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How to Forgive Someone When It’s Hard: 30 Tips to Let Go of Anger

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http://tinybuddha.com - How do you forgive someone when every fiber of your being resists? How do you look at them lovingly when you still have the memory of their unloving action?



“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ~Mahatma Gandhi



Up until my early 20s, I carried around a lot of anger toward someone in my life. I’d been hurt by a person I trusted, and for a long time in my adolescence I wanted to hurt them back.



I lived in painful stories and in visions of what could have been if I hadn’t been wronged. I blamed someone else for the life I didn’t have, and felt vindicated in the soul-sucking resentment I carried around from day to day.



I realize it makes less compelling writing to talk so generally, but these stories aren’t only mine to tell. They involve someone I love and have since forgiven. So perhaps the kindest thing I can do both for them and me is not retell the story, but instead create a new one: a story about letting go.



It’s a hard thing to do—to completely let go of something painful and forgive the person who may or may not have realized what they did. At my angriest point, I was convinced the person who hurt me did it with full intention and cruelty. I felt not a shred of compassion; just unadulterated pain and rage.



Then I realized: unless someone is a sociopath, they are rarely without feeling. And if they’ve hurt another person, even if their ego prevents them from admitting it, odds are they feel remorse on some level.



No one is purely bad, and everyone carries their own pain which influences the decisions they make. This doesn’t condone their thoughtless, insensitive, or selfish decisions, but it makes them easier to understand.



After all, we’ve all been thoughtless, insensitive, and selfish at times. Usually, we have good intentions.

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