affirmation forgiveness

How to forgive when you just can’t let go

April 29, 2014|128Comments|


Hi Sweet Friend,

But what if you can’t forgive?

I wanted to kick off this blog by extolling the virtues of forgiveness. Every faith agrees that forgiveness is the seat of liberation. It allows us to be fully present in the moment, rather than stuck in the past. However, try as I might, I just can’t muster up the energy to write a big soaring blog on something I’m still having trouble with.

The truth is, sometimes forgiveness feels impossible. Have you been there? Are you there now? Is there someone in your life that no matter how hard you try, how many books you read, how many lectures or workshops you attend, you still can’t forgive? Are you tough on yourself for that? Me too.

Today I want to talk about what we can do if we’re not quite ready or able to let go. And I’m really interested in your thoughts too. Because there’s nothing worse than feeling stuck.

Forgiveness doesn’t only resolve our past, it alleviates our fear of the future. When we hold onto thoughts, memories or traumas, we’re unconsciously attempting to protect ourselves from experiencing that pain again. It can be a complicated process that takes time (not a prescription pill you pop to make it all better). As someone who’s lived with chronic disease for over a decade, I’ve learned that sometimes there are no short cuts. Forgiveness takes a similar kind of loving patience and ability to accept where we are right now. All healing happens in the right season. It can’t be rushed. Please don’t yell at your kale.

So for me, the first step is to stop forcing and judging. The more I judge myself the more negative, fear-based energy I bring to the situation. This leads to compulsively vomiting that awful word “should”, which only increases my inability to let the darn thing go. “You should be over this by now. You should forgive. You’re a Hay House author for Godsake, a supposed model spiritual citizen, if you can’t forgive you certainly have no business in the business of self-help. Give back your book deal, roll up your blog, join the Hells Angels–you’re done sister.”

And on and on. Sound familiar? (Hopefully not as dramatic.)

It’s pretty obvious that this kind of thinking gets us nowhere. In fact, it only dials up our dislike (or hatred) for the person we’re having a hard time forgiving! Because if they didn’t do such and such then we wouldn’t feel like such a bad person for not forgiving! It’s sorta funny really.



Release the pressure. It’s okay to press pause on problem solving before making your next move. We tend to focus on action and results, but sometimes there’s a gap between the place we really are and the place we want to be. Here’s a baby step that helps narrow that gap: Forgive yourself for not forgiving.

Forgive yourself for not being ready–yet. Send compassion to yourself–first. Send love to the place that is so hurt it keeps you from taking one step forward. Sit quietly. Think of the pain you’re feeling. Breathe. Put your hand on your heart and silently say “It’s OK. I love you and I forgive you for being angry, sad, stuck, etc.”. Use whatever words bring you peace. Everytime I do this it releases blocked energy. And I do it a lot. I do it whenever I start to judge or attack myself in any way.

This also works if you’re the person who needs to be forgiven, but you haven’t been, or perhaps never will be. It’s not about condoning poor behavior, it’s about thawing the parts of us that stay frozen in old pain and patterns. While I can’t go back in a time machine or control what other people think, I can be gentle and forgive myself for not having the tools in the past that I have now. I can make space for healing, whether that person thinks I deserve it or not. In some cases, I absolutely wish I could have done things differently. I may not ever have the chance to be forgiven and that might hurt my heart. But luckily, that’s not the end of the story.

When we start from a place of loving ourselves, no matter what, our next step will always be the best one we could have chosen. And that’s enough.

Now it’s your turn, what baby steps do you take to forgive?

Peace & pauses,

Kris Carr



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128 responses to How to forgive when you just can’t let go
  1. Hi Kris, i sent you some healing energy to be able to forgive and if you want, i think i made it so you can say a prayer and pass it on :) but don’t quote me on the passing it on haha

  2. I love how you make the distinction between “condoning poor behavior” vs. moving forward from “old pain and patterns,” which applies to both giving and receiving forgiveness. for me, it was helpful to define what the abstract concept of forgiveness actually meant concretely (it was a therapy homework assignment a few three decades ago). for me, it means ultimately giving to myself by working through emotions and releasing them so that I can move forward in compassion and love for myself, thereby also moving forward in compassion and love for whomever I might feel upset towards. It doesn’t mean negating the emotions, but recognizing them and processing them as a gift primarily to myself. that’s how i wrapped my mind around that one! so, if you do “yell at your kale” in a moment of displaced weakness, really, the kale will forgive you, and you can acknowledge the issue, forgive yourself, and move on!

  3. Having compassion for yourself and not judging yourself is a very powerful first step towards forgiveness. We are human and that means being imperfect and flawed. Even if we are a Hay House published author or spiritual leader, that doesn’t mean we have all the answers. Everyone is doing the best they can at the conscious level they are at and that’s enough.

  4. Kris, Your timing is impeccable! I recently became aware that I have yet to forgive myself for how I showed up in a relationship that ended – more than 10 years ago! I believe it is the block to over coming my worth issues, particularly around money.

    Thank you SO much for this blog post today! Your words, and work in the world, have and continue to help me heal in soooo many ways. I just love you! xo

    Live creatively,
    Marcella

    http://www.MarcellaNordbeck.com

  5. Thank you for this, Kris. After my mom died of cancer and my dad left my sister and I for his new girlfriend, I have had a really hard time forgiving him, even speaking to him. But I’ve felt such guilt over it because he is still my dad after all. As I was reading your words, I actually felt my body relax and release some tension. It’s okay for us to feel emotions like anger, hurt, abandonment and it’s okay that it takes time to feel better. You can’t rush healing and you need to forgive yourself first. Thank you.

    • I have had issues with unforgiveness towards my parents. Wayne Dyer has helped me tremendously in forgiving them. He had a lot of anger for his dad, because he walked out on his mother and their young children. Wayne did not see him again and years later found out he was deceased. He found his grave and went to desecrate it and before that could happen he had a thought. He said to himself, “Who am I to condemn you. You did the best you could for the level of consciousness that you were at during that time.” I also learned a great quote from Wayne that is attributed to Mark Twain: “Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heal that crushed it.” I try to remember these things when unforgiveness towards them tries to creep up again.

    • Rachel – I have had a really hard time forgiving my father, too. And every time I think I’m over it, something else stirs it all up again.

      For me, it’s been powerful to be able to acknowledge that I’m hurt/upset/angry and to express this, even if he will never understand it (which I don’t think he will).

      Peace and love to you xo

  6. Hi Kris, thank you for a wonderful post. It resonated so deeply with me. There seems to be so much out there on forgiveness at the moment, and I was feeling like such a failure, because as hard as I try, I’m still not ready! Thank you for bringing a human perspective to this sometimes seemingly saintly act. xxxxx

  7. Forgiving somebody close to you seems so hard when they’ve behaved in a way you never expected or wanted them to. I just try to remember to breathe and give it time. Trying to force or rush a feeling or emotion only magnifies it.

  8. Thanks Kris,
    I am at a turning point in my life. I’m retiring from teaching after 21 years in one school district. Just this Saturday I was at the coop, stalling on my way to a students birthday party….and I ran into my ex and his present wife. We exchanged pleasantries and then went on about our shopping.
    Often when we run into one another I top off the social exchange with a nasty little remembering of past transgressions on either of our parts and end up feeling either sanctimonious (by product of his transgression) or sullen (by product of my transgressions) this time I looked up and saw them checking out their purchases and a wave of sadness hit me…and I remembered that I love those quiet couple moments and want them again ( with another)

    I have totally put myself apart from those who love me except for short structured moments now and again. Mostly I have been fine with being alone….it’s my little protective bubble I’m protecting myself from my own bad choices and my loved ones from the big bad me….or that’s been my story for the past eight or ten years….

