Contributed by Noreen Sumpter, Personal Life Coach



Q: I have a hard time forgiving myself for things I have done in the past and forgiving others for what they did to me.

How can I let things go?  — George.  What about you? Are there any past pains you are holding on to?

A: Forgiveness Does Not Mean Forgetting.


Sometimes when we are angry we often lose sight of why we are angry and all we know is that we are right and the other person is wrong.  Being right makes you angry because you feel the need to go around making sure everyone knows they are wrong.  But no one is right all the time and that truth is driving us to react with anger.  Learning to forgive yourself for all your wrongs gives you the tools necessary to feel what it is like to forgive another.  Forgiveness is like a much needed cool drink on a hot day.  After the first mouthful, you feel refreshed, satisfied and your thirst is forgotten.  A weight is lifted from your shoulders.  You are finally free.  That is forgiveness.

Forgiving does not mean forgetting.  Forgiving does not minimize or justify the act; it just releases the hold the past hurt has on you.  Someone once said “Forgiveness is a gift that you give yourself.”  More often than not, you’re the one that is left with the pain, by holding onto ill feelings of anger, hurt and upset.  Forgiveness unties you and frees your heart from these feelings and the hurts of the past.  Forgiveness allows you the opportunity of staying in the present, giving you the experience of freedom from the actual or perceived wrong.

People that hurt you are usually the people you love and are closest to you.  The reason why they hurt you so much is because they are the ones that you care about and let into your life.  I do not have to spell out who they are.  These people are the ones that you say have abused, betrayed, rejected and insulted you.  Minor problems become enormous and you’re left with the experience of negative feelings.  If you do not immediately handle the incident, it will begin to grow bigger and fester, filled with the pollution of resentment, killing off any positive feelings and becoming a blight in your existence, eventually killing off any possibility of positive relationships before they can even start.  Why? Because you now feel that you have to be on guard because no one can be trusted.

This immersion into your own bitterness continues to kill off any possibility of relationships in your life and you find yourself experiencing difficulty communicating as you become hyper sensitive to the mere thought of any perceived insult, hurt or conflict.  As you continue to hold onto your pain by immersing yourself in your story about your suffering, it soon becomes a heavy price to pay in every relationship you have.  This continuous story is lived over and over and remains as fresh and new as the day it happened.  By continuing this vicious cycle, your story/wound never gets time to heal and you cannot find or give forgiveness to yourself or anyone.

It is time to heal.   You’ve become labeled as your hurt.  It has become a part of you and you really have no need for it.  You can choose to free yourself from your past hurts with forgiveness.  You do not have to identify with your hurt or anger, it is not edifying.   Forgiveness is a gift that you give to you, so give it generously and let the past go.  Take from your past lessons only the aspects which will help you grow, the joys that make the happy memories that you treasure and leave the rest to rot.

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Noreen SumpterPersonal Life Coach: works with High Achievers who feel trapped in their private life.  They lack personal confidence and self-esteem. By helping them clear mental clutter and dissolve limiting beliefs, they can take deliberate steps, own their voice, speak their truth and have the freedom to live life their way.  “Live Life Your Way” 

   “Live Life Your Way”

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