Someone has hurt you. You’re angry and sad and in pain and you have every reason to be. They are total bastards and if you had your way, they’d be tarred and feathered and stomped to death by a herd of runaway Elephants. You want them to hurt, they way that you’re hurting. You want them to feel your pain. You want them to be punished for what they’ve done to you. You want revenge. We’ve all been there, and it’s not an entirely bad place to be. Rage and revenge feels better than self-pity and feeling like a powerless victim. There’s nothing “wrong” with wanting to punch someone in the face (I wouldn’t recommend doing it), as long as you don’t stay there. Yes, you have every right to be angry and hurt. But eventually, you’ll want to work your way towards forgiveness. In this post, I’d like to make the case for why you should do that and give you the steps that can help you get there.

Why forgive them? Do they even deserve it?

When coaching someone into forgiveness, I usually get asked “Why should I forgive them? They don’t deserve it”, or some variation thereof. But here’s the thing: Forgiveness isn’t about them. It’s about you. When you forgive someone, it’s NOT the same as:

  • Letting them off the hook
  • Telling them that they can do it again (whatever the offense was)
  • Being a doormat
  • Excusing their behavior or deeming it “acceptable”

I’ll say it again: forgiveness has nothing to do with them whatsoever. It’s about you wanting to feel better than you do right now. Period.

It doesn’t matter what they did to you. You can and should forgive them, for your sake. They don’t even have to know that you forgave them. It’s not about exonerating them, making them feel better, being the better man (or woman), saving face, demonstrating compassion, or anything else that has to do with how others see you. It’s all about you.

What happens when you forgive someone

To better understand this concept fully – the idea that forgiveness REALLY has nothing to do with the other person, it’s helpful to look at what happens when we forgive someone. I find that this is the hardest thing for people to get their heads around. They get it intellectually, but a part of them doesn’t want to forgive, again, mostly because they don’t want to let the other person “off the hook”.

Chip and Dale have had a fight. Chip stole Dale’s money and ran off with his girlfriend. Chip is an asshole. Dale is, quite understandably, really upset. He’s wavering between feeling like an idiot for ever trusting Chip (self-blame) and wanting to find him so he can rip his face off (revenge). Chip is sitting somewhere in Bermuda, so nothing Dale does or doesn’t do will affect him. In other words, Dale can feel horrible or he can feel good. It won’t make a difference to Chip. But it will make a difference to Dale. And that’s why Dale should forgive Chip.

As Dale sits in self-blame, which is quite a powerless emotion, he feels awful. He is about as far removed from the vibration of Who He Really Is as he can get. It’s a painful place to be. Again, this pain is in no way helping the situation, nor is it hurting Chip. So, Dale moves up the Emotional Scale to anger and rage. Instead of turning the blame unto himself, he’s now blaming Chip. While this isn’t a good feeling emotion, it feels a lot more powerful than shame and self-blame and therefore, feels better. Dale is now hopping mad. Instead of pitying himself, he’s pacing around his apartment, ranting and punching couch cushions. He’s feeling more empowered – he’s shifted his vibration significantly. Has this change made any difference to Chip? Nope. But Dale is feeling better.

Once he’s gotten the anger out, Dale is ready to shift his perspective on what happened. He begins to analyze how he could have attracted being robbed by a friend. He realizes that he’s always had issues with betrayal and abandonment. He has huge trust issues which he traces back to when he was a small child. He realizes that the Chip incident is just one of a whole pattern of experiences that all feel the same. Chip’s behavior has highlighted a belief that Dale has been carrying around with him for years. And as Dale has this realization, he works his way up the Vibrational Ladder, continues to find new perspectives, releases the belief of betrayal and ends up completely shifting his vibration around all relationships. For the first time in his life, he’s attracting women who are kind and compassionate. His relationship with his father improves. He finds that more and more people with integrity are coming into his reality.

As he begins to see how his experience with Chip has served him, he finds the feeling of forgiveness, both for himself and for Chip. Has any of this made any difference at all to Chip? Nope. He’s still sitting in Bermuda, oblivious to what has happened. But it’s made a HUGE difference to Dale, who not only feels tons better, but has drastically improved his vibration and all of his present and future relationships.

Forcing them to see your point of view isn’t an option

When we’re stuck in revenge mode, a part of us thinks that if we hate enough, if we hurt enough, if we focus on the unfairness enough, that eventually it will hurt the other person and teach them a lesson. But that’s not really an option. In extreme cases, you may be able to get them arrested, or you may be able to sue. But you can never control what kind of experience they’ll have. You can’t guarantee that they’ll learn any lesson or that they’ll feel your pain. You can’t force them to see things from your perspective.

This is particularly poignant with breakups or parent/child relationships. If your parents abused you, neglected you or did anything else that you think “damaged” you (and who doesn’t think that to some degree?), you probably want them to pay some kind of price, to at least apologize, or to know how much they’ve hurt you. You want “closure”. You want them to see the situation from your perspective, thinking that when they do, you’ll finally feel better. But often, getting the offending party to see things from your point of view, simply isn’t an option. And no matter how badly you feel, or how long you hold on to that horrible feeling, you can’t force it to be an option.

Your options are:

  1. Continue to feel horrible
  2. Choose to feel better, but make it conditional upon something you have no control over, thus robbing yourself of the control over how you feel
  3. Choose to feel better

When you choose to forgive for your own sake, when you don’t need the other person to understand, say or do anything, then you’re choosing Option 3. You can’t suffer enough to cause them suffering. You can feel bad enough to make them feel bad. And you can’t pay a high enough price to make them pay. Why would you choose to try?

How to find the feeling of forgiveness

Now that I’ve hopefully made a good case for WHY it serves you to forgive, how do you actually go about find that feeling when you’re currently balled up in the fetal position, crying “Why Me?” It’s quite simple actually, but not necessarily easy. First, you have to be willing to feel better. That alone is quite a big step. If you’re not ready to feel better, that’s ok. Wallow in your dark place until you get sick of it. But once you reach that point, you can follow these steps to drag yourself out of your pity-pit and back into Happy Shiny Puppy Land. Notice, that if you know these steps, you can also help guide someone else through this process (for you helper types out there).

