To Forgive is to Set Yourself FreeWill You Forgive Me?

This month, we’re continuing to stir up new thoughts and emotions with a new theme. This is good! When we stir things up, old ingrained habits and patterns start to loosen their grip, and we make room for new ideas and growth.

This particular topic often causes a lot of resistance. But if you’re willing to remain open-minded and apply these principles in your romantic relationship, you WILL experience benefits.

So let’s get started! When you hear that forgiveness is the key to freedom, do you feel like rolling your eyes, or think that some things are just plain unforgivable?

Forgiveness means different things to different people. And what it means to you depends on your BS (Belief System).

Perhaps you believe that forgiveness means letting someone get away with a wrong without holding them accountable for their actions. Or that it somehow gives them permission to walk all over you again.

What if you could look at the idea of forgiveness in a different light? One definition that I particularly resonate with is: “to cease to feel resentment against.”

Wouldn’t it be great if you could cease the feeling of resentment? Who wouldn’t want that?!

As Carrie Fisher stated: “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

This is SO true! Holding onto resentment and thinking it will somehow teach your partner to refrain from painful actions does NOT work!

If fact, it causes you more pain. It’s as if you’re re-living a story over and over again that you didn’t enjoy going through in the first place.

And it closes off any sort of effective communication about how to learn from the painful experience and handle things differently in the future.

So why is it so common for people to feel resentful and hold onto their pain? Wouldn’t it be easier to simply forgive and let go of the burden?

From a logical point of view, this makes perfect sense. But from an emotional point of view…it’s not so easy!

Most of us have experienced some sense of rejection or abandonment in our lives…it’s part of being human. And most of us have been taught to deal with these issues by throwing up a wall of protection so we don’t get hurt again.

While it makes perfect sense to protect yourself and avoid pain when possible, the way you go about doing this is of great importance. According to your BS, your choices will either:

  • create more pain and resentment for you and your partner OR
  • enable you to let go of the pain and move toward actions of respect for you and your partner

In other words, you can actually transform resentment into respect. This doesn’t mean that you simply forget what happened and deny that it was painful…actually, this is quite the opposite.

It means taking responsibility for your thoughts, feelings and reactions, and then choosing to take empowered action through the eyes of love, honesty and respect…for both you and your partner.

There are MANY layers to the concept of forgiveness. And depending on the depth of the wound, you may find yourself needing to move through many layers before being able to completely let go of the pain.

Believe me, I understand how difficult this can be. I continue to learn and apply the many aspects of forgiveness. Even though I’m still learning, I can tell you that my life is much more peaceful whenever I choose to forgive!

I am not here to tell you what’s right or wrong, good or bad or what you should or shouldn’t do. But I am here to tell you that it’s a scientific fact that the act of forgiveness relieves stress and promotes a sense of well-being.

And this is what I want for you. It’s what I want for your partner. It’s what I want for everyone!

If you find yourself resistant to the idea of forgiving, start small. Forgive the person who cut you off on the freeway. Instead of flipping them off, flip them a sign of peace instead.

And if this message stirred up a sense of irritation or a feeling of not being understood, will you forgive me?

Forgiveness is not about condoning what the other person did and giving them permission to hurt you. It’s about choosing to let go of a weight that you have the burden of carrying.

It’s about releasing what no longer serves you and choosing to bring more freedom into your life. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. Start now…choose to forgive what you’re ready to let go of.

The next few mindful messages will focus on forgiveness, and are designed to help you break through one of the biggest obstacles to freedom. Be sure to tune in for more!


Catherine Dietz
Healthy Relationship Coach