaps allow me to let go and move on. Thank you.

  • twoeyes

    I think though we confuse forgiveness with trusting. I don’t trust the person I forgive. I am not withholding forgiveness, but seriously if someone deliberately goes to a place where they don’t mind hurting you viciously, you are dealing with a sociopath. And a sociopath will do it again. So you must withhold trust. You can forgive the damaged person, but do not forget and set yourself up for another attack.

  • Twoeyes

    Not necessarily. Psychopaths are relatively emotionless people. They “enjoy” the pain of others. It is up to you to protect yourself and stay away from abusive people. If they only want to win an argument at all costs, you are dealing with a sociopath. The real work is “why do I put myself in these relationships? Don’t I value myself enough?”

  • The Truth is Out There

    I just don’t get the need to forgive all the time either. Forgiving doesn’t make me a saint. It clears energy so you can approach life differently. If I am content with being in a dysfunctional family, then it isn’t a problem, is it? I mean the author of this article didn’t like herself for hating her own mother. I could see where that would be a stormy and destructive relationship. Some people like that thrust and parry relationship. Some people are not running around trying to be that “holy person”. they all want to just be. Some people think other people are annoying and obnoxious and that is the gist of human behavior. So forgiveness sounds like a personal problem to me.

  • Fiona

    This helps a lot. Thank you.

  • Ex Serial Monogamist

    This is incredibly helpful. I haven’t spoken with my sister in over two years. She was a serious drug addict, and although I was there for her, she resented me for living my own life. I would attend NA meetings with her, while doing things like going to school. She wasn’t there for me when I went through the worst heartbreak of my life, which I later said that was when I needed her to be there for me. She later threw that heartbreak back in my face when I met someone new, saying that he will leave me just like the last one did. And eventually he did. She and our mom recently reconnected. My mom said she has changed. She’s calm, clean, and responsible. She really wants me back in her life, but I’m having a difficult time with it right now, especially since I am going through this break up. I know that I’m going to have to try.

  • Livinglost

    You know, no matter how many times I’ve read these forgiveness posts, things are still the same– I still can’t let go. The hate is too strong, both towards myself and for the person who ruined me. I mean–I even came upon self-destructive behaviors and depression for so many months. I don’t believe in friendship any longer and I’ve grown ill with irritability– especially when I see her disgusting face. I have the constant urge to break bonds before people get anywhere close to me emotionally. I have doubts that I’ll ever get pass this stage, no matter how hard I try to look forward.

  • NLC

    Thank you, great post.

  • Lynn

    Thank you for that comment. I don’t want to say I forgive when it’s not authentic.
    I have forgiven (attempted to move on) I happily want to move on but my family pulls the same crap. They are incredibly passive/aggressive. I am done wit them, I want to move on with my life.
    Am I capable of forgiveness? Yes, absolutely. I forgive my ex for abusing our family, I know he had mother issues and my heart goes out to him.
    But my family no, my family is the type of family that needs a scapegoat. It makes them feel superior.
    As a child I always forgave my parents for their cruel behavior saying to myself they can’t help it they really do love me but their behavior never changed.
    this is not about forgiveness it’s about moving on. I don’t believe in forgiveness necessarily, who am I to forgive anyone, people need to forgive themselves.
    It’s just not worth for me to deal with bad behaving people.


    I am testifying on how Dr Wisdom help me to bring back my ex-husband who left me 3 months ago i got his email on the internet on an article how he had help so many people,so i emailed the Dr and tell my problems to him and after that day he gave me assurance of 3days,to my greatest surprise my husband came back to me in third day of contacting him,i want to say a very big thank you to for all his help..

  • Elizabeth

    This is exactly what I needed right now. Thank you.

  • CVG

    Thank you. This mirrors my thoughts and struggles with the concept. The most painful part isn’t the idea of forgiving, but the actual process of simply accepting what happened so long ago, and the releasing of hope that what happened can ever be undone. The pain of letting go of that hope has been, for me, the most difficult part.

  • Hi,

    The accepting is the hardest bit. The thing is we can never undo what has been done. We can only try to let go and learn what we can and try to live from this moment. The letting go is actually what keeps the hope alive 🙂

  • del672

    My oldest son turned on me a few years ago, telling horrible things about me. He asked for my forgiveness, and I said I did, but I am slowly realizing that I don’t want to forgive him, I’m scared he will turn on me and cause more pain. I hate that I feel this way, he is my child…but he has been evil to me..and he is an adult when he did this to me. I agree with Justin, easier said than done. I find myself not really wanting to spend time with him on my own. I feel detached from him. 🙁

  • NT

    This is AMAZING. I’m wanting to progress and grow so I can forgive my father. This has really touched me. Beautifully written message. Thank you.

  • OhEm Gee

    I’ve been wanting to know how it truly is to forgive and whether or not it’s the fact that when you do forgive someone then that means that they’re innocent from any of it and it comes back by saying “but this is what happened and how can I simply erase that bit of the person as if it never happened if that’s what forgiving really means?” Especially when it’s ripped away so much from your life and even when you think about this it just digs a deeper grave and you can’t win either way. Nobody could’ve ever felt what I went through to come down to this even if I tried to explain and they would even bother to listen. When I look at an individual basically when I recognize them, I recognize them by the things that they’ve done that hurt me no matter how small they seem. Even when I did wrong to someone who’s done things wrong to me and left me traumatized, why should I be the one to feel guilty when they never gave a damn about what they’ve done and life just goes on while I’m the one that keeps getting kicked to the curb with guilt. In the end I know I’m responsible for my own actions but it’s the fact that the person still thinks they can abuse in every way that they can and nothing happens and for some their life seems to only get better. -_-

  • Army78

    I totally agree with this comment! I too am dealing with a dysfunctional family. My mother stood by and allowed my dad to sexually abuse all of us for years and now half heartedly apologizes but takes no real ownership for her role. I recently cut her out of my life because despite the many attempts at working on our relationship, she couldn’t be bothered to put in the effort. She thinks I need God in my heart and that I need to stop living in the past….how insulting coming from someone who has never bothered to face the past herself! My siblings are supporting her and not speaking to me at this time and I am angry at them because it dumbfounds me how they think I am the one with the problem! I feel she been “given” forgiveness too easily and not had to “earn” it!

  • Girlwoman

    I’m sorry this is bullshit. If you need to cut someone off then do that. But distract yourself fully and whole heartedly and leave it in the past.

