Is sorry always the hardest word?

Forgiveness is one of life’s deep mysteries. It’s much misunderstood, sorely under-utilised and one of the hardest things we ever do.

I believe everybody will have something they need to forgive at some point in their lives. If we’re really honest with ourselves, there’s probably a whole list. 

 I specialise in helping people to forgive pretty much every kind of thing there is to forgive, including narcissistic abuse, betrayal, abandonment, violence, through to irritating relationships and inanimate objects like helicopters.  

 I’ve concluded two things: 

  • We tragically underestimate the transformational potential of forgiveness in our individual lives. 

It’s like a latent superpower we all have. It gives us the ability to completely resolve and free ourselves from past and present pain. It can heal the body by lowering stress and reducing cortisol levels, it can heal relationships with others and with ourselves.

  •  We tragically underestimate the transformational potential of forgiveness for the world. What if every person forgave everyone and everything?

Where would our anger, hatred and division go? What if we could no longer justify or sustain war? Forgiveness is how we could start to create a world at peace.

 So the question is - why don’t we? What are we waiting for? Why are we so reluctant to forgive each other? 

 I am equally fascinated by why we don’t forgive as much as I am about how we can.

Why is it that some people are able to forgive the most heinous crimes, whilst others truly struggle to forgive family members or co-workers for the relatively minor grudges, gripes and grievances of everyday life? 

Why does forgiveness often seem irrelevant or not applicable to us? What I’ve discovered are at least five obstacles to forgiveness. 

 Firstly, it helps to have a definition of forgiveness that works: 

 “Forgiveness is  the absolute refusal to hold ill will  against someone for what they did  or didn’t do.” 

 K Bradford Brown - Founder of the More to Life Organisation 

 What I love about this definition is it’s clear that you are the one with the power.

It doesn’t matter whether or not the other person apologizes or offers amends for what they did or didn’t do.

It doesn’t matter how hard or how long you’ve been resenting them, you are the one choosing. Resenting someone doesn’t change their behaviour, nor change the past. 

When you choose to let go, you free up your energies, to pursue justice or to protect the innocent. You go free. 

Some people take a long time to feel “ready” to forgive. I never insist anyone forgives.  It’s always your choice. 

There are steps you can take to help make that process much easier and to choose it sooner rather than wait until you’re on your deathbed. 

I believe that forgiveness is a secular ethics and spiritual “superpower” and if we want to create “a more beautiful world our hearts know is possible”  (Charles Eisenstein).

It’s a mental and emotional wellbeing practice that we urgently need to master.  I hold a vision of forgiveness in every heart. I invite you to join me in this interior revolution.

 Your practice of forgiveness is an act of amnesty for the whole of humanity.  Together we can be the (r)evolution of peace. 

About the Author

Barbara J Hunt is a forgiveness specialist and advocate, speaker, workshop leader, global peace visionary and award-winning/bestselling author of “Forgiveness Made Easy - the revolutionary guide to moving beyond your past and truly letting go”.

She has over 30 years experience in personal and spiritual development as a mentor, coach and group facilitator. She leads on-line "Forgiveness Field" workshops and courses on mental and emotional wellbeing. 

She works in private practice internationally and on bespoke retreats in rural Somerset in the UK. Barbara is also a musician and singer-songwriter and has recorded several CD albums and singles including her Song for International Peace. She is currently working on her next album and her next book.

 For more information visit |.  Forgiveness Made Easy 

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