Step 1: Validate your right to feel bad

You have been wronged. That’s the situation. Particularly those of us who have studied LOA extensively will try to skip this step. “I should feel better”, we cry and so we reach for a better feeling before we’ve made peace with where we are now, keeping us stuck in our current situation. When you make peace with where you are, you are not judging the feeling or situation as good or bad. It’s where you are. But you have to accept that before you can move on and you do that by validating your feelings.

You are hurt and you have every right to be. Acknowledge that.

Step 2: Get mad – at them

If you’ve been hurt so badly that you’ve moved into depression, you’re most likely alternating between self-pity (“Why me?”) and anger at yourself (“I’m so stupid!”). When the anger comes, instead of squashing it, let it out and use it. I’ve written extensively about anger, so I won’t recap it all here, except to say that anger is a healing emotion and when you’re stuck in depression or self-blame, it’s the emotion that will get you out of there and back to feeling good. Anger is necessary. So, when you begin to feel the anger, ride that wave. Go with it. Let it out in a safe way, but let it out. And as you do, purposefully shift that anger away from yourself and towards someone or something else. You don’t have to do this to anyone’s face and you don’t have to act on the anger. Just let it out in the privacy of your own home.

When you blame someone other than yourself, you shift your focus to a more a more empowered vibration. It feels better to blame someone else than to blame yourself and so, to continue to move up the emotional scale, we have to shift from “I hate myself”, to “I hate them”. Get good and angry, let the anger out and continue to do so until you start to lose steam. At some point, the anger will run out.

Step 3: Figure out how you want to feel

You may think that you should’ve done this right at the start, but you’d be wrong. You don’t have access to the vibration of how you want to feel when you’re stuck in depression or anger. But once you’ve released those emotions, you can begin to see a bit more light. Remember that this is not an intellectual exercise – you have to actually be able to feel what it is that you want. So, once you’ve released anger, figure out how you want to feel about yourself, about this situation, and about the person that hurt you. Keep in mind that this is about you, not them. You are not exonerating them by feeling better. You are not excusing their behavior. You are choosing to feel better.

Examples of how you may want to feel:

  • “I don’t want to hate this person anymore.”
  • “I don’t want to be angry anymore.”
  • “I don’t want to be sad anymore.”
  • “I don’t want to feel afraid anymore.”
  • “I want to breathe again.”
  • “I want to feel free”
  • “I want to feel secure.”
  • “I want to feel safe.”
  • Etc.

Keep it really general at this point. Don’t reach for “I want to forgive my asshole boyfriend and forget that he cheated on me with my best friend.” That’s too specific. Also, you don’t have to forget what he’s done, you just want to get to the point where you no longer focus on it or obsess about it. And, more importantly, you want to get to the point where you can feel good despite the fact that he’s still breathing the same air as the rest of humanity.

Step 4: Focus on that feeling

What would it feel like if you were already ok? What would it feel like if you were no longer angry? What would it feel like if your day wasn’t shaped by this issue? Visualize yourself being ok, being happy, going on with your life, going out with friends, being carefree. See yourself as healed, as whole, not as broken but brave. Keep working on your visualization until you can truly get into the feeling of being confident, whole, secure, safe, and easily able to focus on the positives. Then, use that visualization at least once a day, and every time you are reminded of the offense.

Forgiveness, in and of itself, is not really an emotion. To forgive simply means to choose to feel better, even if the other person is still alive and kicking and hasn’t been tarred and feathered for their offenses. It means to shift your perspective on a situation that you’re using as an excuse to feel awful, so that you can feel relief. It means putting yourself and how you feel first.

Are you holding on to anger or resentment that isn’t serving you? Are you ready to let it go? If not now, when?

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  • Hi melody I have a sister inlaw who hurt me so bad ten years ago have never forgiven her and find it hard to do so. She has tried to reach out but I don’t trust her. She is physically verbally abusive and very arrogant. What made me not to forgive her is that she doesn’t want to accept the fact that am married to the brother. She almost made me lost the baby when I was 8 months pregnant attact me for ni reason had a premature baby because of her how do I forgive somebody like this.

    • Hey Suzanna,

      You can follow the steps outlined in this post, but you’ll have to do them slowly. Don’t try to rush through them, particularly the anger phase. Usually, when we can’t forgive someone it’s because we’re stuck between blaming ourselves for trusting them and being angry at them. When we go back and forth between the two, we get stuck. So, my advice would be for you to deliberately get angry with her for a while. Write an angry letter to her (that you’ll never send), and let it all out. And don’t stop doing that kind of thing until you feel well and truly better. Only then can you move on to the next stage.

      Also, understand that forgiving her does not mean that you have to trust her again. This has nothing to do with her. Evaluate each situation and use your intuition and if something doesn’t feel right (like helping her or meeting with her, or whatever she wants from you), then you have no obligation to do that. You can forgive people and still choose not to engage with them. Not feeling really good about something is a good enough justification for not spending time with someone. You don’t have to hate them to have proper justification. So, understand that forgiveness doesn’t have to change how you act towards her. But it will change how you feel, and that will benefit you. πŸ™‚

      Huge hugs!!


  • Hi

    Thank you πŸ™‚

    Or if you would have the time and be interested in maybe be a guestbloger once? I short post in the subjet LOA πŸ™‚

    Just mail me if that could be something you would be interested in

    Love Fru P

  • Hi

    may i take this text and put it in my blog? I will link to you in the blog of course πŸ™‚

    I will translate it in Swedish. I write about LOA myself in my blog, but this was really interesting

    Love Penny

    • Hey Fru,

      I don’t normally allow people to reprint my blog posts, but if you want to translate it into Swedish, I have no problem with it. Just please include my author information and link back to my site. πŸ™‚

      Huge hugs!