  • Catie

    I read this through four times letting each word sink deeper each time I read it. Thank you so much. This is really helpful for my current situation and brings so many truths to light. I have really clung to anger and grudges in the past as a way of establishing, as you say, a false sense of control or power. I am finally realizing just how toxic resentment is to the individual who carries it and to any relationship or peace they try to form. True love is simply not possible if you hold a grudge against even one person in your heart because there is always the fear (and your inner mind knows it) that the one you love will do the thing you could not forgive and it would hurt more than ever. As a result, you live with that anxiety and are forced to close a part of your heart from them, no matter how much you wish it were otherwise. In this way, only once every part of your heart is freed by forgiveness can you experience real love. That is my feeling about it anyway. When I see it that way – i.e., that I am allowing love in my life by forgiving – it becomes (at least a little bit) easier to work at the monumental task of letting it all go…

  • Julie

    Thank you! This is so helpful. The term “forgive” feels so abstract when you’re trapped in the anger of begrudging someone. It really helps to remember that we need to be compassionate toward their pain, to know that that’s the reason they hurt us.

  • DJAY

    There are always two sides to an abusive relationship. I used to hide in my room to avoid running into my mother for the fear that she would abuse me all over again, until I learned that she was suffering immensely because she did not understand why I don’t want to see her. In a sudden change of perspective, I was the abuser. No matter the reason, I accept the fact that I did cause her anxiety and pain by actively avoiding her. Because of that, I now am willing to reconcile. I now have a lot of sympathy for my mother. She still pisses me off sometimes, but I am much open to abandon my pride and apologize first, just because I don’t want to abuse her by shutting her out.

  • Nichole Hawkins

    HELLO,I want to say a very big thanks and appreciation to Dr.Lawrence for bringing back my husband who left me and the kids for almost two months. I am very much grateful to Dr.Lawrence who brought my husband back to me within 3days.I pray to God almighty to give you the strength and wisdom to help more people having similar problem like mine. drlawrencespelltemple@hotmail. com

  • Nicole Natale

    I don’t think forgiveness can be felt on a lasting level. Not with a sociopath. You can pity them…which I do…but forgiveness is for divine beings of which I am not.

  • 2cents

    I’m really glad you mentioned boundaries. The push to forgiveness is a little too high in “new age culture” (ugh, don’t know a better word). You can’t “forgive” when the knife is still twisting inside of you.
    Like a lot of people, I too have been a victim of hatred. Not necessarily someone hating me (although that hurts), but me hating someone so deeply, so thoroughly, that I wound up hating myself too.
    Forcing forgiveness doesn’t work.
    In that sense, it takes time. You wait, try to live your life without this other person interfering (thoughts too), maybe draw up an outline of exactly where their REAL power ends. What can they ACTUALLY do to hurt you. And look at this list whenever you feel held back from them.

    “Remind yourself that they are not separate from you; they only appear that way. Then you will realize you are one, and it is yourself you are forgiving. -Justin Hayden”
    The opposite of this quote helps me. Realize they are separate from you….Not part of your life.

    You have no power over me.

  • Name

    Hi, let me tell u my story… then u tell me i must be able to forgive…
    i was 18 when i fell pregnant for my first child. i was with the father for 3 yrs then fell pregnant ans i tot we wud be together frever, so happened in 2 yrs after the baby was born… i kicked him out cos i knew he was having an affair.. with my eldest sister… i told family they said not possible,she would not ever do that cos she was sister… so happened ina year i moved towns with my little one & she and “him” finally got caught cos she fell pregnant – now im away from them n living my own life with my son, when my sister & ex dec that they will make my life a living hell cos they wanted my son… i fought for over 4 years when finally i moved to anther town… i was accused of being on drugs, illtreating my son.,, the list can go on… so i moved to anther town, where no one knew me.. got married & had anotehr son.. finally due to teh lonliness in the2nd town, i moved back to teh 1st town for the sake of my husband family…. & my parents asked for forgiveness as they where also invloved in the whole story for the 4 years… so i frgave them… & allowed them access to myslef & my kids… when i sent my sone over for holiday in Dec of that year… my mum sent him to his father – whi never brought him back.. i fought n fought untill i realised that i ahd run out of energy & wasnt willing to do it again…
    so i once again forgave my parents n moved on… had my kids & we stayed with my mother inlaw for 3 weeks, until she kicked us out cos she and my husband had a fight – & myself, nubby n my 6 mnth old lived in a car… finally we foung this place to kive whicb was cheap & we had to as we cudnt live on the street. i had just started wrk & it was hard cos i had the baby & husband wasnt working.. but we made it…
    i been called names n beeign told that im not a good prson yet when ppl come to my home i treat them so well & entertain them….
    i try 100% nto to gossip about anyone… but they all gossip abt me liek im so nasty…
    then my parents n i had anther fyt cs like befre with sister they once again make mre time for her n her child then me n my kids. and after everythign – they have this man living in their out house
    my husband siste is pregn n the boys says its nt his,,, she was fyting with teh mum then all of a sudden 2n weeks later they ok again n i think it was a plan…. just for her to come stay with us so we can support her…
    she dnt pay for no food rent nthn n just orders…
    my hubby n i had a fyt this morning cos he said tt i must just accept who he brings into thsi house cos its his house too
    how do i live like this
    i cant frgt how ppl hurt me… emotionally they haev wrecked me… said the worst things to me n i allowed frgiveness so many time.. how do i do it again and again and again
    am i bad person
    do ihave a bad heart
    i sdont know anymore

  • John G

    Quote “Of course, we’re expressing mean, petty, judgmental behaviors when we refuse to forgive”
    I think this is an unreasonable and judgemental statement. There are many people who have been subjected to horrific abuse. I wouldn’t refer to them as petty or even mean just because they couldn’t forgive.

  • ktmckinsey

    Army78: My childhood wasn’t nearly so traumatic, but I’m in a similar place with my mother. She has borderline personality disorder. My dad recently had a stroke. I tried to help and be a part of his healing process, but she basically ran me out. I was devastated. Now, I see her posting updates on my dad’s progress to her Facebook page. People who barely know them are commenting. They message me asking how he is and I don’t know any more than they do. She’s always played this game. She’ll draw me in, tell me that I don’t care about them and that she wants a relationship with me. Then, she cuts the rug out from under me. I’ve tried to be understanding of her pain and why she is the way she is. That was my whole childhood. My hurt and rage are at myself for not standing up, for absorbing every negative message she had about me, and for continuing to try to have a relationship with her.

    Maybe the takeaway is that some of us have to forgive ourselves for eating the (pardon my language) crap sandwiches for so long. We’ll never change our mothers and I think we know that. We can only work to forgive ourselves for letting ourselves expect the unexpectable and be disappointed over and over again. We want them to see the hurt they caused. Actually, we NEED them to see and knowing they never will is a hard thing to swallow.

    What happened to you wasn’t your fault. Your actions in this matter are understandable. I wish you peace.

  • Don

    very well written!!!! Very encouraging and very true!!!!