    That little burst of acknowledgement of missing connection is my big hope against my reluctant holding on to feeling unforgivable and unforgiving.

    Today I’m remembering that moment and I’m taking in your recommendation of self caring. Thanks so so much! Great timing.
    E

    • Hi Elizabeth,
      I retired from teaching three years ago, and understand where you’re coming from. I divorced my wife six years ago, but we’ve both remained single. I feel that I’m now coming out of all that, through doing what has been important to me for a long time. As a parent and step-parent who has screwed up, while helping other parents, those of my students, get it right, I’m now sharing with the world and becoming clearer about who I am. I’d say, get yourself out there for all to see, offer your guidance to others just like Kris Carr does, give yourself away – and you’ll find the connection will come.
      Peter

  9. such an amazing post and as always, super authentic! you are so real and ‘true blue’ which is why it si so so easy to connect with you more than anyone else in this field. you’ve got ‘it!’. thank you kris! xxx

    • I think historically the concept of forgiveness has been so manipulated and distorted that the truth of that action is lost. I love that you wrote, “It’s not about condoning poor behavior, it’s about thawing the parts of us that stay frozen in old pain and patterns.” So true. If only more people (self help, or otherwise) focused on that pivotal piece of forgiveness, as well as the fact that forgiveness can’t be forced. The other issue with forgiveness is that when it is discussed, I feel like such easy, minor issues are brought up in relation to the concept. For me, I knew someone who did horrific acts to someone I love (i.e., sociopath), acts that most people would not survive. When forgiveness is discussed I always am left with the feeling that such soft ball examples are used and they really don’t cut it when discussing forgiveness. Let’s talk about the big stuff for a change, that’s far more difficult, and one I have a hard time negotiating. Thanks for your post, Kris. I really appreciate your honesty.

  10. I absolutely agree with you about being kind to yourself if you’re struggling to forgive. Put the whip away, be kind to yourself, allow yourself to heal (sometimes it’s only the passage of time that sorts that out) and live with hope for better times ahead. Love and lots of kindness to everyone xxx

  11. Thank you, Kris. This came to me at the exact moment that I needed it.

  12. Great topic Kris. I certainly have experienced my share of this in past years. Conscious awareness, choosing to let go and stay in the flow have all moved me forward! Much love. Ellie :)

  13. This post has such perfect timing for me! I am again working through on forgiveness. There is someone that I have tried repeatedly to forgive, and I honestly can’t. I have come to the point that I realize that me and the Great One will just have to have a chat about it. He made me, and knows what I’m like, and knows the internal efforts I have made to do so. I only have anger when I dwell on her lack of care about evolving. At that point, I say a prayer and let it go, I have no place in my life for that unhappiness.

  14. thank you so much kris!!! this is exactly, and i mean, exactly, what i needed to read this morning. i always find your wisdom and truth so inspiring and wholeheartedly appreciate how much authenticity you bring into what you share. lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu!

  15. Thank you for this post Kris! It’s been almost three years since I was accused by a friend of something I didn’t do and I was never offered an apology. I still feel weighed down by the negative energy of the whole experience and I’ve been on the journey of forgiveness, but some days the old feelings just rear their ugly head again. I like your suggestion of forgiving myself for not being ready and stopping the judgement of my own thoughts……I will definitely give it a try!

  16. I really needed to hear this today. Many days actually. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  17. Dear Kris, you definitely belong at Hay house. Your honesty about this issue is enlightening.I too pried myself in being somewhat of a spiritual exams. Like you I am young and dealing with an ” Incurable cancer” after grieving this I turned it around and have use it for the betterment of myself and those I come in contact with. I give lectures at a unity church, teach yoga and meditation, do facials and massages and reflexology and teach yoga. I seem to inspire a lot of people with my attitude and looks as I was in a wheel chair last year. The only people not impressed with me are my own parents and siblings. There is a history of mutual hurts and issues they are unwilling to resolve or talk about. We Live far from eachother but again recently I found out how negative and judgemental they think and speak of me. as a Christian e Scientist my mother disapproves of my treatments (which are integrative) And there is nothing I do she seems ok with. My sister I was closest to dumped me like a bad ha bit once she found out I had cancer, I am sure it is there fear and denial that keeps them from embracing me yet no matter how much I pray, meditate, affirm and self talk, the anger, and sadness stay and keep creeping up in my consciousness. Like you I tell people to be gentle with themselves first , to not judge themselves . That they cannot love and Forgive other if they are not willing to love and forgive themselves. Like you I feel I should know better. After more than 12 years on this path I should be like Eckart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, GAry Zukov and you!!! It is so refreshing to hear it is ok not to be there from someone like you, to be gentle on myself as I wish other to be. So thank you. Chris, thank you very much. Next time the pain comes up again I will remind myself it is ok to not be there yet and I will forgive and love myself, so that I am able to forgive and Love them

    • bless you cutie! keep inspiring people with your wonderful work and strength. <3

    • Inspiring story. I feel your frustration. I guess the greatest comfort to me is when I can share it with a friend and they tell me I’m not insane and this is really happening. God bless you, keep you. Make your own family, find love in others if not in the family you were given.

  18. I have been feeling the same way ! I kept saying to myself ” I must overcome this by now ” , after countless meditation, yoga classes , self help books, videos all the ” healing stuff” that’s supposed to be good for your mind and body .. And still this yucky feeling .. So yes it’s time , like you say , I’m done trying to force this forgiving process . I just decided to find s new passion ., playing conga drums hahaha !!
    Sending love from Japan

  19. “Forgive yourself for not forgiving.” I love that, it made me chuckle this morning. This may be the hardest step of all, especially when we can’t forgive ourselves for something likely benign that just keeps circling around holding your thoughts hostage.

  20. Hi Kris, You’re so right compassion is always called for on our way to true forgiveness which we get to in our own way and time.

    The foundation of A Course in Miracles is forgiveness…as you know. But what many may not know or want to know is that we need to forgive (whether it’s a person or circumstance) not because someone did something wrong…but because what we’re seeing is a projection of our unconscious guilt being played out on the screen of our dream life. By forgiving them (or the situation) we’re really forgiving ourselves for what isn’t really real. This doesn’t excuse any consequences that may be appropriate as a result. But it does free us because we’re really all one. I know this is not an easy concept to accept but it is what A Course in Miracles teaches…

  21. Beautifully written

  22. Thank you. This was just what I needed to hear this week. Hugs.

  23. Hi Kris,

    Here’s another view on forgiveness I’d like to offer:

    To forgive implies that there are “mistakes” possible in Life. It creates a sticky dynamic where one person is “right” (the forgiver) and another person is “wrong” (the forgivee.) This happens internally too — where we are constantly being judged for our actions. It is a tragic waste of time because it never addresses what is happening in the present. I am working with Livestrong cancer survivors who are blaming themselves for getting cancer and who cannot “forgive” themselves. This feeling bad dynamic is so utterly unnecessary and solves NOTHING!

    What we all have is what is HERE. Sure, sometimes we are unskillful. Sometimes others are unskillful. And we have the opportunity to LEARN from that — or stay stuck in a story about what happened until we get tired of suffering enough to drop it.

    My hope is to transform this dynamic so that people can participate fully in life — to be unburdened by that crappy voice that keeps them stuck in stories of how things oughta be and how they oughta be.

    No offense to those who struggle with this, but “How to forgive when you just can’t let go” is more aptly stated “How to forgive when you WON’T let go.”

    We have the ability to let go in ANY given moment we choose. We are not victims to our life. We have the power to use what happens to us as a springboard to the next possibility opening up before us.

    In lovingkindness,
    Alex

    • Thank you for bringing this up Alex. Unfortunately blaming ourselves for creating our illness is just one tragic fallout from the new age belief that we create our life. We do create it…but not necessarily on this level and not necessarily in the way we think. We create how we respond to what happens in our life and illness can be a huge springboard to transformation.

