Forgiveness is the only path that leads us out of hell. Forgiveness is letting go. It is surrendering. It is giving up the need to be right. It is finally admitting to yourself that you are open and willing to live your life another way. That way is through the door of forgiveness. If you are experiencing pain, anguish, fear, turmoil, confusion, doubt, shame, terror, hate or anything similar, there is some aspect of yourself or another that you are not loving and accepting. Forgiveness is the balm to heal all wounds. Whether you need to forgive yourself or someone else, it is the key to freeing your heart and soul.

Sometimes it takes a long time to fully understand forgiveness. Perhaps it’s because we tend to associate it with someone who’s “done you wrong.” Sometimes we are able to let bygones be bygones when we’ve felt hurt or used in some way.

Sometimes we’ve felt we were great at forgiving. What often gets overlooked though is forgiving ourselves. How many times have we taken the concept of forgiveness and applied it to ourselves? Many of us were taught to forgive others and forget about the injustice.

Forgive and forget. That message has been with most of us all of our lives. However, how many of us were taught to forgive ourselves and forget our own injustices? For me it seemed okay if someone else did something wrong and I forgave him or her, then all would be well. I would be considered a good and wise person. But it never seemed okay with me if I did something wrong. Instead of forgiving and forgetting, I’d do the opposite. I’d condemn myself, then play it over and over again in my mind until I felt extra sure of my “badness.”

Once we learn to associate forgiveness with ourselves, as in self-forgiveness, instead of only forgiving others, we are free. Yes… we often get impatient, yes…we don’t always accomplish our goals for the day, yes…we sometimes burn the toast, yes…we don’t always feel like giving when someone needs us, yes…sometimes we’d rather be alone, yes…sometimes we forget to be compassionate, yes… sometimes we get angry, yes…sometimes our imperfections can really fill us with shame. Welcome to being human!

In the past when these things would happen I’d immediately go into negative self talk that would last for hours. Nothing is more detrimental to body, mind and spirit than continuous negative self talk. It blocks our connection to the source of life energy,which is love. Without love – self love – we merely exist instead of thrive.

Forgiveness unleashes all of our self made blockages and allows the light of love to flow through us again. I once read that holding a grudge against someone is like poisoning yourself and hoping the other person will die. It’s so ridiculous it’s almost funny, but how many people do you know who go to their graves holding a grudge?

The poison can only hurt ourselves. Time to forgive ourselves for being human. Time to forgive others for the same reason. No matter what the injustice done to any of us, in the end, the only injustice is a wasted life.

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that crushes it”
-Mark Twain

Author's Bio: 

Heather Fraser is a writer in Ontario, Canada who has come to understand the meaning of her life as an expression of the sacred and the soul of everyday living. For more information you can visit her website at