Forgiving Others – Letting Go of Anger on All Levels

“Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves that allows us to get on with our lives instead of being trapped in the past by resentment.” ~Rick Warren

Forgiveness is a complex emotion and something we all relate to in different ways. But who, reading this, does NOT have someone to deeply forgive? Everyone has faced anguish, hurt and despair, as a result of another’s actions. If we feel wronged, then we need to work through the anger of our personal storm and make our way back into the sunlight of forgiveness. That is certainly a challenging task. Sometimes, a prolonged hurtful experience becomes so ingrained within our psyche that we have an immensely difficult time climbing out of the painful emotional abyss that we have retreated to within ourselves.

But the key is recognizing that we all have the ability to forgive. That old expression “forgive and forget” comes to mind. But it is not a simple task to do both, and I think both those actions can be separated out. You can certainly forgive without forgetting. And I’m not saying to condone something horrible that someone has done to you in the past.

If we’ve gone through emotional turmoil with another person, we are unlikely to be able to forget the emotions attached to our experience. If we have the open-mindedness to look at some of these experiences as life lessons (because I truly believe they all are in some manner) then it’s okay to remember those things learned from past turbulent times or relationships. They serve to remind us of our strength and our perseverance.

The real significant action here is the forgiveness part. That is the gift we give ourselves, the healing of our spirit which helps us embrace a sense of peace and move ahead with the process and course of our life.

Each of us experiences hurt in a very unique way, and thus, forgiving those who have hurt us will be a unique process. The very first step is to make the decision to forgive. After all, many people seem to relish hanging on to their anger toward others — it serves to give them an unhealthy sense of purpose. They get some strange satisfaction of recounting all the wrongs that have been done by so and so. But people of this particular mindset do not ever seem happy.

And other people are just waiting — waiting for some form of admission of guilt or wrongdoing from the person who hurt them — an admission or repentance that will never be forthcoming.

So if you can see yourself in either of these mindsets, it is essential to decide to move ahead and release the anger in your heart. Coming to that point of WANTING to forgive is a process. But once you are there — that is half the journey along the positive path. Forgiveness is GOOD for us.

Forgiveness can happen on any of three levels — emotional, intellectual or spiritual — or all three. Sometimes we only forgive on an intellectual level and have that conversation with ourselves: “Okay, I do want to forgive so and so. I’m ready. It’s time to let go of all this pain as it is impacting my life in such a negative way. ” So you can intellectualize it and are basically able to let much of the pain and resentment go — but not quite all.

Sometimes your heart does not match up and simply is left out of the process. That may be because you are still comfortable in a negative sort of way, of holding on to the last vestiges of victim thinking. Know that if your heart is not part of this process, there will be no peaceful release and you will not be able you to move on with your life in a whole and healthy way. It is believed that holding on to such strong and negative feelings can manifest as physical stress and ill health. So of course, you WANT to let them go.

Therefore, you may have to additionally be prepared to let go of your pain and hostility on that heartfelt, emotion-based level. You have truly pardoned the person when you think about the individual who has wronged you, and are able to feel a sense of real calmness and acceptance in your heart — not acceptance of wrongdoing, but acceptance of being at the place where you are HEALED. That is where you aspire to be. A place where you can move ahead into the integrity of who you really are, and a life that is meaningful and loving, not filled with hatred and resentment.

And what about the spiritual side of forgiveness? One can often consider forgiveness a pure process of spiritual pardon. That it is not only humanly desired, but perhaps Divinely guided or encouraged. If you can embrace forgiveness on this level, it can be profoundly healing. And it helps us feel we have an ally in our quest to forgive — that we are not alone.

All aspects of forgiveness require inner work. That may include self-evaluation, soul-searching, counseling, support groups, prayer, meditation and a variety of other techniques. The path of forgiveness is up to you, but is worth pursuing. So set your intention, do the inner work and welcome light-filled healing into your life…


  • I embrace the act of forgiveness to assist with my own personal healing.
  • I release anger and resentment, and welcome love and healing into my life.
  • I am patient and steadfast on my path to forgiveness, as I know it is a process that can take time and effort.

4 comments to Forgiving Others – Letting Go of Anger on All Levels

  • I just send you a note on facebook, and I thought to myself , I have to read this completely from the heart, not with my head. I understand a lot better NOW.
    Thanks a lot Sheryl, you seem to send a note on FB everytime I need it.
    Thank you for being in my life.
    Thank you for the LIGHT.

  • Janice

    I don’t believe I have felt any real anger or resentment towards anyone who may have “done me wrong.” But it was fairly recently that I realized that the person I need to learn to forgive is myself (for being human) and not be so hard on myself.

    As always, you wrote a great article!

  • Sheryl

    Marie-Reine – thanks for taking the time to post a comment here. And I’m glad my FB notes are timely for you. And also, thank you for your kind words. ~Sheryl

  • Sheryl

    Janice – you’re very fortunate if you have never felt any real anger toward others for any wrongdoing. But learning to forgive oneself is so important – so do be kind to yourself… Glad you enjoyed my article!