    • Alex, I love this, and I love that there are people in the world like you! So smart. ;-)

      • What a wonderful concept! That the concept of forgiveness implies a hierarchy of some sort…. I’d never considered it that way, and when put so simply makes me think:

        1. The term “I forgive you for xyz” is too finite & possibly even patronizing.

        2. The person I’m trying to forgive (in my case, my father) is simply on a soul journey (just like me) & is going to make mistakes (just like me).

        3. By acknowledging our connection / similarity in this way, I can see how I could come to “accept”, which might hopefully lead to a state of living in forgiveness, rather than seeking to concluce ad-hoc acts of forgiving

        Thank you for making me think!

  24. You are so right that forgiveness is a process. At the end of my cancer treatment a little more than three years ago, my oncologist violated my privacy/confidentiality in a big way; it was also an attempt to override my autonomy, my right to make my decisions for myself and a frank lack of respect for me as an intelligent woman. I have never felt so violated and angry in my life! I have struggled with forgiveness; I believe it’s necessary for me to move on in my healing journey. I believe I have moved past wanting to tell anybody who will listen what awful thing happened to me. But there still come up situations where I need to explain to a new health care provider, etc., why I don’t have an oncologist on my team anymore. Therefore one of my struggles is “How will I know when I’ve forgiven him?” Someone wisely counseled me that I will know I have forgiven when I give up my desire to hurt him (as in damage his reputation) for hurting me.

  25. Hi Kris,

    I LOVE your blogs! This one in particular resonates with a lot of what I’ve been thinking about recently. Today, under the pretext of sitting in the warm Spring sunshine on a recliner chair, I’ve been turning over over my mind what everything’s all about. Whew!

    How can people forgive their child’s abuser or murderer? How can I forgive the man who sexually abused me when I was barely a toddler? What state of mind and emotion are people in when they commit acts in gross violation of other people’s rights? As you say, it’s not about condoning bad behaviour; and to back it up with a bit of self-flagellation you say, “In some cases, I absolutely wish I could have done things differently.” What is it about then? What is our existence about? What is the universe here for? After all, there’s no logical reason at the purely material level for something to have come out of absolute nothingness, or to have just existed for without any beginning.

    A few months ago I signed up to learn how to become a Tony Robbins clone. This afternoon (in the UK) I was meditating on forgiveness, compassion and gratitude. Yes, forgiveness is just a warm-up for compassion; but compassion is a warm-up for total acceptance, which goes hand in hand with deep gratitude for all that has been. This includes not only gratitude for our own learning experiences in the form of other people’s “bad behaviour” towards us, but also gratitude for the learning experiences we’ve meted out to others, consciously or otherwise!

    My understanding based on the Tony Robbins model is that there are six basic human needs, four of which are essential to our survival. The four are Certainty, Uncertainty (excitement/adventure/new experiences), Significance and Connection. Without these four we cannot remain alive: we must meet these needs either positively or negatively, otherwise the alternative is physical death. I received a new depth of understanding during my reflections today, by asking myself, “How is a mass murderer or a serial rapist satisfying those needs, and which needs are being satisfied by what? What about the murderer who kills first, then commits suicide?” Appreciating such people’s aching longing for significance and connection, I realised that our possibly most important aim should be to connect with our own self first by feeling gratitude for everything we’ve done, for all our “mistakes”, for all our offences against others. All of those things we would really prefer not to have done, have been essential components of who we’ve become today. To wish them undone is to wish ourselves incomplete – less whole than the selves we now are.

    You are truly magnificent, Kris, in every way. The wisdom you radiate is wisdom gained from ALL your acts and experiences. Be glad of them all! Be grateful for them all! Know your own perfection!

  26. Kris, What a lovely hand you offered to me today with this writing! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Don’t ever roll up the blog honey!!

  27. Loved your piece, Kris! I just did an article on Forgive at 3……and came up with 176

    Hope you all enjoy:

    Three PM Alarm by: Tina K. VaLant

    I patiently await a friend at a coffee shop in Palm Beach Gardens. It’s almost 3 pm. As patrons buzz in and out, I eavesdrop on creative beverage requests. My friend appears, orders and we begin catching up. At the table next to us, a guy’s phone alarm goes off; same for a lady in line, ordering a vanilla soy latte. The man sits back and closes his eyes. Latte-lady grabs her steamy beverage, heads to the door and quiets herself at a table out front. That’s kind of odd, I mention to my friend.

    About a week later, I’m at a traffic light, in Boca. It’s sunny with a crisp breeze, so my windows are down. An attractive lady in a blue Honda next to me picks up her phone, to silence the alarm. It’s 3 pm. She motions, asking if she can pull in front of me. I let her in my lane. She pulls in to a parking lot, at the bank where I’m headed. She turns her car off and closes her eyes. Probably just a weird coincidence, I rationalize.

    Days later, I’m at a park, in West Palm Beach. A young mother with a cute toddler in a stroller sits on a bench nearby. She closes her eyes, breathes, and smiles as she picks up her vibrating phone. It’s 3 pm. Had I not been on such a tight schedule, I would have asked her about it.

    I had almost forgotten about the 3pm phenomenon; then while perusing produce at the grocery store, I hear an alarm chime. You guessed—it’s 3 pm. The couple left their cart and went outside. I’ll Google it tonight, I tell myself.

    The following weekend, in Boca Raton, I was enjoying a yoga retreat, presented by Wendi Blum and Leslie Glickstein. I was about to experience an unexpected bonus. In between Saturday’s speakers and yoga practice, Wendi pulled the curtain, and unveiled the 3pm mystery.

    “Years ago, I was listening to Marianne Williamson, on XM Radio. It was 3 pm, she was addressing forgiveness. I got to thinking of the heavy burden we carry by harboring resentment or the feelings associated when others may have treated us badly. It could be as recent as the person who just cut off in traffic, or as far back as the hurt we carry from our childhood. If I could devote a few moments every day to forgiveness, not just of others, but also of myself, it might lighten the load. I did this for the next 365 days. I found that by being mindful and releasing anger, hurt, resentment, I allowed a space to open for even better things to enter my life. It’s very easy to set your mobile device for a daily alarm. Three o’clock made perfect sense”. I shared this practice within my yoga teacher training at Yoga Journey Studio, in Boca. This group decided to duplicate the daily 3pm ritual, and share it within their own classes. It had a domino-effect and continues to grow”. Wendi Blum

    Often, as Wendi is addressing a group as a strategy-coach or during presentation she is giving, not only does her alarm sound at 3pm, but it is joined by others. That makes her smile, as she estimates a couple thousand people now share this practice. It continues to grow by word of mouth, social media, and a dedicated website.

    Forgiving is powerful:

    The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world. Marianne Williamson

    The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. Mahatma Gandhi

    When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future. Bernard Meltzer

    To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. Lewis B. Smedes

    Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness. Marianne Williamson

    Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. Suzanne Somers

    Humanity is never so beautiful as when praying for forgiveness, or else forgiving another. Jean Paul

    All major religious traditions carry basically the same message (love, compassion and forgiveness). The important thing is to make them part of our daily lives. Dalai Lama

    “The goal with this movement is to achieve peace on Earth, by forgiving others and forgiving ourselves. Peace begins within each of us,” stated Blum. If this resonates with you, adapt this routine to your daily life, and notice what happens. It will change your life. Dependant upon the level of emotion surrounding your feelings (ie: anger, sadness, disappointment) it could take days, months, a year or more to reach a place of acceptance. But know when this happens, miracles will follow. It all begins with forgiveness”.

