How Do You ACTUALLY Forgive Someone?

Written by Sonia Lopez Simpson

How do you forgive? How do you let go of the sadness, anger or resentment often attached to forgiveness? When someone hurts a loved one or me, I want to right the wrongs.

How do you forgive and let go when someone has hurt you?

Maybe they hurt so bad they just don’t know any other way than to hurt others back. Maybe they’re afraid to feel love so they put up their walls.

The truth is that we're all walking around with a wounded child within us. We’ve been hurt, and we’ve been the perpetrator. Our nervous system is equipped to protect us. So our brain will store betrayal, heartbreak or loss for future protection. Imagine all the hurt a person accumulates in a lifetime? All this heavy emotional energy weighing us down!

We must consciously work towards healing ourselves and opening our hearts to those who have hurt us. To let go of any limiting belief we form that “people are bad” or “out to get me.” We must lighten up.

Love and let go. Forgive.

Here are some ways I help my clients and myself release the heavy energy that anchors us down when we find it difficult to forgive:

1. Sit with your feelings.

Sadness, anger, pain – acknowledge these feelings and allow yourself to feel them. We want to be a warrior and quickly move past the hurt, maybe even numb it or sweep it under the rug. I promise you this energy is weighing you down and will sooner or later reveal itself if unfelt.

2. Don’t be a victim.

Yes, sit with your feelings but don’t dwell on them. Ruminating on how you were hurt and betrayed will weigh you down more. Do something constructive with your pain. Find the silver lining. Of course it sucks to be hurt, but challenges are how we learn and grow. Look for the lesson and don’t close yourself off. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

3. Get your feelings out on paper. 

Writing a letter or journaling about events that cause deep-rooted negative emotions help you clarify your thoughts and feelings and release emotions involved.

4. Challenge the limiting belief that will undoubtedly be formed as a result of your pain.

As a protective mechanism, your brain will tell you people are no good. Find the opposite. Put your focus on love and the goodness that is in your life. Find one or two good people who will proof your belief wrong. Or better yet, be the person that proves the belief wrong. Do this every time the limiting belief comes up.

5. Learn to trust again but don’t be a doormat. 

Sure, there are people who are untrustworthy, but remember that sometimes good people make mistakes. If the offender is making genuine attempts at reconciliation, the choice is yours. Let your heart be your guide; trust your inner wisdom. Forgiveness is not acceptance of wrong behavior. It’s simply releasing all the negative energy that affects you physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.

6. Wish your offender the best. 

At first this will be hard and feel hypocritical, but the more you practice this, the more the pain in your heart evaporates and you become lighter. Remember, how others treat you is a reflection of THEIR belief system, their pain. It has nothing to do with you.

Next time someone hurts me I will choose to focus my energy on forgiving them, rather than hold onto these feelings that make me a prisoner. I will see my perpetrator’s wounded child, I will ask myself, “Who do I want to be, no matter what is done to me?”

Forgiveness is freedom. I FORGIVE. I CHOOSE TO BE FREE.

I would love to hear about a time you had to forgive; email me at:

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