  • Goodmorning Melody,

    I’m pleased you agree. I’ve always believed in what you say about the prison system. (System of a Down- Prison Song) A family member was imprisoned for a minor drug offense back in a time where penalties were much harsher. The sentence was 4 years!!!! It was the maximum the judge could dispense and he was in a bad mood. A persons’ freedom could depend on the mood of a judge.
    There was no more space in minimum security so they got moved into maximum. They had a horrific, lonely time and prison traumatised them. It ruined their marriage and business. It leaves people unemployed and out of society once they return. A pretty dumb idea… Desperate times could lead a person back to crime.
    They left a much worse, bitter, angry person. Luckily they didn’t commit any more crimes. But many people leave prison and had their power taken away are so angry and do worse things.
    They never got over this almost two decades later… I don’t think it’s smart to take an angry person and put them in a cage- then let them out and see what happens.
    I agree we need to evolve into rehabilitation. The prison guards have some issues too IMO- choosing a job like that seems like they have their own power issues.

    What can we do to move society into a better path where we rehabilitate rather than punish?

    • Alice,

      This question (what can we do…?) will make an excellent blog post. I’ve been meaning to write more about the punitive nature of our society anyway. This reminds me to do that. πŸ™‚

      Huge hugs!

      • Hi Melody,

        I’m so glad that I reminded you. On a completely random note, would you so happen to be an ENFP on the Myers-Brigg personality type? πŸ™‚

        • Hey Alice,

          I have no idea what I am on the Myers-Brigg scale. I think I did it as part of management course years ago and then promptly forgot it. I’m not saying it can’t be valuable to people, but personally, I’ve never resonated with testing like that. I’m not a huge fan of any system that labels people or ties to classify them. It’s too limiting. What if I’m considered an introvert (fat chance), but then do some vibrational work that helps me to overcome my shyness? Thinking of myself as an introvert could easily hold me back. “I’m an introvert. I can’t do that.” It gives me a stronger reason, one that renders me powerless (I’m just the way I am), to keep my limitations.

          Any kind of label, no matter how well meaning or accurate in that very moment (and that’s all any label can ever capture) is going to limit you. Even if it speaks of your untapped potential, it still limits that potential. I prefer to look at people for Who They Really Are, and that’s completely unlimited. If you’re shy, you’re shy RIGHT NOW. But you could be a lot less shy tomorrow. I’ve simplified that here and I understand that these types of tests are far more complex than that. I also get that they can be valuable in terms of telling you where you are right now (to a degree). But I’ve also had experiences where these types of tests were horrifically inaccurate, particularly when it comes to people like me, who don’t fit into any of the parameters the test is based on. I kind of totally screw up the curve.

          I once took a well regarded psychological test with hundreds of questions. Many psychiatrists use this one (it shall remain nameless). Upon evaluation, the practitioner looked at me and said “according to this test, you are completely delusional.” The test could not differentiate between someone who chooses to focus their reality into being instead of just reacting to it, and someone who’s convinced that she’s married to Brat Pitt. It could not make room for someone who thinks like me, and so I was literally off the charts. There was no category for Deliberate Receiver, because the scientists who created the test had never conceived of that possibility. Anyone who fell outside of their parameters, just got put in the “Bonkers” category.

          When you look at Who We Really Are, we defy standardization. πŸ™‚

          My goodness, I’m wordy this morning.. πŸ˜‰

          Huge hugs!

  • This is a great blog post.

    Before I head off- I had a thought I don’t want to forget.

    This helps Dale feel better and move on. That’s fantastic. He’s dusted his hands of his pain in the situation.
    But this doesn’t stop Chip from running off again and hurting other people. He’s unchanged and is still a person that steals and hurts others.

    I think part of “revenge/not forgiving/whatever” is responsibilty towards others. Damage control. If we don’t arrest or inform society of a predator before we forgive them- maybe we’ll be enlightened and feel better- but somewhere they are still running about hurting someone else-who then has to go through the forgiveness process.

    I agree it’s great to forgive-for ourself but we also have the responsibilty to make sure that before doing so the perpetrator is exposed so they can’t just do it again to someone else.
    Then we can forgive them and put our mind at rest-once that is dealt with. Keeping to ourselves to be nice etc puts another person at risk of being their victim.

    • Hey Alice,

      I agree – in a way. If I saw someone murder a person, I would report them. We are not yet at a vibration in our society where people are so attuned to who they are that they will shift out of their powerlessness and rage without hurting others. Just as if I saw someone about to strike a child, I’d stop them. I have a strong desire for peace. There’s nothing wrong with stopping someone from hurting someone else. The problem, from my perspective, is what comes after. We think that the solution is to lock them up. But that’s just the stopping them in that moment part. It doesn’t address WHY this person was about to hurt another (or did, in hindsight). It doesn’t address the cause. And if we don’t address that, there’s an almost 100% chance that this person will do the same thing again. They have no alternatives and we’ve just made them feel even more powerless, making the problem worse.

      We can lock people up, but we shouldn’t lock them away. But to have true rehabilitation, we need to get away from the concept of punishment and move towards healing. When we do that, incarceration will be a temporary step in the healing process, not the end goal for many of society’s most powerless members.

      Uff! I’m feeling really philosophical today! πŸ™‚

      Huge hugs!

  • WOW, I never looked at it like that! I hope you find some of my light because it has been brightly shinning lately!! Last week I was feeling sooooooooooo good and so full of light. I put on my sunglasses in the car and then all of a sudden…CRACK!! The glasses frame CRACKED and the lens on the left eye, popped out and flew straight ahead!! WOW, its like it couldn’t take the light!! LOL!!

    It was right after the ‘light bulb’ went on for me about forgiveness. That feels soooooooooooooooo good to be done with that one!!

  • Thanks Melody!!
    The truth is, I have spent my whole adult life with many illness’. Some were said to be terminal. But, once I saw my mother happy and healed, I not only let go and forgave her, but I am getting my health back!! Wooooo Hoooooo!!

    I can only hope that if I have hurt someone in the past, they will come and find me happy, whole and healthy and they will let go for THEMSELVES, not for me.