    I set my mobile phone feel was unfair, or even ourselves. It got me to thinking how 143 translates to I Love You (one letter, four letters, three letters). Not only is 176 an angelic number” according to Wikipedia – I translate it to I Forgive Myself, or I Forgive Others. It’s nice to take a mindful moment and focus on forgiving. It could be of someone who has wronged us, a situation we wished to have behaved better. So the next time you’re out and you hear an alarm at 3pm, know that you are a part of a powerful movement toward peace within and surrounding you!

    You are invited to visit and share your forgiveness story at www. 4giveat3 .com or on FaceBook at 4giveat3.

  28. Dear Kris,
    I wanted to share with you a wonderful, life-changing book I just read about forgiveness that completely blew me away. This book, although short, is powerful and gave me a wonderful new tool for working on forgiveness. It is “The Gift of Forgiveness: A Magical Encounter with don Miguel Ruiz” by Olivier Clerc (http://www.amazon.com/The-Gift-Forgiveness-Magical-Encounter/dp/1844091902)
    I hope this resonates with you also. Blessings!
    Risa

  29. I have learned that sometimes it takes more than once to be able to forgive… I have forgiven my ex husband about 10 times now for the abuse he put me through, each time I forgive the pain of it all get less and less

  30. I find it difficult to forgive the person who is not forgiving. For example, my sister has a long standing belief that all of her siblings, especially her sisters, have hurt her in some way. Called her names as a child or were to blame when a boy favored someone over her. She lumped everyone in the room with the comment if there was something hurtful said. More often than not, I was the odd one out. I didn’t get to play with my older siblings, yet she acts as if I left her out in some way. This comes up every Sunday, every phone call or conversation, in some way shape or manner. She just doesn’t seem to be able to move past the age of 12 emotionally with us. Even though I’ve said loving and reaffirming things to her and apologized for any perceived wrong doing, she continues on her rampage. Taking no prisoners, finding fault with every question regarding care we are giving to my mom. Its as if she wants to be able to say that she did it all, without realizing how much everyone else is doing. We find out about things after the fact and there is really no consultation. She patronizes when anyone questions something. She tries to find allies and pit us against one another. I am so frustrated that I’m almost beyond caring at this point… but I need to remain engaged for my mom’s sake. What advice do you have when forgiving is a non-stop process because she continues to bash us, with each new offense I’m set off on the same journey to forgive. In the meantime, every encounter she makes in any circle she shares her discontent. Any advice on dealing with sibling rivalry at age 50 would be great.

    • Hi Rebecca, I feel your pain. I’m also in a situation (with my father) where at once I’m trying to forgive, while at the same time, he continues behaving in the very same same hurtful, cruel, selfish manner in which I’m trying to forgive him for. That’s where my confusion comes in – are you supposed to forgive someone who isn’t sorry? Or who continues to hurt you? In my case, I moved across the country to take care of my dad when he was diagnosed with incurable stage 4 lung cancer last summer. I want to be here for him, but I also really want to leave soon because I feel my own well-being is at stake. Does anyone have advice for this type of situation? Thank you. xo

      • Whew, I had that one too. I can tell you that I was there because of my mom so she wouldn’t have to deal with it by herself. I also had help from siblings. Without going into the gory details he was verbally abusive and unrelentingly criticizing. But the more dependent he became the more appreciative he became. I really felt pity and love for him in the end. One of the kindest things he ever said to me was at the hospital just two days before he died he said “it was a good day.” That was enough approval for me. I also take solace simply in the Lord, that I’m doing his work. Sometimes I have to separate myself from the equation. It might appear to some that I am giving in, or being weak in not defending myself, but I feel so much power in not giving in to the criticism or the negativity. I try to impart some humor if I can, the kind that doesn’t degrade a person. No really I like a handful of crap, thank you. No please dump your food on the floor the floor is hungry. Just stupid stuff to cope with stupid stuff. God bless you.

  31. Sometimes I have felt that the hardest step in forgiveness is getting past the need to understand WHY someone acted the way they did. Why did they hurt me… why did they stop caring.. why did they commit such a horrible act… These thoughts are circular and leave me feeling exhausted and hurt all over again. I suppose there is a stop somewhere on the “forgiveness path” where you dump out the need to answer the “whys”, it’s just so hard to get there. Thank you for sharing. Forgiveness feels like the hardest emotional journey one can go on. It’s nice to know there are others going through it and facing as much difficulty!

  32. Today I will check in with myself before reacting so that I respond instead, from a present place… Not from past hurts and disappointments or future fears.

  33. I let go of the need to control the mending of a broken relationship by realizing that I was not meant to carry the burden of the one who wronged me, nor should I expect her to fill my need for discussion and reconciliation. I have forgiven her from a distance (in my heart) and let the rest go out to the Universe. If we’re meant to mend, it will happen in it’s own time….or not. I’ve finally made peace with the ‘or not’ …although I still recognize the loss.

  34. Agree.. But not without God and prayer

  35. My goodness! You wrote this for me today! My husband is graduating law school in a few weeks, and what should be a time of celebration and we made it! has turned into the ultimate quagmire of family drama. One that particularly hit hard happened this very morning… about 2 minutes before this article slammed with light shattering force into my inbox.

    Thank you!

    I have a mother in law who will pertly answer my emails but ignore my and my husband’s phone calls and invitations to do anything together because she is mad at us for not having Thanksgiving with her. I have a grandmother who is mad at me and won’t tell me why.

    I accepted that I can’t make these two people – as much as I want to – like me. I am such a people pleaser that this step has been really hard. But just as I’ve accepted that, I’m thrown into a situation – graduation – that I’m going to have to deal with them.

    And I’m going to say, on this day that my husband and I have been working towards for 10 years, I want things to be pleasant and drama free. But maybe that’s too tall an order to call for?

    I’m so frustrated! But I’m going to own that frustration. I’m going to sit with it. And then I’m going to forgive myself. And we’ll see where that leaves me.

    Thank you thank you thank you!

    • I am a law school graduate, so I understand the importance of this time. One thing I have learned is that whenever I am in “conflict” with someone, even if I had no role in the conflict and their actions caused the conflict, I will remove all energies from that tension and make a list of what I am grateful that they have done for me or what I like about them. That typically dissolves the conflict. It may be temporary (until something else may/may not come up), but at least that is a start and at least it will help you have a more celebratory atmosphere.

  36. Kris, what a compelling blog. I agree that forgiveness starts with you. I also believe the very first step is recognizing you love your self so much that you no longer want to live in pain. “I love myself so much, I am releasing myself from the pain of my past.” And you are very right that forgiveness is a process and is really a way of life. I moved in with my ex-husband in 2012 to care for him as he died of cancer. I initially moved in so my children could spend time with him; however, I received the greatest gift…I learned to forgive him. It was an difficult and amazing journey which has made me stronger and allowed happiness to bloom in my heart. Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom. Forgiveness is a powerful tool.

    • Great story, thanks so much for sharing! Also awesome that you modeled forgiveness for your children…they will always remember this. You rock! <3

  37. Hi Kris – love, love, love your blog! BTW – I’ve noticed that my hubby is so quick to forgive stuff… is that a dude thing? Anyway, my forgiveness trick when I’m really ticked off: I say to myself “I’m forgiving (insert assailant’s name here) as a gift to myself – recognizing that forgiveness does not justify the offense… but what forgiveness does do is take me out of a mental anger prison of high blood pressure and seeing red.” Then I take a gigantic cleansing breath, and hope that karma will naturally perform justice on whatever offense it was. Hmmm… easier said than done, I guess – but it does tend to work for me with the little things. Thanks again, Kris – I’m so grateful for you and all your books, etc. You do a good job!

    • Oh, and BTW – I heard a great quote today, “holding grudges is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die.” That’s a good one, huh?