  • AlexG

    Thank you for this article, Kate! I can really relate to all this, since I have trouble letting go of my childhood trauma and relationship with my parents. I feel this way too. Forgiveness cannot be forced and it is not about pleasing other people or wish-fulfillment. Oh, and that point about boundaries! so true!

  • Broken

    If I forgive does that mean I should want to be around them. These people I speak of have so many traits of a narcissits. I know what to look for and it makes my skin crawl, whenever I see or hear there voice. These people are my family and some friends….they do not understand boundaries nor do they care.. It is always about what they can get and it is all about them and if they do not get there way they call me selfish! Is it selfish to not want to be used and then ignored until they need something else. Then to be betrayed and sabotaged constantly without any apologizes. I have one sister who always back stabs me and then acts like she it did it for my own good. am sorry but that is a hard pill to swallow. Do I keep forgiving them because of the pain it causes or do you walk away and stay as far away as possible? This is not a one time thing, this happens over and over again and when I address it I am either called a bitch or to let it go! I hate that statement! Let it go…it feels like a deep wound that they punch over and over again. If you can explain how to handle that then please let me know because I am so tired…Narcissist never change so why should I forgive??? I blame myself for letting this happen but I wanted to always forgive and look what it has caused. I understand this is hurting me but I do not trust them because unless they get something then I do not exist except to be bad mouth. There is such a thing where you have to remove one self from toxic people and that is what all of them all. Forgiveness to them would not be me getting strong it would be an excuse to say they were right I am a selfish bitch! That is exactly what they would say too! I have forgiven myself for being so naive but I still cry when I think how spiteful they are.

  • CW1

    Thank you so much, Kate. There are literally like 100 people that I need to forgive… a lifetime of emotion, anger and resentment. This article really moved me and truly helped to put things into perspective.

  • thefuglytruth

    Yeah my mother was a complete bitch too. Still kind of disappointed that she died before giving me legal precedent to give her the good hard sock to the jaw that she was begging for all those years.

  • dora

    I want to use this opportunity to thank for helping me get my lover back after he left me few months ago. I have sent friends and my brothers to beg him for me but he refused and said that it is all over between both of us but when I met this Dr. kizzekpe, he told me to relaxed that every thing will be fine and after 45hours i contacted him, I got my man back……DORA

  • greatdane

    “when someone wrongs another, they always suffer”
    My former tormentors have gone on to live great lives, I can see it, they haven’t suffered for what they did to me, they don’t even remember me. Sometimes there are just bad people in this world and they need to be dealt with.

  • Debbie Edwards

    When you point a finger, 3 point back at you …… so where there is a will ….there is a way …… Romans 12:9 Douay-Rheims Version

  • poppy

    You’re absolutely right. You do not have to forgive narcissists. They never change. It’s not your fault – don’t blame yourself. Trust your instincts.

  • Alice

    At last my happiness has been restored by a Man named Dr ABULU ,, my name�s are miss KIRSTEN I want every one on this site or forum to join me thank this DR ABULU for what he just did for me and my kids. my story goes like this I was married to my husband for 5 years we were living happily together for this years and not until he traveled to Italy for a business trip where he met this prostitute who be witched he to hate me and the kids and love her only so when my husband came back from the trip he said he does not want to see me and my kids again so he drove us out of the house and he was now going to Italy for to see that other woman. so I and my kids were now so frustrated and I was just staying with my mum and I was not be treating good because my mama got married to another man when my after my daddy death so the man she got married to was not treating I and my kids well so I was so confuse and I was searching for a way to get my husband back to me and my kids so one day as I was browsing on my computer I saw a testimony about this MAN DR ABULU of shared on the internet by a lady and it impress me too so I also think of give it a try at first a was scared by when I think of what me and my kids are passing through so I contact him and he told me to stay calm for just two days that my husband shall be restored to me and to my best surprise I received a call from my husband on the second day asking after the kids and I called Dr Abulu and he said your problems are solved my child so this was how I get my family back after a long stress of brake up by an evil lady so with all this help from DR ABULU of I want you all on this forum to join me to say a huge thanks to DR ABULU and I will also advice for any one in such or similar problems or any kind of problems should also contact him for help.

  • stella

    Hello I am Hannah ,I am out here to spread this good news to the entire world on how I got my ex husband back.I was going crazy when my husband left me and my two kids for another woman last month, But when i met a friend that introduced me to dr ukpoyan the great messenger to the oracle of dr ukpoyan healing home,I narrated my problem to dr ukpoyan about how my ex Husband left me and my two kids and also how i needed to get a job in a very big company.He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i will be getting my heart desire without any side effect.He told me what i need to do,After it was been done,24 hours later,My Ex Husband called me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me and the kids before now and one week after my Husband called me to be pleading for forgiveness,I was called for interview in a very big company here in USA were i needed to work as the managing director..I am so happy and overwhelmed that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact dr ukpoyan on his personal email address and get all your problem solve..No problem is too big for him to solve..Contact him direct on: and your problem will be solve.

  • stella

    Hello I am Hannah ,I am out here to spread this good news to the entire world on how I got my ex husband back.I was going crazy when my husband left me and my two kids for another woman last month, But when i met a friend that introduced me to dr ukpoyan the great messenger to the oracle of dr ukpoyan healing home,I narrated my problem to dr ukpoyan about how my ex Husband left me and my two kids and also how i needed to get a job in a very big company.He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i will be getting my heart desire without any side effect.He told me what i need to do,After it was been done,24 hours later,My Ex Husband called me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me and the kids before now and one week after my Husband called me to be pleading for forgiveness,I was called for interview in a very big company here in USA were i needed to work as the managing director..I am so happy and overwhelmed that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact dr ukpoyan on his personal email address and get all your problem solve..No problem is too big for him to solve..Contact him direct on: and your problem will be solve

  • Kate Smith

    What a beautiful and wonderful testimony am about to share right now, sometimes things you don’t believe can just happen. My name is Kate smith from united state am 34 years old i got married at the age of 27 i have only one child and i was living happily after some years of my marriage my husband behavior became so strange and i didn’t really understand what was going on, he packed out of the house to another lady. I love him so much that i never dream of losing him, i try my possible best to make sure that my husband get back to me but all i could was nothing been going to different place and churches, i cry and i cry seeking for help on till i met a friend (Monica) who told me about Dr anu. that is the one who also help her when the only man in her life left her that Dr anu is a great man and a real man that can be trusted and there is nothing concerning love issues he cannot do that is why they call him Dr anu spiritual. I contacted his email address at ( and i told him everything that happen all he told me is that i should not worry that all my problems will be solved that my husband been on spiritual problem that he will make my husband to realize his senses. immediately He told me what to do to get my husband back and i did. he said after two days my husband will come back to me and start begging, it really happen i was very surprise when my husband came back home and ask for forgiveness our relationship is now moving smoothly the way it is when we got married and we both live happily one’s again. So my advice for you now is to contact this same email address: if you have relationship problems believe you will also find help from him.

