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13 Good Reasons to Forgive Someone Who Hurt You

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13 Good Reasons to Forgive Someone Who Hurt You

It's easy to say forgiveness heals, that it's for the injured and not the offender, but it's another thing entirely to forgive. Forgiveness is a process rather than an event. It's an unfolding decision, one you make again and again.

But why forgive someone who's hurt you, even someone you love?

Sometimes, forgiveness means repairing a relationship that deserves another chance.

Other times, it means not giving power over your own life to anyone or anything else.

Still other times, you're simply ready to remove the malice from your heart.

Extending an offer of goodness, through your pain, to the person who caused that pain is easily one of the hardest things you ever learn to do. No wonder it's so empowering, so transformative: it take so much strength to do.

Strength you might not have realized you had.

It takes a certain level of spiritual maturity to release victimhood and offer goodness in the face of unfairness. In this way, forgiveness is one of life's greatest teachers.

It teaches you that you're powerful enough to turn pain into love.

It teaches you to take ownership of how you experience your experiences. It removes blame from the equation, freeing you to live by your own values regardless of whether someone else does.

Forgiving someone else teaches you about who *you* are.

You'll decide for yourself why you want or need to forgive someone else. These are some reasons of my own, ones we might have in common.

It's easy to say forgiveness heals, that it's for the injured and not the offender, but it's another thing entirely to forgive. Forgiveness is a process rather than an event. It's an unfolding decision, one you make again and again. But why forgive someone who's hurt you? Here are 13 good reasons to try.

13 Reasons to Forgive That Person Who Hurt You

  1. Everyone makes mistakes.
  2. Everyone is doing the best they can from their current level of consciousness.
  3. People deserve a second chance.
  4. People can change.
  5. You deserve to feel free. You're worth knowing what it's like to not have bitterness take up space in your mind, in your heart, in your life.
  6. You don't need to wait for an "I'm sorry" to move forward with your life. It's your life.
  7. When you let go of what happens inside others, you get to grow what's beautiful inside of you.
  8. Forgiveness expands your sense of goodness, generosity, and compassion, making you a more passionate and present person in the world.
  9. You are a role model for everyone in your life.
  10. Beauty grows in unexpected places; growth and gifts come from the most unlikely situations.
  11. Loving each other and loving yourself is kind of the same thing.
  12. We're all connected.
  13. We have such little time here.

If you're ready to set things right, see why I love the Hawaiian ritual of ho'oponopono so much.

. . .

Tell me:

Think about someone you've forgiven recently, or want to forgive. How will your decision to forgive them better your life, or how has it already?

Tell me in the comments. You never know who might need to read what you write, who you might inspire.

With you,

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.

It's easy to say forgiveness heals, that it's for the injured and not the offender, but it's another thing entirely to forgive. Forgiveness is a process rather than an event. It's an unfolding decision, one you make again and again. But why forgive someone who's hurt you? Here are 13 good reasons.

Comments on this post (6)

  • May 25, 2020

    eileen, thank you for being so open and vulnerable, and for sharing this here with me. Someone else might need to read what you’ve written too, you never know. You’ve been through so much, for so long, and the fact that you’re still available for love and committed to forgiveness (I know it’s such difficult work) is more than inspiring to me. You touched my heart. I believe there’s so much love in store for you.

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • May 25, 2020

    Loved coming across this and reading. I was in an abusive marriage for 32 years. I drove out of my driveway with a few things in my backseat and moved in my brothers basement. It isv a safe and loving place. After 3 long years of a grueling divorce, on the 9th and final court date; he killed himself.
    I am working so hard to heal my trauma and pain. I need to forgive.
    thank you for all your wise words. I feel like I will have a bright future. I still believe in love and want to find a healthy love. I want to turn my pain into love

    — eileen

  • Apr 16, 2020

    Josette, wow, you’re an inspiration to me! Thank you for sharing some of your story, heartbreak, and appreciation here with me and with anyone else who reads this. What a gift. It’s so hard to be grateful when life is so hard, isn’t it? I guess when we uproot some of that gratitude, though, it turns out life becomes easier in a very deep way. Sending you my love from afar for all that’s waiting for you in the future <3

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Apr 16, 2020

    Cairn, thank you for sharing your thoughts, and it’s true… people “might” change, and what happens with others is their path; how it affects us is ours. Sometimes it’s me who needs the lesson when I think it’s someone else who needs to change. Thank you for your words. You inspired me <3

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Apr 16, 2020

    Hi Jen! I woke up this morning to say an improvised prayer of gratitude. Then I googled gratitude affirmations and scrolled through each link and landed on yours. I voiced out loud your gratitude affirmations. I’ve suffered from chronic migraines for the past 3 years of my life and am now at the final stages of experiencing the muscle tension from the chronic pain I endured. In the midst of it all, I went through the most hurtful insane experiences while enduring chronic pain. My biggest challenge is to forgive my mom whom I’m estranged from because of the anger I carried when I sought help from her when I couldn’t function with chronic migraines and she left me on the streets, with a disdained dehumanizing treatment while I was deeply ill. I’m 41 and realized that it all comes down to love. I had a miscarriage this past November (like I really wanted anymore pain in my life), and I’m trying to conceive again. I don’t have any children yet, but I even send my gratitude to the universe for allowing this miscarriage in my life. I have faith that I will conceive again because I realized that I never said thank you every day for the blessings I’ve received, and never thanked the value of being alive. I value life in whole new precious way. So I thank you for sharing your wisdom! I’m a writer as well. I graduated from Hunter College in NYC with a BA in creative writing and my dream is to write conscious and inspiring scripts for all of humanity! I’ve battled writers block and energy blockers since graduating in December of 2002. And just today I realized that I’ve given all my attention to all the hardships of reality when you leave college and enter the “real world” instead of thanking what I had accomplished thus far.
    Again thank you Jen!

    With gratitude and hope,
    Josette Zeno

    — Josette Zeno

  • Apr 14, 2020

    Hi Jen,
    I love the 13 reasons. The only one I see differently is Number 4. I would say: “People might change.” I base this on the premise that I don’t need anyone to change for me to accept the peace that forgiveness brings.

    I thought about sending this to an acquaintance who holds bitterness in his heart for over 30 years regarding his father (even now that dad is dead) and his ex-wife. That would be me “not staying in my own lane,” now wouldn’t it? I certainly can forgive him for not forgiving those people in his life. I needed to read your blog, not him. Much love

    — Cairn

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