  38. Thank you Kris for today’s blog post. I really needed to hear that today.

  39. Thank you Kris your honesty makes me feel like I can share my story in hopes that maybe it can help someone too…One family intervention later and realizing after two years that I was NOT the girlfriend but actually had been the other woman the entire time. I was not in a good place at all. I mean this man was text book sociopath and mentally abusive. I really beat myself up because I always considered myself a strong woman and NEVER thought I would allow myself to be with a person like that. It was very bad… Being a singer and songwriter I turned to my craft in search of any kind of solace. While writeing one day a thought came to me that really helped me through everything and allowed me to be more gentle with myself. “Maybe it’s not a huge significant event when we let go but rather a process to which one day we realize that we are free.” I had that thought before I was anywhere close to being free but today I can honestly say I’m not afraid to let love in again.

    • That is really beautiful and wise! Virtues that I see in many creative people. Love, love, love. <3

  40. Hey Sweet Friend,
    I think some times people hurt us in ways that make it hard to forgive. Different situations seem to bring out our more defensive side. If someone harms my work or attacks my family I have a hard time understanding that the issues are about them. Years ago before Deepak became Deepak he sent out tapes to church groups. In one of the tapes he said forgiveness is essential for your soul to grow, however here is what you should understand : people only say cruel things to you or act out for one reason they see their issues in everyone because they are very unhappy . So basically everything they said or did was not about you buy about who they are, it’s projection. So if you try and remember that it is easier to say okay this is their load to carry and put it down. It makes forgiveness easier. At other times action out of someone’s control hurt you and again if you have a relationship and know that person for years you know their intent. So if a decision is made for them you see it hurts you both. Lovingly trying to understand someone else and not getting stuck in our ego helps us forgive. At Basic Missions I have one complaint on the net after helping thousands and it irritates the stew out of me because he was a scam artist. But what are you gonna do. Sue the sight, tell and kick and scream. He is a con artist do all he can say about others is what he sees in himself. So I have to forgive him sometimes daily and move on.
    Hugs
    Callie

  41. HI….

    Thankyou Kris……

    i just wanted to say that we forgive not for others but for our own wellbeing, understanding this makes to easier to let go of our grudges…..its not about the other person, its about you and your own inner landscape which is something you can control…….when we think of the ‘negative’ person, without forgiveness, we re-traumatise all over again……but when we think of them with forgiveness we say to ourselves : well, in the end, i overcame this, i have healed, i have moved on, let it all go, and i am free to live the life of my dreams.

    Also without forgiveness we tend to dwell more on the ‘negative’ person, like we brood and stew over all that went wrong. But with forgiveness we say ” i overcame this” and dont really think too much more about it. We have the headspace for more productive thinking.

    Forgiveness is about freeing yourself to move forward. i find that writing letters i never send to the people i need to forgive really helps.

    Finally, this simple mantra may help….i was taught this by a Buddhist monk, it is the basis of a meditation known as Metta (Loving kindness) Meditation.

    ” May i be well and happy. May you be well and happy. May all beings be well and happy.”

    Thank you. Namaste.

  42. Hi Kris. The most USEFUL tool I’ve ever found on forgiveness, which has actually worked to allow me to have a relationship with a family member I used to have murderous (lol) thoughts about, has been The Work of Byron Katie. I used to just write this family member off, do lots of art while my heart and head were in a storm of judgmental rage, and then be “satisfied” (seemingly) with just forgiving her from a distance.

    But Byron Katie helped to completely take the sting out of it. She helped me to not take any of this person’s antics personally. She helped me to recognize all of my fears from an objective place where I feel untouchable, which frees me to be who I am – an otherwise sane person, who can live in the moment and be nonreactive.

    I can’t be lazy around this person. I have to remain alert as if I were dealing with a red-zone dog like Cesar Milan. I apologized for all my wrong-doings to this person. And she didn’t take responsibility for anything that she’s done wrong, but I didn’t expect her to. That is her work, and not my business. I used to think I needed her to acknowledge the ways she’s hurt me, so I could trust that she wouldn’t do it again, but since she’s not doing that, I have to accept this relationship for what it is right now, which is much less tense and leaves me feeling kind of badass for challenging myself in a situation that used to seem impossible. One day, maybe we’ll have the kind of relationship where I can truly trust and rely on her. In the meantime, I’ll just trust and rely on myself; let her be who she is in this moment, and remain as loving and non-reactive (and not self-righteous) as I can possibly be.

    Gloria Steinam says you can re-parent yourself, which was a very intriguing statement, but she didn’t say how. I believe Byron Katie’s work is the “how”. It shows you how to go through life taking nothing personally, which is how all those saintly people seem so saintly. They don’t curse a fire for burning their fingers, and they don’t become phobic of the fire. They allow the fire to serve it’s useful purpose, which is easier to recognize in fire than in volatile people (I don’t mean this in a judgmental way), and they respect what it can do and respond accordingly from moment to moment.

    I’ve also learned that by practicing this “work” with such a hard case like my family member, it becomes exceedingly easy to canoodle myself even when anger takes over my rationality (with other people. I never allow myself to lose it with my red-zone family member). But like when I’m pms’ing and I start to make my sweetie wrong with every word he says, I laugh inside at my poor self who isn’t coping ideally. Every time I notice, I’m getting better. Just like Eckhart Tolle teaches. I cool down much quicker, and then I want to run to my sweetie and apologize for how I reacted, but mostly out of fear that he’s judging my lack of coolness, or (on a micro level) that he loves me less for it. So I don’t rush to apologize, because I have a new compassion for myself, which makes the apology seem unnecessary. That sounds weird I know. It’s not that I don’t take responsibility for my actions, because I do. It’s just hard to find the words for the experience. Anyway, my man does love me, and he knows I’ll cool down. He doesn’t expect an apology, and the moment he notices that the “demon” has left me, he rushes to be affectionate again.

    Oh life; it’s wild and exhilarating. I love all your posts, and thanks for asking people how they feel about the topics!

  43. Hi Kris: thank you so much for this blog!! It is taking me a long time to forgive a fake friend who abused our friendship. Thank you for the advice to forgive myself first and then I hopefully will be in a better place to forgive others. Thank you very much.

  44. I always tell myself and others that we need to stop “Shoulding all over ourselves!” And it sounds a little like a cruse word – which makes me like it even more! LOL Thanks for the share!

  45. Hello,

    There was a time when you invited your readers to submit blogs/articles, but then no longer. I was wondering if you would bring that back. Thanks.

    All the best,

    Jenny

  46. great timing! I just read an article the other day about an Iranian mother who forgave her son’s killer just moments before his execution, and his life was spared. She said her murdered son came to her in a dream and told her to do it. I was in tears reading the article (the photos where also intense) and have since been thinking a lot about the amazing power of forgiveness…thanks so much for sharing!

  47. I have lived with an eating disorder for 41 years. I continuously think “I am so smart and well educated. Why do I do this? I should know better”. I will try to forgive myself. Thank you for this.

  48. My top favorite topic…forgiveness!!! (I’m currently in the depths of creating a program around this and it’s something I’ve studied and practiced for the last 25 years…sooo dear to my heart.)

    You’ve really understood the baby step that we all need sometimes. LOVE your post:)

    Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you move thru this challenging time in your own life.xo

  49. Im soooo happy that you brought this up today! I’ve been going through a fase in which my ego is always saying “you should feel different, you should be feeling happy, but you are not!” I think my baby step at this very moment its going back to self love and give myself a reward. Acknowledge that I dont need to be perfect because in true nature Im already!