  • Andre Edwardo


  • Guest

    This made sense. If I’ve forgiven someone, I shouldn’t be bothered by people who wronged me or hurt me because they would be the last people on my mind. I’ve learned that forgiveness has to do more with me than them. It’s not about whether they acknowledge their faults. It’s more about me releasing my anger and finding peace. I don’t know if they suffered nor do I care but I’ve removed them altogether from my life and that’s helped me to forgive them.


    I just happened to type in this and got u and ironicallyy issues r with my MOTHER! Not to be dramatic but she really is a psychopath! I think today was it! I had to let her go FOR GOOD!

  • prozacforradicals

    There are many more subtle experiences that haunt us than outright abuse…they are collective and suddenly there is one too many. That’s when, for me at least, all the random acts of poison and brainwashing do indeed wash over one. When one, for instance, has a foul-weather “friend,” that person only there for you when times are tough–but jealous & sarcastic as hell when times are good…and when one’s “friend” also happens to be one’s mother, then, indeed, it is rather difficult to wash all those slights, insults, snide remarks aside that have accumulated over the years. There are other memories as well–those I choose to keep private. I’m basically a good person, so not proud of how I act now–but the poison must first drain before the healing can then begin.

  • greatdane

    It is impossible to forgive, the scum that hurt me are living happy, normal lives, they are not suffering for what they did. I once wrote a message to one of them, explaining my hatred for them and what it did to me, and the coward simply called the police, no reply, just cowardice. I don’t believe that if I forgave them, it would happen again, I would destroy them, there is nothing to be gained from forgiveness, I won’t be happy, and they would simply count it as victory over me.

  • Anjali

    Am I the only one who didn’t feel anything for this article? I didn’t really agree with “Of course, we’re expressing mean, petty, judgmental behaviors when we refuse to forgive”, because have we done something morally wrong by not forgiving? Maybe it just takes some time to come out of hurting before you can forgive, is it a crime to take some time before you can come to terms with the wrong that has been done? And ” When someone wrongs another, they always suffer. They might not tell you about it, or they might put on a bravado”. If they don’t tell you about suffering, then how do you know they suffered? The writer of this article basically contridicted herself. Like someone else said in another comment, People “enjoy seeing other’s suffer”, so why would they suffer because of making other people suffer?
    And I also didn’t agree with “When we see that we are equally as capable of acting out as the next person, and especially when we compassionately see the fear that drove them to behave the way they did, there’s the potential for release”, because is everyone capable of doing what a psychopath does? I don’t think so, because not everyone is a psychopath. Sure, some people have the qualities of a psychopath & aren’t nessacerily psychopaths, but that doesn’t mean everyone is like that; and why should we have any compassion for bullies who drive their victims to suicide or rapists? Compassion needn’t be applied to everyone. Not everyone deserves it.

  • Steven Halstien

    Sometimes it’s healthy to keep toxic people out of my life. I don’t see it as a lack of forgiveness, it’s just basic emotional survival. My own mother has been one of the meanest people to me. A long time friend would not stop saying abusive things to me. So I leave both of them out of my life to find inner peace. I wish them no harm, I just can’t have someone around that wishes me harm.

  • sue

    Hi, all of u, I’ve read all & read again & what’s so sad I understand, but I can’t do it, its so hard, ,& read ursc& all stories, but its hard to forgive but then its harder holding on to all of this I am caring & harming my self NOT FOGIVING, I know this, I THANK YOU ,and I know letting go, My LIFE WOULD BE SO GREAT, I KNOE THIS, BUT ITS SO HARD, cuz I’m stubborn & feel if I let go, he gets away with all as he already did, &:I know IN MY HEART THATS JUST PLAIN DUMB, I KNOW I CAN DO IT, ILL READ MORE ALL OF UR COMMETS, & YOUR FORGIVING STORY, THANK YOU, CUZ I KNOW I AM HURTING SO MANY PEOPLE THAT DONT DESERVE TO BE HURT CUZ OF MY IGNORINES, & I KNOW NOT FORGIVING IS ONLY HURTING ME & HOLDING ME BACK, SO THANK YOU& ALL…… MY HEART, MIND, & SOUL NEED TO BE MENDED AGIAN………. THANK U

  • Whatever

    Stupid, idiotic article. Delusional.

  • jyladvik

    Isn’t it better to live your life in a way so that you aren’t constantly needing people to forgive you?

  • jyladvik

    The people who preach forgiveness the most often, are the same people who have continually harmed others. When someone talks constantly how important it is to “forgive”, that should be a huge red flag that this person might possibly be harmful. Watch out and be careful.

  • Patty Cake

    I’ve had a hard very bad childhood, life, I had 3 daughters I thought we were close, I made mistakes i really didn’t have a close relationship with my stepmom she left when i was 13 and took her real daughters with her. I just didn’t know any better than what i could do I had marriages that were abusive i tried to keep things together with whatever resources i had. I left my abusive relationships and began a better life with the children I had at home still and was hurt and shock when i got an email from my daughter about how awful her childhood was for her and her sisters.that was 10 years ago I thought i keep their hearts but they act like they hate me. they choose to blame me for everything even the other parents behavior when i try to explain it comes out bad or something they don’t want to hear, They know it hurts me, My daughters recently did not invite me to her wedding stating it was because of all the hurt I did to them. I don’t sleep, I think of ways to not live. I don’t want to cry in front of my children at home because their tired of it and what the other 3 do to me. I feel like they enjoy the heartbreak they put on me, They side with the abusers, they have my own sibling and other people siding with them because they are pretty, successful and i live in poverty without their help in anything. just recently my son defended me and they totally rejected my kids their younger siblings and i really didn’t want them ever to hurt like this. I’m trying to exsist without them and i love them and miss them so much, It seems like they got the pain they wanted me to feel over and over they just won’t truely forgive or care too. my life is hell

  • Michael Nellany

    I always have a hard time forgiving. I always want to retaliate and lash out. I spent my life lashing out. I have endured a few relationships that have really been hurtfull and nasty. I wish to God I could forgive so easily but since childhood my need to get even or even the score as they say has always been my number one method of coping. Hope I can finally learn something here

  • greatdane

    What if they haven’t suffered as you have suggested? What if they have gone on to lead normal lives, with a great job, partner, and family? You can find information like this very easily these days, would retribution not be coming to them? You cannot do nothing, I actually contacted a former tormentor, and launched a vicious attack (with words) on her, she now lives with the knowledge that her actions caused depression and suicide attempts, I can only hope that now as an adult, this has destroyed her as much as she did me, and it feels GREAT!

  • olivia

    this is lovely, thank you.

