What is forgiveness?

To forgive others is to be good to yourself – Gautama Buddha

Forgiveness is the perhaps the most difficult concept especially when we hear that we have to forgive not only others but ourselves as well, especially in a situation in which we have suffered then how come we have to forgive ourselves because we have not done anything wrong.

How do we forgive? Is saying I forgive myself or I forgive the people for the harm they caused me, enough? Forgiveness has been the most intangible concept for me.

Anger Hardens Our Hearts

3fda1f06435cafc96f20d6a89d04252fWhen we talk or think about forgiveness the first emotion that pops up is ANGER because there are feelings of injustice inflicted on us by someone else or anger at oneself for not standing up for ourselves. Numerous underlying emotions related to forgiveness can cause anger. For instance when we feel not validated by others, we feel that we were wronged, we were lied to, someone cheated us or cheated on us.

When we don’t forgive our hearts are hardened. A hardened heart is a cautious heart and is always trying to protect itself, as a result doesn’t allow any joy come in.

Anger only harms the person who is angry. Once I watched a program whereby a Vietnamese veteran was saying that for years he was angry at American soldiers who were buried in Vietnam. He realized that by being angry he was only harming himself.   So he decided to visit the graves of American soldiers, talked to them in order forgive them. After that he felt like a new person.

Books have been written on forgiveness. Some say pray for the person(s) every day for a month. Louise Hay says one way to forgive others is to visualize the person come on a dark stage and shine some light (of love) on them. Rhonda Byrne in her book The Magic says write ten good things about the situation or the person you are angry with but you want to forgive and move forward in that relationship.

All these exercises are to change our internal energy. When our energy change so does the other person’s energy toward us and the heart softens. But forgiveness is about our energy and not the other person’s, because holding a grudge only affects us.

Ho’oponopono Mantra – Ancient Hawaiian Prayer for Forgiveness


Ho’oponopono Mantra

Ancient Hawaiian ho’oponopono mantra helps with forgiveness. At the least it takes our attention away from anger and the underlying feelings and if we keep repeating enough it somehow removes the negative feelings because our mind is focused on the mantra.

The idea behind this, I was told, is that we by being in a situation may trigger an unpleasant memory in another person’s subconscious, and it may not be due to what we did but by mere fact that who we are.  So I’m sorry and please forgive me means silently asking the person to forgive us for doing that.  Then sending love.

Ho’oponopono for Self Forgiveness

Below is a link to a gentle ho’oponopono meditation for self forgiveness.  At the least it will relax you.

My Mother’s Advice

I am so grateful to my mother because one day I was extremely angry and she said, “Don’t wish or say anything bad about them. You will see God will take care of you.”

Now people working with energy say if we send negative thought out we will get them back somehow. For thoughts and words have vibration. When we don’t forgive we send out negative energy, which then returns to us.

I must add that despite forgiving yourself and others if a situation persist then it may be another matter that one may need to work on.  

What do you do to forgive yourself and others?

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2 Responses to What is forgiveness?

  1. allymccormick says:

    Thank you for that link. It’s worth listening to.

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