    Thank you Kris! You are my “piece of wisdom” of the day. Xoxo

  50. Everything comes in the right moment :)
    Be gentle and compassive with myself is the first step I do when things dont happen the way I want.
    The second is to know “everything is ok” , Its ok if I feel guilty, anger, dissapointded, etc… because Im a human been. The most important thing is that my final intention is to do the best I can do, in the right moment.
    Third, I try dont forget Im a spiritual being living and experimenting in a human body.
    Love you¡

  51. Dear Kris,

    What a great blog. Everything you said touched my heart, it made perfect sense. Thank you so much for sharing and for being such a wonderful light in our lives. Blessings.

  52. Thank you so much for this Kris! I so needed this today. I wrote a book, 5 Gifts to Give Yourself, with one of the gifts being forgiveness. Yet, I too still have days like today, beating myself up for not being where I want to be or for not doing certain things differently. The “should’ves” get us nowhere.
    Beautiful words to exercise some self-compassion. Coming from a place of love rather than judgement, I believe, is the only way things truly change. And, the only way our hearts can be at peace.
    “Until we learn to accept and forgive ourselves, we can never love others freely or completely.”

  53. Hey Kris – I can absolutely relate. Forgiveness is such an easy concept, yet so hard to put into practice. What has absolutely helped me the most is reminding myself what an incredibly large role we allow our egos to play in our lives. When I can separate myself from the fact that something/someone has hurt my egoic self, it gives me the awareness that my soul and core self is untouchable by trivial action. It also reminds me that not everyone is blessed with this awareness and many of us are unable to separate or see the difference between who we think we are (our ego) and who we really are (part of creation and a higher power). People can only do as good as they are. I can’t be mad at someone for being at a different place in their experience than I am in mine. “Forgive them, for they know not what they do”.

  54. Wow, I really needed to hear this now. I haven’t spoken to my mother in 7 years–so much loathing and rejection on both sides, it just seemed the right thing to do to disappear from her life altogether. I even had cancer last year and neither parent knew about it, we are all so separated at this point. But my sister, as the only sibling who still speaks to my mother, is being unfairly burdened and I feel horrible. So it’s time for me to stop being frozen in this hateful state and find the courage to re-connect…will have a chance on my 50th birthday, during my sister’s visit. I dread seeing her but I trust that it will allow me to stop being so stuck, and maybe even to open my heart up to love again. So thanks for this timely post! Much love to all of you in your quest for forgiveness, too. <3

  55. Hi Kris, Like all the other comments I’ve read, thank you for this insight, these words, this message. My family has been going through a terrible ordeal. My father, is the most amazing, beautiful, spiritual, religious, giving, man I know. He wholeheartedly practices what he preaches; to be a good, honest, loving person to all creation. Recently he was involved in a car accident with a young motorcyclist. The young man was killed at the scene. The family holds a lot of anger and hurt towards my dad. We accept this as a stage in grieving. My issue is with how they are attacking my dad. It is hard to sit back and let them say and do such horrible, hurtful things. They only see what is written on paper, they don’t know him, the have never met him, they have no idea about how we are trying to heal just as they are. They don’t know our family story, and how we have been in their shoes ourselves numerous times. Somehow through all of this my parents are staying quiet, hoping for a time when a healing conversation may occur, praying for the family to find peace. At the moment I am the person having the forgiving issues. I have gone through conversations in my mind everything from angry words, to support, to silence, to screaming… I’ve come to understand that the word “forgive” does not have to be said to give or ask for forgiveness. That in fact it can detur or even upset the act of forgiveness. Someday if the chance arises, I think I have finally found the words I would say to them “You may hate my dad, you may hate my family, regardless, we love you and only wish someday you can find peace in your heart, and understand we are and always will be here for you… to talk to, to hear you, to grieve with you, to support you. In the meantime, we will surround you with healing prayer and love.” Knowing I have those words in my back pocket gives me the strength to start healing, to forgive them, to forgive me…

  56. What I love about this blog and continuously about Kris is her humaneness. I feel you close the gap between me, a spiritual beginner, and you, a Hay House spiritual leader. You break down the steps so I can feel the possibility to be my own healing heart warrior, not just read about others and read their books and then say to myself, “but HOW exactly?” ” he or she is further down the path, I can see the light far away but the path 2 steps ahead is dark again”. Kris I have this image of you running back with the lantern of light and say with such compassion ” here see this is where the next step”. Thank you

  57. Hi Kris! Part of why we hold on to old patterns is because we’re scared of moving forward and what power we possess in a more evolved self. I know that’s true for me. I am REALLY good at being frustrated, feeling like I can’t move forward with all my baggage, struggling from the depths, feeling sorry for myself. I’m kinda sick of it, actually.

    Thank you for your transparency!! It’s beautiful!

  58. Hello, I really appreciate this article since I have struggled with forgiving 2 people that should have been extremely close to me…..my parents. Both my parents were alcoholics which lead to a very difficult childhood. The impact of their drinking and related abuse has followed me throughout my life (I’m now in my 50′s).
    Even more difficult for me was learning the truth of my very existence. I was conceived during an affair between my Mother & her marriage counselor….. Aka my father the social worker! This was a difficult fact to discover but it was made more so since my Mother never revealed this “secret” to me personally. I learned the truth after her passing & was informed of this by my half-sister, as well as several others that knew the truth.
    It has been very difficult to forgive my Mother & forget all that has happened. I struggle with it and feel badly that I can’t accomplish this, especially since my Mother is gone & this is only hurting me, no one else!
    Taking baby steps toward forgiveness is where I am right now also. I won’t allow my past to cloud my present & future but I readily acknowledge that this past has helped to shape me into the person today. I’ve made numerous mistakes in my lifetime while trying to escape my “reality.” I take full responsibility for these mistakes and have learned to forgive myself for this. I know that the rest of the forgiveness will come in time. One step at a time, one day at a time!

  59. I have been helped with a forgiveness issue that long weighted me down, by using EFT tapping. It may sound goofy to some people, but it certainly does work and it helps you focus your thought and not just go one breathing yourself up!

  60. Thank you Kris…as I move through a painful break up, this advice really helps. Self love and forgiveness is the way out of this dark tunnel of pain. Time, patience and care will help me live through the moment. Forgiving myself is the key.
    I’m blessed and grateful you are on this earth!
    Peace and love

  61. Hello Kris, I spent almost 30 years holding on to anger against my mother. Near the end of that period I made an effort to resolve the issues and ended up ignoring them when I thought I was accepting them. I found a wonderful counsellor who directed me to a book that I think (forgive my memory) was called Forgiving or Dealing with your Parents. I took one of the suggestions which was to write a letter expressing how what happened had affected me and how I felt about it now.

    The biggest thing I learned was that no matter what reasons she had for doing what she did it would not make a difference to how I felt. So I read it to my mother and told her I was through trying to make it right. It was tough but I came away feeling peaceful and satisfied.

    Although I don’t really know still if I have forgiven her, I have let it go.

    V

  62. Thank you so much for this article. I needed so badly. Self talk and meditation are the coping skills I use when I am working through forgiveness. Your article was beautifully written, as usual. Thank you.

  63. Kris, You are so inspirational. This is exactly what I needed today. Its been a rough two months for me and this helped reinforce the idea that I need to start with accepting and forgiving myself. Cheers, Natalie

  64. Hi Kris,
    I’m a big fan of yours but have never posted before. I just had to after this post. Hats off and big heartfelt hugs for writing such an honest, inspiring and helpful post. Goodness sakes, people like you give me such hope for this world. With much love, Janet

  65. I think it so super important to realize that forgiveness is not about absolution. Many people can’t forgive because they feel like they are letting the person off the hook for something deplorable-absolving them of wrong doing. But in truth forgiveness is about ourselves. Allowing us to let go of OUR OWN feelings and does not mean that the other person is right or hasn’t done anything wrong, but rather we are no longer going to let negative feelings destoy our being. Absolution is about the other person and is ENTIRELY up to them. Absolution requires making amends with people they’ve wronged, knowing it may not come, and making amends anyway. Forgiveness is about taking care of ourselves. It requires nothing more than letting go. If you can find the difference, forgiveness becomes easier.