  • Firefly

    You hit the nail on the head. It is SO complicated especially with family member because as soon as you say ‘I forgive you’ it’s immediately implied that you do life with them again. And if you don’t then it looks like false forgiveness. What happens when you do forgive, but it is not healthy or safe to have that person in your life anymore?

  • Utopia Crown

    Finally—and this is the big one—realize that lack of forgiveness is rooted in a lack of boundaries.

    This goes back to the fear that if forgiveness were granted, “it” might happen again because the person thought that they could “get away with” it.

    The person you know you need to forgive in your life might not even be alive, anymore, but if they’re alive and real in your head, that’s enough.

    This is the moment of choice: Are you going to decide that you won’t tolerate XYZ behavior, dynamics, and beliefs in your life?

    The moment that you decide that you won’t tolerate the behaviors that lead you not to forgive is the moment that things shift.

    ………….please acknowledge…your are simplifying this process, and undermining those who are engaged in it. Forgiveness is a dichotomy; it can be simple, however it
    does not simply take a moment. The act of establishing the tools needed to “no
    longer tolerate the behaviors” successfully can require a time of “gathering”
    which IS energized by the anger one feels. Anger is not a monster emotion… it
    has it’s usefulness. It has the possibility of being a motivator, and a damn
    good one at that. I will forgive when I feel sure I have mastered the tools to
    help me navigate – until then I will use the anger /hurt to uncover the missing
    tools. I’ve found this way to be very productive and empowering. I’m calling
    the shots, and I’ll forgive when I’ve risen from the ashes. So, all I ask is
    for those of you pushing forgiveness as if it was a mere MOMENT – understand,
    there is more to it then bullet points…it’s visceral!….. please honor our
    human condition and give the ownership of forgiveness back to those who are in
    the process of understanding the pain.

  • Sigar

    There are some persons just DO NOT DESERVE to be forgiven; what they deserve is punitive justice. The reason is that even when they are forgiven for the wrong that they have done, they do not feel regret or remorse for having caused harm to another person. Any apologies that they express are insincere (or are based on self-serving objectives), and are never backed up by any effort to truly make it up to the person whom they have harmed.

    Quite to the CONTRARY, such persons only take undue advantage of the fact that they have been forgiven, and use the kindheartedness of the forgiver to once again take unfair advantage of the forgiver.

    Furthermore, the kind of remorseless persons to whom I am referring, would be highly UNLIKELY to forgive any wrong done to them.

    I have seen such persons in my own life, and am suffering due to the unnecessarily altruistic, and over-forgiving, attitude of one of my parents.

    The correct way to deal with such remorseless persons is to carry on with our own lives successfully, and then, when the opportunity arises, hit them where it hurts, as long as it is not illegal.

    Mercy, and forgiveness, are like trust — they need to be EARNED, NOT GIFTED AWAY.

  • Sigar

    There are some persons who simply DO NOT DESERVE to be forgiven; what they deserve is punitive justice. The reason is that even when they are forgiven for the wrong that they have done, they do not feel regret or remorse for having caused harm to another person. Any apologies that they express are insincere (or are based on self-serving objectives), and are never backed by any effort to truly make it up to the person whom they have harmed.

    Quite to the CONTRARY, such persons are highly likely to again take undue advantage of the fact that they have been forgiven, and use the kindheartedness of the forgiver to once again take unfair advantage of the forgiver.

    Furthermore, the kind of remorseless persons to whom I am referring, would be highly UNLIKELY to forgive any wrong done to them.

    I have seen such persons in my own life, and am suffering due to the unnecessarily altruistic, and over-forgiving, attitude of one of my parents.

    The appropriate way to deal with such REMORSELESS persons is to carry on with our own lives successfully, and then, when the opportunity arises, hit them where it hurts, as long as it is not illegal.

    Mercy, and forgiveness, are like trust — they need to be EARNED, NOT GIFTED AWAY.

  • Sigar

    If what you say is true, I do hope your tormentor suffers for the wrong she did to you.

  • Sigar

    I empathise with you. I am going through the hurtful situation where the person who wronged me, and deprived me of wealth that was rightfully mine, is leading a happy, successful, and wealthy life, while my own life is worse, and much more difficult due to the lack of that wealth that was rightfully mine. Further, the person feels no remorse, whatsoever.

    Forgiveness is like trust–it needs to be earned, not gifted.

  • atlgloriahall

    Great article Kate! I would like to say more but it would have to be under direct circumstances. You article did help me see the error of my ways regarding forgiveness. My relationship with my mother was a painful one to say the least.

  • Tamara Lynn

    I really suffered through 2 solid years of pain trying to “forgive” this one person… It really took a toll on my sanity! But I did it! It wasn’t until I realized that “forgiveness” has NOTHING to do with the person your angry at! I found forgiveness for her automatically once I learned that it was about forgiving MYSELF for being human and not setting my boundaries and protecting those boundaries “with love” … Protecting our personal boundaries can be done in a loving way! We can’t expect OTHER people to “respect our boundaries” if we don’t teach them what those boundaries are and why those “specific boundaries” are in place… We can do that by opening up our hearts and allowing others to see when we are hurt… when I started to concentrate on that, then I realized that forgiveness of others isn’t necessary unless they need it! It’s only forgiveness to ourselves that is necessary to heal the pain WE feel inside. If someone else doesn’t know they’ve hurt us then how can we be ANGRY at THEM? I WAS NEVER REALLY ANGRY AT HER! I was angry at MYSELF for not having the ability to voice my OWN FEELINGS! that wasn’t her fault… IT WAS MINE!! Now I practice telling people I care about, when I feel hurt… In a loving way so that I can understand where I might have led them to crossing a boundary of mine… It’s amazing how different the perspectives are between two people! When you truly FORGIVE, the feeling of resentment is IMMEDIATELY replaced with a feeling of THANKFULNESS! You become THANKFUL for the opportunity to open your heart! And it feels wonderful! But it is a lot like “language” in that you have to practice it over and over or you can easily forget how to do it!

  • ki li

    whenever I wanna forgive someone I just go take a shit then if am still undecided I just pee a little more till I cant go either ways well then I have to give up I guess so there u go its my forgiveness

  • Melisa cole

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  • Linda de Jong


  • Linda de Jong

    I agree completely. Although, for those people the article does state a lack of forgiveness can be rooted in the fear they will harm you again. Which is completely understandable! And in that case, an ability to forgive is not a matter of some moral superiority but a sign that you feel strong enough to uphold your boundaries against an abusive person.

    Maybe we’re looking at forgiveness the wrong way. Maybe forgiveness is about losing the emotional attachment to whether this person tries to hurt you or not and knowing that you can successfully defend yourself against them. Just because you forgive someone does not mean you must let them back in your life or that you must love them again. Maybe it just means that you’ve broken their power over you and you can wish them well in their lives.

