The Gift of Forgiveness

The Gift of Forgiveness

Forgiveness has some negative connotations and I don’t want to reinforce those.  Instead, I want to talk about giving the gift of forgiveness.

What is Forgiveness?

What exactly is forgiveness?  It’s not forgetting about what happened because in some cases, you will forgive but choose not to repair the relationship.  If you are the person who made the mistake, we learn from our mistakes when we choose not to repeat them.

When someone wrongs you, forgiveness is not something that has to follow an apology.  That is a BIG thing so I’m going to say it again.  Forgiveness is not something that has to follow an apology.  First, some people are simply not capable of apologizing.  Some people will never think they have wronged you or someone you love in any way.  Where does this leave you?

Forgiving Others

Not forgiving others injures YOU more than anyone.  If you are a Christian, part of the Lord’s Prayer is to “forgive us our trespasses/sins as we forgive those who trespass/sin against us”.  That means that if you expect forgiveness for your wrongdoings, you MUST forgive others.  If you are a non-Christian, I suggest you ask yourself, how does holding onto hostility elevate you in any way as a human being? 

It’s ok to choose NOT to have a relationship with someone you feel has harmed you or a loved one and still be able to forgive them.  Releasing those feelings will free you.   You are giving your time and energy away to something negative and your life will be much happier if you are able to just let those negative feelings go.

Forgiving Yourself

If your lack of forgiveness is to yourself, it is just as important to practice forgiveness.  We all have said or done something or wished we had done or said something that we wish we could change.   Some call it ‘woulda/shoulda/coulda’.  No one is perfect so if you can make amends, do so.  Write a letter of apology, providing this will HELP someone else, NOT HURT THEM FURTHER.   If you are not 100% certain of this, just write the letter for you and put it away or throw it away.  They have the right to NOT accept your apology so have NO expectation if you do send a letter.  I also recommend never sending a letter you haven’t held onto for at least 72 hours.

This is VERY important.  Do NOT expect ANYTHING in return.  Remember, this is not about you getting something, it’s about YOU GIVING something:  an acknowledgment of wrongdoing or regret about something. 

Giving is the BEST Feeling

It’s been my experience in life when you GIVE without expectation, there is a gift that cannot be matched.  You won’t need to receive anything in return because you gave yourself the biggest gift of all. You released that situation into the past and more importantly you decided not to repeat that same mistake again.  Making mistakes is human.  Choosing to forgive others and not repeating your own mistakes is the gift that keeps on giving.

Forgiveness is Freedom

Whether you walked away from a relationship or you are the one who was left behind, there is freedom in forgiveness. Not everyone in your life is meant to be in your life forever. Release the bad feelings you’ve been holding close. Be open to new people and new situations. Forgiveness is the gift that keeps on giving.

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. Debbie Harris

    Your words are so true, especially “Not everyone in your life is meant to be in your life forever”. This can be hard for some people to acknowledge but it helps when you get it. Visiting from #mlstl

  2. Lydia C. Lee

    Interesting post. I think life gets too short and too busy to hold onto grudges but at the same time, too short to waste with people that bring you unhappiness.

  3. Patrick Weseman

    So very powerful and true. Very nice. I need to remember this. #MLSTL

  4. Hi Rita – great minds must think alike – I just finished a post on forgiveness and moving on that I’m publishing in a few weeks. It was a very valuable lesson that I took away from leaving my toxic job and the person who caused me so much stress. We forgive or we become bitter – I know which choice I’m going for!
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

    1. Thanks, Leanne. I started working on that on Easter and meant to post it sooner but I wanted to let it “marinate”! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Good, practical helpful words. You stress the value to the person doing the forgiving. Forgiveness does not have to be deserved for us to give it. But we also reserve the right to say to a person who has hurt us deeply, ‘I do forgive you, but you do not get to do that to me again.” Thanks for sharing.

  6. Christie Hawkes

    There is so much truth in this Rita and beautifully said. Sometimes forgiveness is a process, but it’s one that is always worth pursuing. As you pointed out, forgiveness is all about YOU. It has nothing to do with an apology from someone else. And forgiving yourself is just as important as forgiving others. When I catch myself saying, “shoulda/woulda/coulda,” I replace it with “next time I will…” It’s so much kinder and allows for growth and moving on from mistakes or bad choices. Thank you for this lovely post. I wish you safety, happiness, health, and peace of mind.

    1. Thanks so much, Christie! I am so hard on myself at times so I definitely wanted to make sure I covered how important it is to forgive ourselves too!

  7. Corinne Rodrigues

    I believe in forgiveness, Rita, but like you said, I now find it not necessary to let someone into my circle again. Without forgiveness, you continue to live in the past and I’m all for moving forward.

    1. Absolutely, Corinne. There are definitely cases to let go of others and move forward without them. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Patricia Doyle

    Forgiveness is something I am working on this year. Part is actually forgiving a few people who have since passed on. Your idea of writing a letter is helpful…. obviously I can’t share it with them, but it might be the way to move forward with this. And then, the idea that I can forgive a couple of others but that does not mean I need to let them back into my life – again, helpful. Yeah, there’a whole set of folks – all extended family – that hurt me/us and I need to work through it. Appreciate the insights you shared.

    1. Patricia, I have actually written a letter to someone who has passed and it really does help. I’m glad you liked the article.

  9. Candi Randolph

    Very well said, Rita. Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves as much as to others, as you said. Letting go of our past mistakes, not continually reminding ourselves of our shortcomings, loving ourselves as we are…all these things help us forgive others, too.

  10. Hi Rita, such good advice especially about forgiving ourselves. We are often harder on ourselves than others and can set the bar too high. Once we can learn to forgive ourselves a weight is lifted and we can enjoy life and as you say ‘Forgiveness brings freedom’. Thank you for being part of #MLSTL and sharing your thoughts. xx

    1. Thanks, Sue! I have always been super hard on myself too! Love #MLSTL! I’m getting exposed to a lot more blogs and I do enjoy reading others’ blogs!

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