    • Way to pay it forward Leace! And know that you are helping the whole world (the global vibration) by healing yourself. Each one of us who finds the light, drives away some more of the darkness. πŸ™‚

      Huge hugs!

  • Hi Melody,
    Great Blog! Thank you!! I have spent my entire adult life being physically sick. One of the things I knew I had to work on was forgiving my mother. (I grew up in an abusive home) I had not had much contact with my mother during my adult years. So, I decided to find her. When I did, I was shocked! She is almost 80 years old and she was happy. She loves camping, hiking, being in nature, etc. She has forgiven herself and whoever hurt her. She was living her life, happy.

    So, I thought…why the hell would I want to be SICK? And unhappy? Maybe it was meant for me to learn how to forgive. So, I started walking some, being in nature more and doing things I like. And, I didn’t have to “work” at forgiving her at all. I just quietly thanked her for teaching me how to forgive and began living my life!

    It feels sooooooooooooo much better!!


    • Wow Leace!

      What a powerful story! And kudos to you for letting your mother’s attitude inspire you (someone less self-aware might’ve resented her happiness…)

      I find that a lot of the time, people just need to be given permission to feel better. They’re holding on to pain out of a sense of obligation, as if it serves a purpose. If they just hate the person long enough, perhaps they’ll feel better. Of course, the opposite is true.

      Forgiveness, compassion, love – these are your natural states, because they feel so good. And you’ve discovered something very powerful – it’s not hard work to let go. You just… let go. Isn’t it beautiful? πŸ™‚

      Sending you huge hugs!

  • Thank you for the advice. I admit that I need them. Forgiveness has been a hard task for me and the grudge stored inside is really non- constructive. Aside from feeling angry, we should think about how forgiveness can contribute to our growth.

    • Thanks Michelle. Forgiveness is definitely a huge step in our growth, and in fact, a necessary component. You can’t rise higher if you’re letting old grudges weigh you down. πŸ™‚

      Huge hugs!

  • I was very interested to read today’s post, as I have had *something* of a powerful experience with forgiveness. And I was thinking to myself how funny it is that I could forgive my rapist in person, but hold so much rage for the bullies and staff from my son’s schooled days. It suddenly occurs to me that it is because they did not wrong ME. They wronged my child. As a mother, how do you forgive what someone did to your CHILD?

    Wow. This was totally not the comment I intended to post, but I guess it is what needed to come out.

    On a side note, the website I listed along with my name is actually a blog I wrote entitled The Day I Forgave My Rapist. I bet you can figure out what it is about. The even MORE interesting thing, as I re-read it tonight, it actually is a virtual ROAD MAP for LOA. I have never read it in that context before. It actually makes me feel even MORE powerful now. Now that I know it was not “the Universe”, so much as me attracting this experience to myself.

    • Hey Lillyth,

      Wow. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal story here. You’ve certainly come a long, long way. And you ask a powerful question – how do you forgive someone who has hurt your child? You have to recognize, first of all, that your child has his own point of attraction. You don’t get to attract for him, which means that you also can’t block any of his manifestations, even if they’re unwanted. Al you can do is teach him how to manage his own vibration and give all of your focus about him to his highest self – the best version of him. That’s hard to do for parents, though. I get that. But that’s one of the reasons that kids are such powerful teachers.

      So, when it comes to forgiving someone who has hurt your child, you have to go through the same process above, but also let go of massive control issues. What fun. πŸ™‚ How is it serving you to hold on to this anger? How is it serving your son? It’s not. It’s only hurting you.

      Sending you huge hugs and enormous kudos!


      • I’m not sure why the link posted to my blog on the Occupy movement, but here is the link to the one about forgiving my rapist. I’ll put it in the body here, and ya’ll can cut and paste:

        As for my child having his own manifestations, I am VERY clear on that one. His vibrations are so negative (when they are) that it is sometimes physically painful to be in a room with him. My husband and I are working on manifesting a new place to live, and we often half-joke that if we succeed, it will in spite, not because of our son. In fact, we were at the store the other day, and my son was asking for some Umiboshi – Japanese pickled plum – and the brand he wanted had MSG in it. I told him he should choose another brand that didn’t have MSG in it, since MSG dampens your vibrations and ability to manifest. He muttered one of his usual biting, acerbic remarks, and then I had a thought. I told him to go ahead and get it. He asked me why I had changed my mind. I told him it was because I wanted him to block his ability to manifest. I figured I would have an easier time manifesting a new place to live if his negative emotions were dampened.

        I hope that doesn’t sound too harsh, but I didn’t really know what else to do. I have been trying to get him to listen to other LOA stuff that we have, but he doesn’t seem to want to. I will definitely be playing YOUR stuff for him though, since it is so simply laid out. I just finished listening to it, and it is SO simple! And to think I’ve been slogging through 600 pages of Napoleon Hill, when I could listen to your stuff in about an hour!

        As for my anger at the bullies and the school district, I think it is more anger over the system as a whole. It does not work, and cannot work, the way it is designed. I do plan on writing a blog aimed at children being bullied, so maybe I’ll hang on to just enough anger to fuel my desire to write that, and then let it go. But you are right. It does not serve me. The school district doesn’t even care if I am angry. In fact, if you come right down to it, there is no such *thing* as “the school district” that would even be able to care. It’s not like it is a person or entity. Wow. That really *is* silly to be angry about it. We’ve been out of the school district for nearly two years now, and I’m STILL letting myself get angry about it. How silly is that?

        I am so glad I found this site, and I am so grateful to you for giving your knowledge away for free, when so many others charge so much for it. You are such a beautiful soul!

        • Hey Lillyth,

          I’m so glad you’re here, too!! πŸ™‚ And thank you so much for your kind words!

          MSG dampening your vibrations is just a belief. You don’t have to dampen your son’s ability to manifest (you can’t, actually). The food you eat doesn’t make you manifest more slowly. It can support you in lowering or raising your vibration, though, but again, that will depend your beliefs about that food.

          Your son is fine. This is about you (it always is). He’s mirroring something back to you. When you get upset or worried by something he does or says, ask yourself the tough questions: What are you really upset about? What belief is being triggered here? What emotions are you feeling?

