How to Forgive Someone From Your Past

How to Forgive Someone From Your Past

“It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.”
Maya Angelou

Have you experienced firsthand the power of forgiveness?
Have you been able to forgive someone who has hurt you in the past?
Are you still holding onto anger and resentment from things you haven’t been able to forgive?

It’s not easy.

But, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to forgive.

Because forgiveness is not about letting the other person off scot free. It’s about setting yourself free.

Here’s the first video that goes along with this post:

Here are some points about forgiveness:

• Forgiveness is usually not a one and done kind of thing. It’s an ongoing process. And it can take time. It’s part of your journey to becoming a happier person.

• Resentment and anger held inside are like toxins for your mind, body, and spirit.

• When you are forgiving someone, you may need to forgive yourself at the same time. We often blame ourselves, without even realizing it, for somehow allowing the incident or situation to happen.

• If you really need to forgive someone, but are finding it difficult, read or listen to inspiring stories of amazing people who have forgiven. Remember Nelson Mandela who forgave the people who imprisoned and tortured him?

• There are lots of other guided meditations on Youtube, besides these two below, that can guide you through the process of forgiveness.

Here is a forgiveness visualization:

  1. Get comfortable, relax, and take a few slow, deep breaths.
  2. Think of the word “forgiveness.” Breathe the word in and visualize its essence circulating through your entire body. You could also picture it going right to your heart if that’s
    meaningful to you.
  3. After a few seconds of being quiet and breathing this in, what come ups to the surface? An old wound or a more recent hurt? A specific incident or situation from your past? Or a particular person?
  4. Are you ready to let it go and forgive? It’s ok if you’re not ready. You might need more time to process it all. You might need to talk it out with the person involved. Or talk it out with a friend or family member, for instance.
  5. If you’re ready, it’s time to call on your imagination. Imagine that person is with you now. Begin by telling that person you forgive him or her. (It doesn’t matter if he or she is still living or not. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances were or still are with this person. You can still do this exercise no matter what.)
  6. Make it a simple statement like, “I forgive you for…” And then continue to talk with this person in your imagination. Play it out however you want to. Maybe you need to ask them some questions. Do you want this person to explain themself to you? Do you need them to apologize? Do you want to just tear into this person and get it all off your chest?

There is no right or wrong to this. The important thing is to get it all out. All the things like pain, anger and regret, for instance. All the heaviness you’ve been holding onto – maybe even for years and years.

  1. And this doesn’t have to be a one time deal. Now that you’ve opened this up, more details might keep coming to the surface in the coming days and weeks. Just keep processing it and forgiving him or her, if you are ready to. By processing I mean really feel all that took place around this. Then work at understanding it all. And deciding that you are ready to let it go.
  2. When you’re done, hug it out with this person, if that feels right. Imagine ending this time any way that feels right to you.
  3. Take a few cleansing breaths. Say a prayer, if you’d like. And bask in the sense of freedom and newness you have right now. Also, say a few words of gratitude.

Forgiveness 2.0

“Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning.”
Desmond Tutu

Here’s the video that goes along with this exercise:

This exercise takes your forgiveness to a whole new level:

  1. Make a list of everyone who has ever hurt you or wronged you in any way long ago or in the present. Write it all out. Purge it from your mind and body onto the paper.
  2. Get comfortable, relax, and take a few cleansing breaths.
  3. Visualize meeting one person from that list at a time. Have a one on one with him (or her) and tell him what he did to you that caused your pain. Tell him everything how it made you feel, how long you’ve been feeling this way, and what the consequences have been of their actions. Let it all out.
  4. Imagine now that he responds to you and gives you an explanation. Imagine you have a back and forth conversation with him. You get to write the script. You get to dictate the conversation. What would you like him to say? How would you like him to feel? Play it all out in your mind.
  5. When you’re done with this conversation – embrace, hug it out, cry it out, or imagine anything that feels right to you. Tell him you forgive him and that you are now releasing all of this hurt, resentment, anger, etc. out of your body and you’re moving on.
  6. End with a statement or prayer that feels right to you.
  7. Take a moment to feel the peace you have right now.

Hold a Special Ceremony to Let Things Go

“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or
hanging on.”

Eckhart Tolle

Here are ways to enhance a session when you are forgiving someone.

This could be as simple as lighting a candle.

You could write everything down on paper that comes up about the whole situation and then burn that paper after you read it. Imagine while you’re burning it that the ashes are representative of all the hurt, anger, and resentment that you are now releasing.

There are a lot of different things you can do to make it special:

• You can play music.

• You can have photos around.

• You can read an inspirational poem or quote.

• You can have a person you are close to joining you in the ceremony.

• You can hold it outside in nature. If it’s inside, you can add pieces that represent the four elements: earth, water, fire, and air. Like a candle, a plant, stones, a glass bowl of water.

• You can have it at night by a campfire, so you can burn the papers in it.

• You can have prayer beads, a bible, a cross, or any religious items.

• It’s always a good idea to end the ceremony with a prayer, if that feels right to you, and with gratitude.

Thanks for reading!


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