    I’m still struggling with it. So I don’t really know.

  • greatanger

    This is so exactly like what I’m going through now with a friend that I can hardly figure out what to say. She seems not to want to know how I’ve been hurt – she’s told me I’m being ridiculous. I know my own pain is real, and not ridiculous; and I want not to be a doormat. I know she has flashed anger back at me because I have made her feel guilty for expressing how I’ve been injured. I’ve been close to the point of forgiveness, but I feel like I need to hear that she’s sorry, and I don’t know how to let that go.

  • Raquel

    So if we have set boundaries in place and our loved ones choose to ignore them and cross them without care. By choosing to forgive them, does this mean we continue on and let it happen by keeping them in our lives or how do we act to continue the relationship when they have no will to change? I struggle with how to handle someone who behaves the same even though you’ve expressed how it made you feel? I know I can move past and move on by how does that relationship flourish when the other doesn’t want to change that behavior? Do we ignore them or what would be considered “forgiveness”? Is it something seen or unseen is it an action in our heart? Said with our mouth? Where is the line between forgiving someone and staying in their life just the same as always or forgiving someone who displays no signs of caring to stop hurting you? When is “cutting off ties” acceptable? I’m confused as to when enough is enough and you can’t be around the negativity that friendship/relashipnship brings you??

  • Skip

    my relationship with my mom has been bad since my father died. I allowed her to assault my self-esteem. It has been over 20years and I won’t get past the feelings of anger & resentment. She is dying & I really don’t want to have anything to do with her. She has apologized to me several times & it doesn’t change the way I feel. I want peace .

  • fm

    I really feel that forgiveness can be given under the circumstances when you can really live after that and that to a real life as you had lived before.If you are not happy after forgiving someone than whats the good in forgiving someone.Surely Gandhiji rightly said “An eye for an eye would make the whole world blind” maybe keeping this in mind one can surely forgive someone provided that post forgiveness one is really happy as before.

  • Lori

    I am so with the way you are feeling, my family too , its awefull I could write a book, I am so sorry for your pain. Barely alive

  • Rohan Zener

    Forgiving means GIVING up all hope FOR a better future. – Elisha Goldstein

  • Rohan Zener

    The word is semantically related, in Hebrew, to “imprison”. If ye don’t believe me, check it on the Google Translate. Translate “forgive” and “imprison” and post your results.

  • Rohan Zener

    Those who forgive, become prisoners to their own griefers.
    The strong never forgive. Forgiveneß is an obligatory course only for the feeble.
    We had forgiven our past, and now, it was costing us our future!…and even our soul.
    In short, it’s a get-out-of-jail-free card for the recipient. Who will almost certainly imprison practitioners in his place.
    You hold the key to your OFFENDER’S cell. By forgiving him, you’re practically SURRENDERING the key, knowing full well he will get free, and you will be imprisoned yourself.

  • Qeni Arbarhzerohrhoht

    What the heck is wrong with you? No it isn’t related to “imprison”! Forgiving doesn’t even end you up close to prison!

  • Dan

    Any advice? How do you forgive someone who has hurt your children maliciously. I harbor so much hatred toward the person who has done this that it eats at my soul. I cannot guarantee that this person will not come back into our lives and the abuse these children have suffered as a result will send ripples of pain through the rest of their lives. I cannot relate to her and I cannot let it go.

  • Rohan Zener

    Oh, no?

    Forgive = לִסְלוֹחַ

    Imprison = לֶאֱסוֹר

    Three out of five consonants in common, and two out of four vowels; the words sound very similar, and bear in mind the person you’re REALLY releasing by FORGIVING, is your own offender, and he may very well IMPRISON you in his place if he can. Hence why i troll the poor motherfuckers who believes that forgiveneß makes them free, when in reality it’s a mental crystal prison of sorts, more than half the time. Hence how we know Mandela acquired the Stockholm Syndrome by the time he met his karmic death.

  • Rohan Zener

    And therein lies the danger that forgiving poses to practitioners; by giving your own offender a free pass from their guilt, you could end up yourself going to gaol for their crimes against you, so to speak.

  • Janes Chiarelli

    Hello. My husband of almost 7 years, cheated on me and left me for her and is living with her now. He said he hasn’t been happy in years but never told/showed me he was unhappy. We have a 4 year old son that missed his daddy so much and cries for him to just come home. Our son even crawled all over his car crying “daddy stay home with me.” And he still left. He just keeps saying “he’s never coming back, no matter what.” I didn’t know what to anymore..he left me 5/7/15, the weekend before mothers day this year and it broke my heart and I keep praying to God and he keeps telling me “be patient” I was still trying my best but it was hard when this was hurtinkg my son so badly. I have told my sister about this and she gave me some advice to contact a very good and powerful prophet who can help me pray for my husband to come back and be happy with us again which i did and i contacted the prophet. he prayed for me and my husband cam home begging me to take him back and now we are happily living together and a family. all thanks to the prophet and his email is ( May God bless you abundantly!

  • Brianna LaPoint

    Depending on the situation I would rather forgive myself than the other person.

  • Rohan Zener

    Being human is NOT a sin.

  • Rohan Zener

    I would visit you, but i’ll instantly be put on the Government radar of whatever country you are incarcerated in.

  • Rohan Zener

    Funny. I’ve done the same and my targets did no such thing.

  • Rohan Zener

    “it”? Do ye seriously think children are not people? As funny as it is, it’s depraved.

  • Rohan Zener

    Karma Houdinis; people who are able to avoid punishment even when found guilty, or never caught/reported in the first place. This shit happened to me too. Some people believe even, that people kill themselves or deliberately contract dementia/Alzheimer disease somehow, as a means of escaping from their deserved and inevitable punishment. Others pull their Houdinis by earning power from those unawares.

  • Tamara Lynn

    no… but its a bitch! haha but I’m getting the hang of it… little by little!

  • greatdane

    Yeah hilarious. What are you talking about? What did you do? You wrote a message to them? So what?

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  • Tatiana Pires

    Wow! You said it all. You couldn’t be more right there. We don’t ever need to forgive those who wronged us, we just need to let go, and we need to tell ourselves it’s their own f* fault. Forgiving the abuser is consenting with the abuse.

  • Rohan Zener

    Are you a…fanatic of the rock-bottom Disney film “Frozen”?

  • Tatiana Pires

    Why is that? I’m not into satanic stuff, specially not into the biggest children’s mind programming operation ever. I just agreed with your comment and you sound a bit judgemental with a lot of pre conceptions.

  • Rohan Zener

    Oh no; i have just observed that “let it go” has been so strongly-associated with that abysmal film, that i instantly assumed you were a fan. As well, Disney being behind the most powerful mind control enterprise is HOW you know, that its founder, Walt, was a fuckin’ Jew.