          He can’t get it wrong. He may be struggling with some negative emotions, but you can’t spare him that suffering. No one could spare you yours. The best thing you can do is to focus on the best version of him (this means, you have to stop worrying, which is a huge shift for a parent). Just KNOW who he really is, even if he doesn’t right now. And, know who you really are. Don’t ask him to feel better, show him how by feeling good, even when he’s in a black hole.

          Simple? Yes. Easy? Hell no.

          Your son is your greatest teacher. Kids so very often are. Stop trying so hard to teach him and figure out what you’re supposed to learn. πŸ™‚

          Sending you huge happy shiny puppy hugs!


  • Wow Mellow D. One of my favorite topics and you nailed it. Its not about them, its about you. So true. When I was struggling with forgiving someone, many years ago, I was told to read a book; “Forgiveness, the Greatest Healer of All” by Gerald Jampolsky. Incredible book. i wasnt into reading much then, let alone some dam book on forgiveness. I just wasnt there. Anyway, I read it and ……. Wow. To my amazement, it really helped me. My favorite quote from the book and I still use it today is; “Forgiveness is letting go of all hopes for a better past” I also find it valuable to pray for the person. I know, its hard. Hopefully, if you are in enough pain, you will try it. I was (still am) in recovery (alcohol & drugs) and it takes time, but it really does work.

    Thanks again darlin. Awesome job.

    Take CARE.


    • Hey Al,

      Thanks for the book tip!

      Praying for the person is awesome, but you have to be in a fairly high vibration to achieve it (or you’ll have to make a big jump, which I don’t generally recommend). But it can be incredibly healing. When you get into the vibration of love or at least good will about someone, you shift your vibration on that subject.

      Thanks so much for sharing such a private part of yourself here.

      Huge happy shiny puppy hugs!

      • Hi Melody,

        Praying for the person is one of the methods I used to get into a higher vibration and a better feeling about the person I needed to forgive. The search for good things to pray for actually lifts you up. It is the original intention that counts!



  • Hi Melody,

    You make a great point that forgiveness is not about the other person, it is about ourselves. Holding on to the anger keeps us stuck and we replay the situation over and over. It keeps us from moving forward. There are many families who are angry at their family members because of their addictive habits, but it doesn’t help to hold on to the anger. Offering help, and then letting go and accepting the situation is healthier for all. Thanks for a great post.

    • Hey Cathy,

      You’re so right. Relatives of drug addicts will have a lot of anger to release. That feeling of powerlessness that comes with watching a loved one destroy their life is tremendous. And holding on to that is not a good idea.

      Thanks so much for sharing your insight here!

      Huge hugs!

  • Wow Anny. You’ve had some powerful insights! Yay!

    Don’t worry so much if you can’t trace specific feelings back to their perpetrators. If you can shift emotionally, if you can just let the feelings happen and flow without fighting them or controlling them, they will naturally shift to a better feeling place. People think it’s so hard. I offer all these steps to help people make it happen. But honestly, if we just got out of our own way, we would naturally shift to a higher vibration. The steps I offer are only ever there to help us get out of the way. When we refuse to feel better by holding on to a certain point of view, we are getting in the way.

    Let the emotions out and let them flow and you will feel better, even if you can’t remember the WHY’s. πŸ™‚

    Huge hugs!

    • Hi Melody,

      Thank you for your reply. I do not worry at all, at least not about this! I just suddenly discovered that these two things were related and thought I might not be the only one who does/did this so I shared it. I absolutely do not feel the need to find out why I feel the emotions that suddenly come up and just sit back and allow them and let them pass. Which they do, until the next one comes up. Just this morning I saw them like a flock of birds flying out of a cave into the fresh air and into the sunlight. It felt good.



  • Hi Melody,
    It’s an awesome post.Forgiveness is not easy but if you don’t forgive somebody then negative feelings always hurt you inside and as you said we can’t forget that person even he/she is dead and to forgive means to forget negative feelings or to feel better.I believe that we should forgive others especially our enemies because nothing annoys them so much.

    • Ha, ha, Pete. Well, forgiving your enemies to annoy them is certainly one way to go. But from my point of view (which may be really annoying, I get that), there are no enemies, really. Hmmm, another blog post in the making… Watch this space! πŸ™‚

      Huge hugs!

  • For the longest time I had held such great anger at my ex husband who I felt was having the best time of his life while I was left with all the hardships. But I made peace with how I felt for him. My anger will not change him so instead I worked on being a better mom instead. In a way I have forgiven him.

    • Hey Reese,

      It’s much more about making peace with how you feel about YOU in regards to what happened. If you can get to the point where you no longer feel “damaged” by the events that took place, then you’ve well and truly forgiven. Focusing on your kids is a great way to feel better. πŸ™‚

      Keep at it. It will get easier.

      Huge hugs!

  • Melody,
    I got into A Course In Miracles 25 years ago. It teaches what we thought anyone did to us never happened because it’s all an illusion. One of the lessons say, “Only my thoughts can hurt me.” Another lesson “I will not hurt myself again today.” This is a huge concept to get and I still can fall into what you write about here. And that’s after 25 years of study. That’s how strong my ego is;) Nice post.

    • Hey Tess,

      That’s so true. No one can really hurt us or diminish us. That “hurt” is an illusion. Actually everything is, so why not choose the illusion that feels better? It really is as simple as that…

      You know, I’m going to disagree with you. I don’t think it’s your egos fault. You get the concept intellectually, but that doesn’t meant that each “issue” that comes up isn’t going to require you to take the emotional journey each time. You don’t get to skip steps just because you understand the principle. So, stop beating yourself up for still having resistance. We all do and we always will. How boring would life be if we ran out of crap to deal with? πŸ˜‰

      You’re doing so much better than you think you are. We all are.

      Hugs for everyone!

