How to Forgive

It’s true, when you hold on to the pain, anger, and suffering of what happened to you, whether physical, emotional, or words spoken to you, it becomes like a badge of honor.  You cling to the role of victim.  You relive it over and over again.  And somehow, hope that the person that wronged you feels guilt, shame, or regret for their actions.  But seldom do they every feel that way or even say that to you.

Holding on to your suffering, pain, or anger isn’t honorable.  It roots you into the ground and doesn’t release you. It holds you back from where you need to be in your life.  It’s time to start the process of forgiveness.  To self-heal, so you can love yourself deeply and intimately.  Without this process of forgiveness, you’ll continue to live in a cycle of pain, hurt, and emotional baggage that won’t let you achieve your highest good.

Hawaiian reconciliation tradition calls this 4-step forgiveness process, Ho’oponopono.  Ho’oponopono, means “to make right” and traditionally, it states that illness is a result of breaking spiritual laws.  This simple process walks you through releasing what you’ve been holding on to for so long.  For me, this process provides clear guidance on how to set an intention to forgive, so that you are free from the shackles of your past hurts; whether they are of your own doing or not.

To prepare, go to a safe, warm, and calming environment.  Sit quietly and you may want to turn on some instrumental or meditative music.  Think about your past, who you have hurt, who have hurt you, and let those feelings come up.  When you are ready use a journal or some paper to write down all your transgressions.  Every single one that you thought of, no matter how insignificant you may think it is, if it’s causing you distress, write it down.  Once you’ve written them all down, start with these simple sentences.


Step 1: I’m sorry (You are apologizing for the wrongs you’ve done. You’re also apologizing for the wrongs that have happened to you).

Step 2: Please forgive me (Asking the universe to forgive you, for the person you’ve wronged to forgive you, and asking yourself for forgiveness).

Step 3: Thank you (You’re showing gratitude for seeing the error of your way, the lesson the situation brought to you, and/or the universe for giving you the opportunity to be forgiven).

Step 4: I love you (You love yourself enough to release these emotions, so you can release the bonds that are holding you back so that you can move forward in love and light).

It’s important to note that while you personally don’t have to be in the presence of others to tell them you’re sorry for any wrong-doing that you did to them, having that release of bondage and being fully aware of the hurt you may have caused another person, gives you the chance to right your wrong. Apologies that are from the heart, should have three components to them…they are:

Number 1: A heartfelt apology. You may speak it, or write it out.

Number 2: Admit your mistake and the possible hurt you caused.

Number 3: Ask how to correct the situation.

Skipping the last two, could mean that that person won’t be able to move on from what you’ve done to them. Be mindful that although painful as it may be, giving yourself the chance to right your wrong will make you feel so good. And if the other person rejects your offer, then all you can do is go through the process and release from your end. You cannot force another person to accept your apology. You have no control over their free will. Only your own. Doing this exercise gives you a chance to move forward in your life with joy and peace.

The best way to stay in a state of love, peace, and joy is to practice forgiveness regularly. This could be weekly, monthly, or some other frequency. But it should be practiced routinely and no more than a few months at a time. If you start to feel sluggish, or getting sick, it may be time to start forgiving.