  • Rohan Zener

    I’ve started trolling the forgiving with a drawing i produced myself, of Goku Song in a crystal prison.

  • Rohan Zener

    GO TO JAIL!!!
    Go DIRECTLY to jail; do not pass GO, do not collect $200.

  • IBikeNYC

    “What happens in moments like these is that the put downs become about as believable as a drunk, homeless man who is shouting obscenities on the street. He’s clearly not altogether there, and you can have compassion for him because his suffering is so visible and his words so illogical.”

    Thank you, Kate!

  • Linda malesie

    The bible says you must forgive when someone says sorry, it’s a way of releasing your pain both theirs and yours and move on. You don’t have to rebuild relationship, it’s just a way of letting both your past go and start focusing on happiness without each other is the best feeling on earth.

  • Sparrow

    I must say from a psychological point of view this is overly simplistic. Nor does it take into account the differences in neurodiversity which make it harder (make that MUCH) harder for Atypical people (i.e. Aspies) to “let go”. Further, whilst the point about boundaries is good, it is not necessarily true that in asserting a boundary and forgiving the individual that they will respect it or you. Narcissistic types for example, regard all boundaries as a personal attack and will then up the anti in an all out attack on the person trying to assert a boundary, resulting in even more abuse, the fatuous remark that forgiveness helps you in these situations really doesn’t apply. I think this applies to run of the mill everyday stuff rather than people who have gone through hard core abuse. Further, I have witnessed many people who abuse and they are perfectly happy and content, they are successful, have moved onto other relationships and had no come back, they are not suffering but by god they have caused a lot of it to others. Some acknowledge what they have done but do not let it worry them – as their philosophy allows them to do so without qualms, they may of course suffer in the future but that hardly makes it any better. Nor does forgiving them change anything except allow them to laugh in your face.

  • Sparrow

    Totally agree with you Sigar, I have had the (mis)fortune to encounter a lot of NPD types as well as bonafide psycho’s and sociopaths, they do not have remorse, they will use your forgiveness as a free pass, they will not respect any boundary you put in place and they will – if it suits them to do so – continue to harm and hurt others and believe themselves totally justified in doing so. I have witnessed what happened to those who have forgiven such types – and I have experienced it myself. It has never been pretty. Some people cannot be forgiven by us. I accept that sometimes – some things are hard to forgive. I try to see past the actions to the person but sometimes that personhood is itself so parasitical that it is not possible to respect it – I am not a God and I do not have the power of omniscience, so I leave it to God to judge and forgive where I cannot. I am OK with that, further, not forgiving someone is not necessarily indicative of weakness on your part or of lack of moral compass, it simply shows that some hurts done to us run far too deeply to be healed by “forgiving” either self or other.


    Thank you so much for this post, I wasted so much time on feeling hurt and violated from my family members that I was almost losing control of my own emotions. I know it is unfair and a waste of so much positive energy to not forgive than to forgive. I’m going to do my best to begin to let go of this resentment and just remember that at the end of the day I love them and thank them for being in my life.

  • The Reader

    I’d probably take it a step further and say that it’s perfectly ok NOT to wish them well. That it’s alright to wish that karma will hit them super-hard down the road. Especially psychopaths and abusers. But here forgiveness can mean what you said — that they don’t have any more power over you and that you choose not to let them hurt again through setting necessary boundaries.

  • Me Myself and I

    I truly don’t mean to be rude but this article is offensive. How uninformed you are to so effortlessly generalize, oversimplify, and belittle such a complex and delicate topic.

    …You’ve clearly never met anyone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder or have taken into consideration the toxic, recurring abuse that they inflict daily on their victims, to say nothing of those who suffer with PTSD and related psychological disorders. Sometimes the only way to heal is to burn bridges; a spatial detox, if you will, to purge yourself of poison.

    When you live within a persistently negative, critical, abusive environment, your motives align more with self-defense than scape-goating or petty ‘one-upmanship.’ It’s not about vengeance, it’s about self preservation. People aren’t withholding forgiveness to exert a sense of control over the situation. They aren’t trying to manipulate the abuser into apologizing. They’re simply reacting naturally, reverting back to their basic fight/flight survival instincts. Abuse in no circumstance inspires compassion, especially when that abuse comes from a trusted loved one.

    Acknowledging someone’s crimes against you and accepting the abuser as emotionally handicapped isn’t enough to forgive them. There’s no closure in that. People who can’t forgive are people without closure…people who can’t reconcile their deeply-rooted ethical integrity with the nature of the crime.

    When their belief system is attacked and shaken to its core, the insult imprints itself onto that person permanently. A seed is planted. Some internal mechanism breaks. And yet here you are characterizing this deeply personal struggle as “petty,” “mean,” and “judgmental.”

    Try telling a mother that’s she’s being “Petty” because she can’t forgive the man who raped and murdered her daughter. Try telling a P.O.W. who refuses to forgive the captor who tortured him that he’s “Judgmental.” Try telling a discarded, neglected, abused child who was physically disfigured that they’re being “Mean.” In no circumstance will you elicit a positive response.

    I can appreciate the positive nature of your message but you ought to include a disclaimer in your byline. You’re clearly not a qualified mental health professional or grief counselor.

  • Me Myself and I

    This is exactly my point as well. Well stated.

  • Portia Kobue

    I’ve always believed that when people behave in a manner that is hurtful they know it and therefore they battle with their conscience about what they have put others through. Thank you for saying it so aptly when you say “they suffer”.

  • JonnyK

    Forgiveness is easy when you are the master of your ego.
    Spread positivity!

  • Judge172

    I have been struggling with this for many years. I have read “everything” on forgiveness and agree with most of it, yet I still cannot forgive and I still want revenge, and it is almost becoming an obsession – this after 47 years. No, I haven’t wasted my life on this; I was fine with it until I retired and had time to mull over those long-past events again.

    Briefly, my wife of 3 1/2 years abandoned me and our 2 1/2 year old identical twin boys. I had worked very hard to get into a PhD program at UNC and achieved that at age 26 after working in industry for 5 years. Two months after we arrived in Chapel Hill, she abandoned us forever – no further communication, even though we grew up together and were childhood friends.
    It wasn’t all that sudden; I tried and her parents tried to talk her out of leaving or at least seek marriage counseling. She was non-responsive and was dead set on leaving. Nothing had happened to cause this; she had not complaints – she said that marriage and motherhood were not for her. This went on for a few weeks, and then a female friend came by one day and picked her up and they drove off to Foxboro, MA. She never looked back; no further communication.
    Of course my life and the twins’ lives changed instantly; lost graduate school; lost the new house; lost the car; had to find good child care right away; I moved into a awful basement room in a boarding house, and so on … it was terrible. I was also working to pay for school, but I was so traumatized, I could not work and eventually after six months, had to find another job – so, we moved back to my hometown even though I hated to as I saw that as a defeat.
    Much happened in the following years – I raised my twins myself, never succumbed to negative behaviors, and they are both married and each has two children and good careers; I eventually went back to school and at least earned a masters degree. I had a good career and achieved a few honors, etc. So, one would think that everything worked out OK. But not really.

