How to forgive and let go

Updated: Jul 4

Deeper exploration, processing and letting go.

Sometimes we struggle to forgive and totally let go of toxic memories because we believe that we are better off, safer or stronger, when we hold on to a wrong-doing. There are also many layers of forgiveness to contend with. This article is for those getting ready to forgive. I explore different levels, how to process, forgive and totally let go.

Why is it so hard to forgive?

One common reason is knowing that the person who hurt us has not changed or they are unapologetic and show no remorse for what they did to us. They may say they are sorry, but have not changed or have shown that they have no concern for the trauma they caused. You are concerned, afraid that given the opportunity, they would do the exact same thing, repeat the very act(s) that hurt you. For this reason, we hold on to the toxic traumatic memory emotionally, mentally and physically in your body (somatic). We believe that this holding on protects us. In some cases this is true, especially if the abuse is ongoing, and we need to focus on taking steps to be safe again. However in most cases, the risk is assumed and no longer present, so holding on to the memory limits us, keeping us in fear and guilt. I explore this in more detail further down, in this article.

Toxic memories trapped in the body can become physical tension, pain or dis-ease causing serious physical and mental health issues. The process of forgiveness has to include letting go of the physical (somatic) imprints as well as the emotional and mental.

Memories are energy imprints at emotional, somatic and mental levels. As time passes, as we feel stronger, we can begin to process stored toxic memories within us at all levels.

Emotional processing

Emotionally, we hold on to toxic memories because we want a reminder for us to stay safe, do revenge or punish the perpetrator.

Emotional processing involves exploring our emotions, the shame, anger, guilt, blame, resolving and adjusting them to feel more happiness, joy, love and confident within.

As we process emotions that lie underneath toxic memories, we begin to feel less anger, resentment and process our physical pain and dis-ease at a somatic level as well. The tensions and toxicity in our muscles, organs, nervous systems are released. We then find it easier to actually forgive. Energy healing and somatic healing tools help with somatic processing.

As we use transformational tools that resonate with us, the shame, guilt, blame, anger begin to lose their grip within us. The key is to try different tools and strategies, that resonate with you out of the thousands that exist. Find and practice the transformational tools that work for you. Get the help you need. I resonate with forgiveness, energy healing, inner inquiry, journaling and subliminal affirmations the most. Our thoughts impact on our emotions, so for many of us, we can neutralise our emotions best by dealing with our thoughts. As you practice these tools, toxic emotions are resolved, your emotional resilience increases and your perspectives change.

We begin to understand what made a person do something. We acquire the space within to see what made something happen the way it did that hurt us. We understand our sense of self more and can detach with more ease. We may feel some compassion for the other person and for our own self. We may not feel compassion for the other person, but compassion for our own self is important.

It is common for there to be an absence of compassion for the perpetrator,
For instance in cases of sexual abuse, survivors of childhood sexual abuse often use their anger and resentment to keep pushing forward, through life. The other side to this however is that the anger and resentment permeates in the present and affects our relationships, our state of being, until we forgive and totally let go of the anger and resentment.

We can get the help, including therapy and medication. Healing and recovery can be resolved at deep levels, then we are able to truly forgive and totally let go. We are ready to experience more emotional and somatic freedom.

Mental processing

This involves how we use our mind to move us forward. it is important to note that trauma affects the physiology of the brain, how we receive information, our perceptions, thoughts, the beliefs we hold about our self and about the world. The beliefs we hold create our emotions. This is why beliefs are fundamental to the forgiveness process. Following trauma, we often feel fundamentally helpless and at the mercy of others because of the disempowering beliefs we hold. This disempowerment is a natural consequence of experiencing trauma.

It is essential to process our dominant beliefs, step by step, in order to regain our sense of power, to develop and hold better mental and emotional coping mechanisms.

You can:

✅ adjust beliefs of helplessness and program your mind with empowering thoughts, beliefs and intentions.

✅ surround/remind yourself with positive information/affirmations. ✅ practice small and big acts based on the new positive information you are acquiring.

You begin to feel more empowered to make decisions about your own life, including forgiving others and your own self.

Mental processing involves exploring the rational reasons behind your not forgiving and letting them go. You adjust the reasons to what feels more reasonable to you now. Adjustments could be you knowing you are no longer unsafe, or that you are no longer as unsafe as you used to be. It could actually be knowing that you are now safe. it could be knowing the abuser is far away or that they have shown that they now respect you.

We come to the realisation that we have more information, more experience now. We realise that the circumstances are different now. We know that even if there are some things we need to be cautious about, we can cope better. We know that we will take action to keep ourself safe.

These are all mental processes that are key for moving forward. The process of letting go totally, requires us understanding the reasons, belief(s) we hold around the trauma and adjusting the old reason/ belief for a new one that empowers us. Positive affirmations, even subliminal formats are a good way to replace old toxic beliefs. Self care is also vital in showing our own self that we can cope better now.

If this resonates then this is for you. I encourage you to take the steps to forgive, again and again, to let go and the live in more emotional freedom.

Does it matter who hurt us? No matter what the act was, no matter who the person was, we can forgive and totally let go. Forgiveness is different from Reconciliation.

Whether the person is a parent, sibling, child, spouse, family, friend, neighbour, colleague, official, acquaintance or even a stranger, reconciliation or them feeling sorry is not essential for us to forgive them and let go. Forgiveness does not mean we reconnect or reconcile with those who hurt us, even if they try to reach out to us. Forgiveness does not require them to be sorry.

Why is forgiveness important?

We expand in emotional, mental and somatic freedom when we totally let go of toxic memories. We are more creative and engage more in aspects of our life with more ease and flow. There are times when you have doubts that life can be easier. You may hold a belief that life can be easy but not for you. Sometimes our beliefs contradict themselves, so we may believe we deserve ease and freedom, but not always. We may believe we deserve all good things available, or we may believe that we only deserve the minimum. These beliefs are conditioned by society and by our own self. The beliefs we hold fundamentally attract the quality of our life. Forgiveness allows the attainment of empowering beliefs. Forgiveness is more about you, about seeking redress within you than about the other. Whatever happened, no matter how painful, the onus now at this present time, is on you to do things differently.

Forgiveness increases our own capacity to hold more love now in the present. Forgiveness is a step into freedom, of your mind, of your body and your spirit.