  • Melody,

    Thanks, this post came at exactly the right time for me, and is confirmation of LOA in action, which again is something I needed right at the moment I read it. Love this stuff, love you πŸ™‚

    Also, thanks to everyone who comments, because the comments are as valuable as the posts to me! Love you all too! πŸ™‚

    • Hey Sinead,

      It’s it awesome how it all comes together so beautifully at just the right time? LOA is freaking awesome.

      I totally agree. The comments always add so much that I couldn’t cover in the post. And that’s because I have super awesome readers like you. πŸ™‚

      Happy shiny puppy hugs!

  • Hi Melody,
    This is such a great post!
    I was just watching Lifeclass on OWN, and they were talking about forgiveness. Oprah polled the audience, and it turned out that almost 75% needed to forgive someone. And something that stuck with me is that for every one of us who is walking around holding a grudge toward someone else feeling completely wronged by them in some way – another person is doing the same thing toward you. Crazy, isn’t it? It’s impossible to live in our world without hurting each other from time to time. That’s part of the human experience.
    And your post demonstrates beautifully how we can take that hurt and move on from it in a healthy way. Feel the feelings and then choose to let them go.
    Love it!

    • Hey Jodi,

      The fallacy is in thinking that another person can actually hurt or diminish us in some way. “You have done this thing to me and now I am less. I am damaged. And there’s nothing I can do…” And that’s just not true. In some ways, what we are really holding on to is the idea that we are now damaged. THAT’S what hurts so much.

      Thanks so much for your wonderful comment. πŸ™‚

      Huge hugs!

  • Melody- Loved this one. I appreciate that you acknowledged how hard forgiveness really can be. I thought every single piece of wisdom you shared was great. One of my favorite quotes of all time — “For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.”

    Great post.

  • Great post full of good words Thank you
    I just watched an interesting movie which truly drew me into the main female character. I just admired this person, at first I thought it was because the writers had created such amazing dialogue for her (plus they were writing her life ahead of time)…then I realized (after a good night’s sleep) that what I liked about this character is that no matter what what being dished up for her to deal with she came at it with such wholeness. Her emotional responses were real and she worked them through and when she was ready she took her stand, said her words and was at peace with herself. She got angry with her children and they with her, then she modeled how to truly connect, forgive and be honest. At one point she stated clearly her intentions were to just stay connected with her family and they with her. I can think of at least 10 times she forgave and it made her feel powerful and real – I was inspired…
    I think forgiveness is a crucial component of living a full life

    • Wow Patricia,

      Do you remember the name of the movie! It sounds awesome!

      I agree. On the journey to feeling better and better, we will all have to go through forgiveness. Probably many, many times.

      Huge hugs!

  • Hi Melody,

    What a beautiful post. I believe forgiveness is one of the most powerful healing forces in this world. Forgiving those who hurt me and letting go of the past has brought so much healing in to my life.

    That said I spent years in a lot of turmoil before the relief came. I was enraged about what happened. I was physically, verbally, and emotionally abused by my mother. My mother was a victim of a vicitm. She was severely abused as a child and struggled to break the cycle. I struggled for years with forgiveness. At times I thought I had forgiven her but later realized I didn’t.

    It took a long time before I truly forgave her. When I did it was librating. It was freeing to let go. I think what made it so hard to forgive my mother was because I really loved my mother. It was so painful and hurtful to not have her love. The effect of abuse was far reaching in my life. I spent the better half of my life reiling from what happened.
    Any type of abuse changes the way we view ourselves, others and the world.

    The recovery process was long and ardourous. It took everything I had in me and more. However I’m here today as a proof forgiveness is possible regardless of how bad someone has hurt you. Often when people do hurtful things it is because they don’t know any better.

    No one comes from a place of love and causes another person harm and suffering. When people do hurtful things it is because they are coming from a place of fear, ignorance, and pain. Many abusers were often victims of abuse. That said we can choose to change. We’re not victims of our environment. I chose to stop the inter-generatiional dysfunctional pattern from my family. I am blessed with a beautiful daughter whom I love and I have a loving and nurturing relationship with her.

    Melody, Thank you again for sharing this beautiful post.

    Peace, Love & Gratitude,

    • Wow Neseret!

      Thank you for sharing this powerful example of forgiveness. It can take years, as you’ve pointed out, but what’s the alternative?

      When someone we love has hurt us deeply, we often “forgive” them intellectually, by trying to understand why they did what they did. But if we haven’t actually shifted the energy, the feelings come back again, as you realized. I tried to break down the process of forgiveness into simple steps, but really, the path can be full of twists and turns. It’s a very personal journey.

      Ultimately, in a situation like yours, it’s not about changing your view about your mother, but changing your view about yourself. I’m so happy for you and proud of you for making it. And thanks again for sharing your story here for others to read. You’re a star!

      Huge happy shiny puppy hugs for you!!


  • Love your insights! I hope EVERYONE reads this post and is able to absorb it and implement your advice.

    One of my favorite definitions is quoted (and re-quoted) by Oprah: “Forgiveness is giving up the wish that the past would have been any different”. To me, this is really saying, “give up the story.”

    We all tell stories…and we hold on to our stories, because we identify ourselves with them. They are not very helpful, but we hold on to them like a child who refuses to let go of his favorite toy.

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Steve!

      And you’re right. When we forgive, we change our stories. People sometimes hold on to old grudges to such a degree that it becomes part of who they are (little they). It become part of their identity. In that case, letting go of that story then become a huge and scary thing, because they are also letting go of part of who they are – part of their ego, if you will. It can be difficult to forgive, but so worth it.

      Huge hugs and thanks again for sharing!


  • Hi Melody,

    The thing that resonates with me the most is wanting the other person to see my perspective. I had to learn over the years that if I have done all I can do and I am still not being heard or received the way I intend, it’s not an issue for self blame but simply that I cannot control another person’s perspective. The truth is we may never have a person who has wronged us say “I understand why that hurt you and I’m sorry.” All we can do is see the value in the lesson and try to leave the rest behind. Every day I make the effort to simply “feel better” and although there are always set backs, the more we make that choice the more consistent the positive feelings become. Thanks for this post Melody πŸ™‚

    • Hey Taryn,

      Right on! Once we let go of the need for other people to do something so that we can feel better, we truly take our power back. It’s such a huge key in releasing resistance. Bravo that you’re able to do it!!