  66. For myself what has helped is seeing what I’m holding onto; for example, an attachment to feeling righteous, or a victim. The ego can get a kick out of feeling superior through believing that it’s been wronged.

    Also, seeing that there’s nothing to be forgiven. Everyone simply is, and always has been, operating at the level of their consciousness. Until I or they know better, it’s impossible for us to behave in wiser ways. With regard to my past poor choices, it was impossible for me to have made a better choice because I didn’t have the awareness to do so. The same goes for others. Really taking that in is liberating – it allows everyone to be as they are (and allows me to make wiser, calmer choices, rather than behave reactively or passively.)

    Sometimes letting go of the story of being wronged, or being wrong, feels more relevant than forgiving or not forgiving. Am I ready to let go of my story of complaint? If not, what am I getting out of holding onto it? The past was what it was and I have the opportunity to learn what I can from it or battle with it… endlessly. If it’s a case of feeling wronged, seeing how I contributed to the situation also helps (sometimes my contribution was behaving too passively, or believing that others shouldn’t think or feel how they do).

    Letting go also seems to withdraw energy from the whole issue I was stuck on, whatever it was, and things start to shift once I’m not “pulling” on that person internally/energetically.

    And yes, compassion for the bits of us that keep holding on – they’re okay to, but I don’t need to give them a heap of energy, just see them clearly, and see the confusion in them. They’ll let go too when they’re seen to be based on a misunderstanding/misperception.

    Thanks for your honesty and authenticity – they’re (one of the reasons) why you’re a successful self-help speaker and writer.

  67. I found doing regular ‘loving kindness’ meditations and visualising me sending this person love helped (I hated having to think loving thoughts about this person who hurt me) BUT I also knew that this loving kindness was ultimately so I could heal and move on with my life.
    Thinking horrible things about this person didn’t hurt them…it only hurt me…and eventually I knew I would become unwell physically and mentally if I clung on to the past.
    If I find myself wishing horrible things for this person again…I remember to send them love and to try and remember that they suffer too, as we all do.
    Hope this helps xx

  68. Long time ago I thought that forgiveness is a feeling deep down inside me, that the situation might not be fixed, because it cannot be fixed, but I can let go. As Martin Luther King Jr. said “Forgiveness does not mean ignoring what has been done or putting a false label on an evil act. It means, rather, that the evil act no longer remains as a barrier to the relationship.”
    I never know exactly how this process in my mind and heart works, but what helps is to say it to myself aloud. While somewhere alone with my thoughts, I imagine the person and say “I forgive you”. I’m a hesitant type, so lots of things take me a long time to think through. I now think of forgiveness as a decision rather than a feeling. The decision to go on with the relationship, because it means to me.

  69. Thank you! I am a new student of ACIM and am having a bit of trouble with love and forgiveness lately. Often times I find myself frustrated with the negative thoughts that flow through my head. It is great advice to forgive myself first and then move on to the individual that I am having problems with.

  70. When I have trouble with forgiveness, I first remember that I too have been forgiven by my heavenly Father, so how can I not forgive also? I also remind myself that forgiving them is not the same as saying what they did was ok. I’ve learned that every person I fail to forgive is a rock that I carry around in a bag around my neck and each rock added drags me down more and more. Finally, unforgiveness keeps us in bondage to that person. If I still struggle then I ask God to fill my heart with HIS mercy and forgiveness toward that person and I pray for that person. This all applies to self as well. :)

  71. Hi,

    Love your blog and work, please do a piece on the Ketogenic Diet – it’s very potent and everyone should now about it and it starves cancer. All I do is this diet and take Raintree N-Tense http://www.raintreeformulas.com/n-tense-capsules

    These two natural therapies along with a green and alkaline diet has totally thwarted my cancer and I feel healthy, your crazy sexy stuff has inspired me too.

    Thanks,
    Amanda

  72. My sister and I, who were always close, are not speaking to each other and have not for nearly 2 years now. I made so many attempts to ask for forgiveness, even though I didn’t feel I did anything wrong. But no matter how much I tried, she closed me out. She has written me off as a person in her life. I have a missing gap in my life now where she used to be. It feels like a sore spot, and it isn’t getting better. I do beat myself up about it. I feel like I didn’t try enough or something. But I like the comment to stop blaming myself. To let time do it’s healing. Healing of my heart even if healing between us never takes place. Thanks for this blog. It is helpful to me at this time.

  73. We are forgiven in Christ. He bore the sins of the world so that all would be forgiven, and we are called to forgive each other. That doesn’t mean we forget what offense has been done against us, but we forgive & go on.

  74. Dear Kris Carr – I love reading your emails – you are such an inspiration.
    Your suggestion of not having too many monstrous goals or momentous milestones and to
    try and concentrate on ‘ease and flow’ (using ease to transform people and situations) – was awe inspiring and has made a real difference to my thinking/life this year …. ‘Ease and flow’ have become my mantra, when things are tough – and the results are amazing – it really works! Because you have given me this gift, I feel compelled to give you something back in return – I would urge to read just 3 pages of a book (you may decide to read it all – it’s certainly worth a read – but there are 3 pages which, I think you may find really useful and helpful). The book is called ‘Toxic Parents’ by Susan Forward, Phd and the pages are 179, 180 and 181. It’s ‘food for though’. You will understand why I’m writing this when you read those pages – with an open heart and mind. Thank you for all that you give. xxx

  75. Kris, thank you for this posting. I can never explain how much I needed to hear this and allow myself to take baby steps. I received word tonight that someone who hurt me deeply is being released and may soon be back in my family and I am struggling with the act of forgiveness. I need to start from the place of loving myself…thank you so much for that permission! xoxo

  76. My intention is to be as healthy as I can be to give love onto others

  77. Once again great advice… :)
    You’re awesome Kris!!!

  78. Hi everybody!

    I don’t speak english very well, so probably my words will be very simple. But when i cannot forgive, i pray the God to help me do that. If i even do not feel a real and honest intention to forgive, i ask to give me it first. Once i was asking God help me for more then half a year, almost every day. And finally i took part in a seminar, during which i found enough power to feel more compassion, then anger to that person. And i felt so free and loving, all the world around was shining for me :) so i’m asking for the Universe help, if cannot do it myself. And yes, i forgive myself if i cannot do it fast :)

  79. Kris look to your fur babies and how they soooo unconditionally love and forgive us. Can we do even half of that for ourselves and them and others?

  80. Hi Kris, I can’t thank you enough for responding to a question that I

  81. it all sounds so familiar what you are writing. it helps me always when i am reading your blog / posts to change my point of view and helps me relax and accept who I am and where I am standing at the moment. thank you for letting me know that I am not the only one with these subjects. :)

  82. will be nice

  83. At time seven with efforts it is difficult to forgive.you can accept yourself and wait for some time you may get the answer

  84. I’m reading every gorgeous comment. Such incredible shares–thank you everyone! Your words are full of powerful advice, lessons and love. I can feel a lot of healing here. x

  85. Hi Kris,
    I am having a really difficult time forgiving my ex-husband. As I am battling stage 4 breast cancer I learned that he not only cheated on me but also stole our very large tax refund. Money that I had no knowledge of because as he put it: my job was to concentrate on my health.
    The level of betrayal that I am feeling is deep. I now find myself alone, battling cancer, going through a divorce and having to move out of my home because I can no longer afford it.
    I know that forgiving is more for my benefit but hard as I try I am not there yet.

