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A "Things I Forgive You For" List

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A "Things I Forgive You For" List

True, wholesome, meaningful forgiveness doesn’t stop at saying a few magic words.

But it could start there.

Like every facet of healing, forgiveness is a process.

Likely because it takes an awful lot of self-awareness, compassion and fortitude to forgive — someone else, yourself, the past — and it takes time to hammer out those qualities.

It takes time and attention to put yourself back together.

Wisdom is earned; a token of our growth.

It makes sense that forgiving wouldn’t be a once-and-done sort of thing, a thing we gracefully lay aside on our first try. It’s too essential to be dealt with in one fell swoop.

If certain experiences in your past still weigh heavy on your soul, and you’re ready to confront those things (maybe again, but differently this time), then I made this list for you, too.

This is a list of things I forgive you for — “you” being my past and all the relationships that went sour, the way I used to go about my life, the mistakes and trouble I’ve made and the losses that changed me.

Making this list was a way for me to express how I still felt about things I’ve neglected to resolve for years.

It was an eye-opening exercise that showed me just how far I’ve come, and how much further I’d like to go.

“Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were.” – Cherie Carter-Scott

One thing worth mentioning:

You don’t need to shed your past in order to live better right now. Maybe what you need more than anything else is to find a new way to remember. It's what I needed.

Try making your own “Things I forgive you for” list if you intuitively know you still have things to let go.

Take some time to think about all the big and little things you could stand forgiving yourself for, forgiving others for, after all this time. Be specific. Be general. Write a letter. Make a poem. Do this however it feels right.

Now that the dust has settled, treat each memory like a child: gently.

The result is an honest sense of forgiveness that releases you from resentment and weaves its way into the fabric of your life.

True, wholesome, meaningful forgiveness doesn’t stop at saying a few magic words. But it could start there. Like every facet of healing, forgiveness is a process. If certain experiences in your past still weigh heavy on your soul, and you’re ready to confront them, then explore your own "things I forgive you for" list.

Things I Forgive You For:

Promises broken.

Things left unsaid.

What could have been.

Judging too quickly.

Being so stubborn.

 

Muddled priorities.

Mixed feelings.

Shame kept secret.

How you chose to survive.

All the beauty that never saw the light of day.

 

Power thrown away.

Responsibilities unclaimed.

Seeking wholeness in someone else.

Mistreating yourself.

Not knowing any better.

Grief I can’t even name.

 

Apologies that never came.

Lessons learned the hard way.

Giving up too soon.

Invisible wounds.

The anger in my veins.

 

The moments I let slip by.

The time I didn't take.

Refusing to see the light.

Mistaking myself for an enemy.

Having no boundaries in place.

 

Everything.

Everything.

. . .

Tell me:

What still needs your forgiveness?

Tell me in the comments. What you share helps more than you know.

In love,

Jen

P.S. Want these kinds of posts in your inbox? Sign up for Tuesday emails and you'll also get my Healing Brave Manifesto, totally free.

Comments on this post (5)

  • Oct 24, 2020

    Joshua, I’m so glad you found these words and they spoke to you! Thank you for reading and sharing. You’re very much not alone. We’re connected in great way, and what is in the past doesn’t need to pull you backwards or keep you still – it can be the stepping stone that continues to help you move forward.

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Oct 24, 2020

    Deepika, yes, slowly you will be able to. Forgiveness is such a process, as are each of us. It’s okay to go slowly. I think that’s necessary. x

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Oct 24, 2020

    So first and foremost, Thank you!
    Your articles (which I found on a google search tonight)(10/20/20 12:58am) have each hit me individually but have encompassed my life as a whole! Literally you have given me the faith and direction to move on from the hurt in my life! I have been through so much these past couple months and to read someones words touch upon each aspect of what my brain has been screaming to put to spit out has just made me feel a little less lonely in this world! Thank you for motivating me to become greater than my self doubt, abuse, hurt, and voices of the past. Thank you! ~Love

    — Joshua Kauffman

  • Oct 12, 2020

    I find forgiveness and gratitude intertwine like braids. They are strong together. They are magic together.

    — Jim

  • Oct 07, 2020

    Wonderful post. Well I really need to forgive my father and myself. I find it hard but I know slowly I will be able to.

    — Deepika Agarwal

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