      Keep on feeling better!

      Huge hugs!

  • Hi Melody,

    An out-of-the-ballpark post! Wow! Forgiving is dropping a sandbag – duh! The light goes on.

    The word “forgive” has always bothered me, for exactly the ‘incorrect’ reasons you’ve stated. When I was working through a lot of issues, I thought in terms of ‘divorce.’ The idea is to let the heat out of the issue, and for me the word ‘divorce’ worked. Yes, whatever happened happened, but I’m not going to let it be a hot button for me any more. Bye bye suffering!

    Another great outcome of forgiveness is that when you give it freely, you realize that you don’t “give” it at all, because there’s nothing to forgive! You stop judging, and live in the right-now. What is, is. And when you stop judging other’s actions, you can stop judging your own – whoopee!

    One of the finest men I’ve ever known was Judge John Hewlett, an Alabama civil rights activist. As sheriff, he was shot in the gut by a man on drugs. He used a colostomy bag for the rest of his life. He jailed the man, but Hewlett never blamed him, only his drug use. In fact, when the man was released many years later, Hewlett (now a judge) performed his marriage ceremony. This is a man who as a civil rights activist drove a car belonging to Stokely Carmichael through Alabama, because it was too dangerous for Carmichael to drive it himself. He liked to tell stories of human angels who had helped him. For him, forgiveness didn’t exist as a concept, because he simply never blamed anyone. He was a truly holy person, and he lived a fascinating and powerful life. If you Google his name, you can find a few more stories.

    Thank you for reading the digression on Hewlett – he merits our time! The hours I spent talking with him showed me a possibility that I’m still working to incorporate fully into my life – making forgiveness obsolete!

    Cuddly puppy hugs for the whole shiny happy puppy army!

    Mary Carol

    PS 14 pups arrived at the shelter yesterday – 7 have already been adopted! Yeah!

    • Hey Mary Carol,

      You’re absolutely right. It comes down to judgment. And what is judgment, but choosing to look at a person or situation in a way that feels bad? It sounds like your friend John Hewlett refused to hate others, refused to look at them in a way that didn’t agree with Who He Really Was, even if everyone else did so. That’s the stuff of legends and saints. I’m sure he had a very high vibration and inspired all who came anywhere near him. How beautiful that you got to know him!

      Congrats on the puppies! I’m glad it’s going so well!

      Huge hugs!

  • I have learned that forgiveness is undoubtedly the best for both parties involved. The one forgiving releases all that acid they have been holding and the offender doesn’t feel the guilt anymore.

    • Hey Elena,

      Seeing it from the offender’s point of view is a whole other blog post. πŸ™‚ Read Anny’s reply above and the discussion that ensued for more on that, but I’ll certainly write about this in the near future. There’s the concept of forgiving ourselves which comes with a whole different set of beliefs, and then the idea of asking others for forgiveness. It’s a complicated business! πŸ™‚

      Huge hugs!

  • It was just today, when I found myself in a shitty situation (which people find themselves in at times) and I was working to raise my vibration, when I realized, “Hey, that Melody Fletcher and her blog really changed my life, like atom-bombed it, in the best way possible.” πŸ˜€
    I’m SO grateful that I somehow technologically tripped and fell into it, AKA “Manifested” it into my life. And you obviously wrote this post for me. πŸ™‚ Thank you for your intelligent, silly, and of course-“more awesome than peanut butter cups wrapped in Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket”-blog πŸ™‚

    • Hey Jenapher,

      Thank you so much for your wonderful words! *blush*
      Of course this blog post was for you! How could you ever doubt it? πŸ˜‰

      Thank you for your wonderful, witty, and valuable contribution to my blog. And your blog. Our blog. Yay!

      Huge happy shiny puppy hugs!

  • Melody,

    You make me laugh. I love your writing style — right up my alley! Thank you for the valuable four-step process, along with the rationale behind it. You’re right — you can either continue to stay mad, which doesn’t affect the other person, or forgive and move on. πŸ™‚ Cool.

  • Hi Melody!
    I love this! Why do we have such a hard time with this. (Note: we’re on the same page again – see this Thursday’s post! LOL) I like this line: “You can’t suffer enough to cause them suffering.” It’s so often what we try to do, though, isn’t it? It’s as if there is some place inside us that knows we don’t “deserve” to be treated in that way and that feeling wants to be affirmed, preferably by an apology or at least by recognition from the injuring party.
    Well said my friend!

    • Hey Lori,

      He, he. Can’t wait to read your post. We seem to be on the same page a lot lately. Yay! Ask anyone who’s ever taken revenge if they truly feel better (after the first five minutes). Did it make the pain go away? Or do they now feel even uglier because the original pain is still there and now they also have the icky feeling left by hurting someone themselves? Revenge doesn’t solve anything. It may feel good for a few minutes, but once that settles, we realize that our original vibration hasn’t shifted at all.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Huge hugs!

  • Melody,
    Another perspective that I have been exploring recently that helps with forgiveness is to recognize that we are all connected at a very fundamental level. This means that what we do to another, we do to ourselves. Ho’oponopono is based on this, as are other rituals of forgiveness.
    The book “Navigating the Collapse of Time” by David Ian Cowan does a good job of covering this, along with other topics around the rising levels of consciousness and vibration here on Earth.

    Thanks for an awesome post!

    Huge hugs,

    • Hey Reuben,

      That’s an excellent point and one I couldn’t explore in this blog post (I can only make them so long). I love how my readers always fill in the gaps I’ve left. πŸ™‚

      Also, thanks for the book tip. I haven’t read that one, but it’s on the list now.

      Huge Hugs!

  • Hi Melody,

    So many people mistakenly believe that forgiveness is saying that the person didn’t do anything wrong. Which couldn’t be further from the truth. As you point out it’s about taking care of ourselves.