    Here I am mentally gnawing on the fact that the person who left us, who I thought at least cared something for us, went on to do as she pleased and only for self-satisfaction; she had no qualms about leaving as her attitude indicated. She has had no idea of the pain and suffering she caused, and if she did, she would not care because I expressed that to her before she left – that is, the consequences of her leaving. She was unmoved. One could play psychiatrist and say she is a narcissist and a sociopath/psychopath, and she probably does have those aspects to her personality, but I am not in a position to know for sure. Even so, does that justify what she did?
    She is married, has had a long career, has a nice home, and for all accounts life is good for her. I do not think she had any more children, but do not know for sure.
    So now I feel like a victim and I feel that my children were victimized and hurt for life and the person who did that is living the good life, not only without any consequences, but from all indications, just wiped us out of her life and consciousness. Our lives were thrown into turmoil and great uncertainty. She left us to live or die on our own. I almost had a breakdown and was close to being unable to care for the boys, but I managed to rebound and things got gradually better over the years with a lot of work. I blame her for that as well.
    I must confess that I have thoughts about her I am not proud of – I wanted to kill her for what she did for quite some time and fantasized about doing that – but not so much that as for her to acknowledge us – to see the degree of human devastation she caused just so she could “do her own thing” and not even try for a more humane solution to the way she felt.

    I still have thoughts of plotting to kill her after torturing her (and that gets very gross and ‘sick’) to get her to see what she did – it was very, very difficult for me to raise the children; to be a single parent of twins. The life story I hoped for myself totally changed in a flash, and I can’t see that I did anything to cause it except marry the wrong person; but how was I to know?
    I won’t list all the pain and suffering, and loneliness I went through; it was considerable. The boys also went through embarrassment (school and friends), pain and suffering, but mainly fear of being abandoned by me – even though over time they had confidence that I was always there for them, and that has been the fact and always will be.
    Their biological mother (I hate to use the term “mother” associated with her) lives in the same town as one of the twins, but never contacts him (which is what I desire, but she doesn’t know that). She has never seen her four grandchildren and doesn’t want to. She never informed us of her mother’s death even though she knew how to contact us; the boys were very close to her mother and I was as well. That was pretty much of a nightmare.

    In summary, I know that “forgiveness is a choice” and so is freedom and happiness, and there is nothing I can do to change her, or to do anything to her to balance the equation of pain and suffering; perhaps the “score” can never be settled. I know that violence is not the way to go; I couldn’t do that anyway as I am not that type of person. But, should she get off totally free – without any penalty? I don’t know her inner life, but from all indications, she erased us, and created a new life for herself and we were collateral damage.
    However, I do not want to live the rest of my life with this unresolved issue always lurking in my mind; I want it settled and resolved so that I can do productive work and possibly find loving relationships before I die.
    Any practical suggestions will be appreciated. I do not need theoretical “what” to do (I already know those) – but I need to know “how” to do those things to settle the issue in my mind. I’ve tried prayer, meditation, Buddhism, yoga, counseling and therapy. I have thought about writing to my ex-wife and telling her the story of what happened when she left; however, I do not want anything to do with her at all, not even write to her. Even if I did that and she wrote back and said, “I am sorry; I made a mistake. I am sorry that I hurt you and the boys”, I don’t think that would close the case for me. She would not do that anyway.

    I have only hit the tip of the iceberg, but have described the essence of the problem. Thanks in advance for any workable advice.

  • Judge172

    Donna, Please my post. In essence, I feel the same need as you do – the other person to care or understand how I’ve been hurt (and in my case, how our children has been hurt).

  • Judge172

    David and greatanger – please see my post. I see a common thread that we all have – not so much as to strike out and hurt the other person, but to have the other person, to genuinely see and understand how and to what degree they have hurt us. Some expressed remorse from them for that would go a long way.

  • Judge172

    Not if they are narcissists, sociopaths or psychopaths.

  • annonymous

    Seriously, you and Tatiana are spewing hate on a tinybuddha site. I hope you both peace and love in your hearts.

  • annonymous

    Completely agree on walking away from toxic people. Wish you well.

  • CPRInstructor

    Nope. It’s not going to work when you had a drunken, alcoholic, mean, lying mother who tried to burn me, cut me, bite me when I hugged her, threw me down the stairs, screwed a good friend’s father with the bedroom door open and us kids home, and who couldn’t understand why I seemed cold to her. She was so controlling she had a heart attack when I dared to go on a trip with my husband that I won at work for being such a good employee because when she begged me to stay home and not be so far away in case she, a grown woman, “needed me.” Who wouldn’t come to band concerts because she couldn’t stand to hear beautiful music destroyed by amateurs (nevermind we were 5th and 6th graders). I could go on and on and on. Forgive? Yea, right.

  • Bluebelle7

    What if the person not only thinks that they have done nothing wrong, but they refuse to even acknowledge boundaries?
    They claim that if you don’t like something they did, or will not allow it in your life, then YOU are the one with the problem….

  • No

    “Where are you just like this person that you don’t want to forgive?”
    No, I have never consciously and deliberately been cruel to someone, let alone consciously and deliberately, completely knowingly, despite “actually asserting boundaries”, driven them to the point of wanting to hang themselves.
    But perhaps things are easier to “treat like a drunk on the street” on up on your magical just-change-your-emotions-YOU-are-the-only-reason-you-want-to-commit-suicide high horse.

  • No

    Just realise that YOU’RE actually the petty and spiteful one, by refusing to see their abuse of you with the eyes of thankful loving kindness! [rolls eyes]

  • Potatomarie

    This is honestly crap. Love her because she brought you in the world? Thats one of the reasons she enjoys making me feel Guilty for not doing every single thing she watts me to do. Everyday im charged with an emotionally abusive person, everything she does she uses to make me feel guilty. How in the world can i forgive her with only some insights?

  • Martha

    I disagree. You are referring to situation that was in the past but my resentment comes from situations that continue that I have no freedom to walk away from due to life pressures such as earning money. Forgiveness leads to ignorance of systemic issues that one needs to get angry about to even start fighting against. From the spiritual point of view it is unfair that some people are trapped in situations like mine while others have the luxury to move on and ‘forgive’. You are supporting big picture ignorance in this post – typical Buddhist / new age passivity. The greatest changes were achieved with revolutions not meditating / a fact.

  • KittyKat12

    This is literally the only artical that has ever helped me or made me feel better about anything. Thank you so much.