    • Sandra – know that I am sending you healing light and energy wherever you may be. Sometimes forgiveness can feel like we’re letting others ‘off the hook’ but remember as long as you carry the burden of his choices it will only harm you. You are a very strong woman. -Andrea

  86. That last line really got me. What a comforting thought that if we go to love our next move will be good.

  87. I visualize myself face to face with this person and saying, ” I forgive you.” And I keep saying it until they say thank you back to me, and I then say ” I understand you are suffering just like I am” and they say yes, I am

  88. Di said on April 30, 2014

    I called a friend today who listens and understands my anxiety over just this issue. Having an understanding ear helps me hear myself, and is so cathartic. She doesn’t judge and gives me positive feedback in the areas where she notices success! One of my ways of dealing with anxiety is through “retail therapy”, ha, shopping! I called her to talk me through returning this weeks purchases that were not necessary! In the process, we discussed why I do this, the voices that still play in my head that are a part of this frustration. We concluded, as you have, that I am the only one holding me accountable now for how I will deal with it. Thank you for allowing your followers to see that we are not alone with this struggle. In the convo with my friend, I concluded that maybe I should take some time to drive a few miles away to stay in a motel a night or two for solitude, pampering (TV, room service, continental breakfast I won’t have to prepare, maid service, etc.) and alone time with myself!! Like you, I beat myself up for the struggle, and I’m learning, as you suggested, that perhaps I just need to forgive and care for myself. It IS a great place to begin the healing that will be ongoing!

  89. Hi Kris,
    I agree with you that Compassion is the first step towards forgiveness. Consider your self brave when you forgive someone. Forgiving others require courage. One has nothing to lose by forgiving others.
    In fact you are bound to gain the friendship and well wishes from the person you forgive.
    Start with forgiving people for small errors and you will gain experience and courage to forgive more.
    I am trying and slowly progressing towards my goal of forgiving the whole universe.

  90. I try to remember that whatever the person did to me is because of something going on inside of them and it may be affecting me, but not be about me. It helps me separate the anger I have about it, and move on. But I agree, this can be REALLY difficult.

  91. To close my eyes and open my ears & heart to Divine Love and fully trust that if I can survive breast cancer (6 months and counting:) I can do ANYTHING with His love!!
    I thank God everyday for the “blessing” of my diagnosis and my new life path it’s revealed.

  92. Byron Katie’s “The Work” can help a lot with this type of dilemma.

  93. I never hold a grudge or have to forgive later because I know it is harmful to our health in the form of stress. It’s one of my many no no’s. My PC is acting up now and that is an unforgivable No No! LOL

  94. Keely said on May 1, 2014

    “forgive yourself for not forgiving” is HUGE. Thank you!

    A year back, one of my soul sisters gave me a copy of a forgiveness ritual she got years ago. It was given at a time when started to realize I had been filling my life with ‘busy work’, drifting far away from rituals that once mattered and served such purpose in my life. This forgiveness ritual had me waking up at midnight with the start of a new moon, creating a sacred space, facing east-west-north-south, being quiet, focusing my mind, setting intentions, etc. Through this I was able to rework old junk that had made a way into some corner pocket of me. Also I was able to handle new stuff with ease. Forgiveness is tough stuff yet so damn powerful!

  95. I love your tweet about compassion, Kris, and I think it is those very words that can help open the door to forgiveness for you whenever you feel ready. You do an amazing service to the world by showing others how to care for themselves in so many ways and by modeling that example, such as in your thoughts here. What I’ve found is that this same kind of compassion we can give to ourselves can be also applied to others, if we can see their humanity as much as our own. Here’s an exercise that has helps me with this process: Think of the person you wish you could forgive. Think of them by their first name. (This can be especially beneficial if the person happens to be a parent.) Imagine them as a child growing up, then as a teenager, a young adult, and up until now. Consider the experiences that they’ve had that may have led them to hurt you in the way that they did. Even if you’re unsure of those experiences, you can bet that there were some hard ones. They may have even been hurt in a similar way that they hurt you. Important–this doesn’t excuse that they hurt you. What it can do is help you understand on a deeper level how hurt people can hurt people. Just as you’ve had hard experiences, so have they. Again–not an excuse for their behavior. But it can help bring forth an understanding that they may not have been able to work through their hardships before they hurt you. All your feelings about the hurt are valid and can be expressed healthily. But I’ve found that taking this total human look at another person really raises my compassion level for them, and over time, my hurt feelings can subside. Eventually, forgiveness and (dare I say) even love–with boundaries if necessary but united through humanity–can truly be possible. Wishing you all the best!

  96. Erin said on May 2, 2014

    Wow this article really mended my soul tonight! You are such a blessing! Thank you for writing these encouraging words!

  97. Hi Kris you are a Life Saver and A Beauty thank God For You.
    I begin the path of Forgiveness, by letting go of the ego. My ego..if the ego is non existence then I do not take it personally. I don’t get hurt. Oh as Jesus tells God the Father..Forgive them for they know not what they do! Hello ! That’s major…thereby no fault is placed on them or on me..
    Just smile in the face of Challenge. A work in progress second by second ..

  98. Compassion towards others and ourselves could change the world we live in forever. It’s free, it’s a simple choice, and it’s readily available. This reminds me of what Michael Singer says in, “The Untethered Soul” – that we all have a ‘thorn’ we protect at all costs. We protect the things that hurt the most with anger, resentment, pushing others away, and hatred. We go to great lengths to protect our fears like criticism, differences, etc. What if we just pull the thorn out? That takes compassion.

    Thank you for taking the time to write this Kris!!
    Andrea Leda Wilborn, CLC

  99. Yes,battling my whole life with illness this is so true.Without realizing it one a very deep level the pain and hurt and lack of forgiveness even can be justified .However its so important we do for our selves freedom .IT IS A Process and each person is different ,like you I have had to eat sooooo clean and very much like you!!! I am still here however I slipped back this year and was very distressed and I am in trouble but not for long my diet Juicing and mind will change even more!!Thankyou for all your encouragement and I am saving up for aJuicer!! Best Darla

  100. Yes! Yes! Yes! FORGIVENESS is a powerful door. Being open or closed makes a world of a difference. At times the hardest person to forgive is ourselves. I know my weight loss journey FINALLY started once I was able to stop ruining my present with a past that had no future.

  101. Interesting article esp. considering your husband, Brian Fassett, is one of the biggest assholes on the face of the planet and spent his entire youth using and abusing people. When I think of the person who tormented, his face is the one I see. I finally decided to google him in hopes he had died at the hands of someone he betrayed but I find him to be just as ugly, just has horrible as ever. He certainly has you fooled and is using you for his own personal gain. A leopard doesn’t change it’s spots.

  102. Thank YOU so much Kris! This email came perfectly in time to answer my prayers about how to un stick myself from a cycle of anger, and frustration with myself for not being able to forgive. I think in our North American society – we are always looking for quick fixes, and results as you said. And this attitude can extend to our relationship with our spirituality. I am learning that it is ok to not be perfect, to be human and that there can be a lot of wisdom, grounding, heart opening, vulnerability, self love, compassion… that emerge in taking time to ‘heal’, to really experience whatever negative emotion we have be having. I am so grateful for the wisdom, vulnerability, love and compassion that you shared in your blog post. I am now having more compassion and forgiveness with myself for not forgiving.

    Blessings
    xoxo

  103. Dear Kris, What an insightful story about compassion being the step to forgiveness. You are one smart cookie! Or, I should say, a smart red bell pepper strip with almond butter. Have you heard Dr. Daniel Amen say that his daughter preferred to be called a smart red bell pepper strip with almond butter, not a smart cookie, because the pepper strips are much better for you and are what she ate for dessert? In short, thanks for your wise words.