    When I used to live trapped in unforgiveness I was not happy and I was sick a lot. It had a very negative impact on my physical health. I have given myself a gift by forgiving other people.

    Take care!

    • Hey Stacy,

      It’s great to see you here!

      Absolutely right. That’s the biggest obstacle to forgiveness, that I’ve found. We think that when we forgive, we are telling the offender “Go on. Do it again. I don’t mind.” And that’s not true.

      I see it like this: If you hurt me (proverbial you), I will forgive you. I may now choose to love you from afar (because whether or not I’m in the vibration of love really has nothing to do with you or your actions). I may choose to remove you from my physical reality, at least until I can fully align myself with a different version of you. But I will forgive you. Not because you deserve it (I don’t get to judge that). But because I do. πŸ™‚

      Huge hugs!

  • Hello Melody,

    Another great post. I have known the principle of what you are saying above for ever, I think. Somehow I have always grasped the fact that you are only torturing yourself when you insist on staying revengeful. I think that in fact you get worse the longer you stay in that frame of mind. It does not only concern the person or the fact in case any more but it influences your whole outlook on life. When you let go of your hatred and need for revenge, you set yourself free.

    But lately I have asked myself, is this really forgiveness? Is it for instance possible to apply this whole procedure you outlined above to yourself? Because that is one aspect you did not mention. Often the most difficult thing is to forgive yourself, when you have done something seriously wrong. Maybe it is a good thing to ask ourselves: what exactly is forgiveness?

    I have heard e.g. of people who asked for forgiveness but really only wanted to be left off the hook, to not having to face the consequences of their deeds. But I have also heard of instances of people who had committed a serious crime involving people, who asked forgiveness from their victims (or relatives in case of murder) and still were fully prepared to face the consequences of their deed. Two totally different things were asked in these cases.

    And I saw a movie once, based on a true story, of a woman whose husband had been killed by a young man who was under the influence of alcohol and drugs at the time. This woman decided immediately (!) that she did not want to go down the road of hatred and feelings of revenge and that she would forgive the young man. Not only that, she went to the prison to visit him and tell him so. The result being that he turned from an angry young man into one who regretted very much what he had done and wanted to make up for it as much as he could. She kept in touch with him and after he was released from prison they started a program together to talk to young people in schools etc. and warn them of the dangers of alcohol and drugs. This young man had the courage to stand there as a murderer and speak totally honest about what he had done in spite of the reactions he got sometimes. This film impressed me very much and showed a case of real forgiveness, but can we setting ourselves free compare to that?



    • Hey Anny,

      You’re right. I didn’t focus on forgiving ourselves. That’s a whole other post. πŸ™‚

      When we ask someone else for forgiveness, we are usually asking them to make it easier for us to feel better. It’s not that this can’t work to some degree, but we are still giving our power away. “If you will say it’s ok, I guess then I can feel ok.”

      There’s also a difference between accepting consequences, as in “I accept that this is where I am right now, that I can’t change this situation right this second”, so that you stop pushing against the NOW, and accepting consequences because you feel that you need to be punished.
      When someone feels that they need to be punished, they have not yet worked completely through what has happened. They are still stuck in “I am bad” instead of “I have done a bad thing, and there’s a reason. And if I understand that reason and shift that, I can make better choices and take better actions.” There’s a huge difference between seeing a prison term as a consequence of a vibration we were offering (and the actions that arose from that vibration) and seeing it as a justified punishment for being intrinsically evil. The first leads to healing, while the second keeps us stuck in self-loathing.

      As you can see, there’s a lot of ground to cover when it comes to forgiving ourselves… I’ll certainly be writing about it in the future and I’m sure I’ll incorporate your incredibly valuable comment into it. πŸ™‚

      Huge hugs!

  • I am hurting over something that happened a while ago and although I don’t feel so intensely about it as before, it still rushes back at me – because there was no closure. This is the fourth post of forgiveness that I am reading this month and maybe it is a sign. But the thing is, forgiveness is not my problem. I feel as though there is nothing to forgive. I just want to get over it. I am not sure if these steps will work for me.

    But being the “helper type” that I am, I know someone who could benefit from this.

    You have a terrific way of putting things across, Melody. Thank you. It is a pleasure to read.

    • Hey Vidya,

      Thanks so much for your kind words.

      Why do you need the closure? What will it give you that you do not have now? What will it accomplish for you? Figure that out and you’ll be able to move towards that and eliminate the middle man (the person you think you need closure from). It’s never about them. It’s always about you. πŸ™‚

      Huge hugs!

      • Let me try and answer those:
        Why do I need the closure: Because I think it was unfair the person just spoke and walked away and refuses to communicate any more
        What will it give me that I do not have now: Nothing really. Except some satisfaction. Okay, that sounds weak. πŸ™‚
        What will it accomplish for you? Nothing.

        Oh my God. I am on the way to freedom. I am copying these questions so I can answer them every day – Thank you, Melody! You magician, you!

        I am usually a very cool person – but this one thing has been making me feel bad. Ugh! πŸ˜€

        • I just realized, as soon as I posted that comment, that I have not had the chance to vent over the whole thing. All bottled up inside. I guess I’ll write myself an email and see if that flushes it out of my system. What do you think?

          • Hey Vidya,

            If you feel all bottled up, you may have tried to skip the anger stage. If someone said something that “hurt” you and then walked away, you probably felt a type of powerlessness. The robbed you of the chance to have your say, and so you felt like you couldn’t move on. You felt bad and there’s nothing you can do about that. This would’ve made you angry (more empowering), and if you let the anger out, you’d feel better. Vent and let the anger out. You don’t need THEM in order to do that, even if you think you do. Pretend they’re in front of you and just let them have it. You’ll feel better after. πŸ™‚

            Let me know how it goes!

            Huge hugs,

  • For me the bottom line is that when you don’t forgive and move on, what you have effectively done is to let a person, situation or event have power over you. When that person…is constantly on your mind, driving negative emotions, then they are still in control-even if they’re dead. You don’t forgive another, you can only forgive your self-see Ho’oponopono.

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