Forgiveness is a Gift You Give Yourself and Why You Need to Forgive

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Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself and here is why.

Practicing forgiveness is essential to your health and overall wellbeing. Learning to forgive will make you a happier, stronger person who is able to have better relationships.

At the bottom of the post, I have a short guided meditation that a counselor friend of mine wrote and recorded for my readers.

July 2023 Update: When I originally wrote this back in 2016, I had been through my share of hurt and i was tired of it. I had been divorced a couple of years. My attempts at relationships had been dismal. I was mad a family member.

When I wrote this post seven years ago, I was at the beginning of my forgiveness journey. I consider this post and the ideas in it to be a turning point in my life.

I don’t even think about those hurts anymore. Even better, I don’t really even attract those kinds of people into my life.

I’ve seen my life grow and expand in beautiful ways.

This doesn’t mean I’m immune to getting my feelings hurt or that I don’t have knee jerk reactions sometimes.

But that’s all it is. I don’t dwell on or cause more of my own suffering by holding onto the hurt or thinking about how someone hurt me.

Here’s the thing. When we hold onto hurt and anger, we re-injure ourselves. Over and over.

Forgiveness doesn’t make you weak or more prone to bad things happening. Just the opposite it makes you stronger and more confident and gives you clarity. Forgiveness even has health benefits!

Forgiveness is a huge part of maintaining your health and beauty. To live your best life, it is important to process anger, hurt feelings, and disappointments.

Picture of woman sitting with the words: forgiveness the gift you give yourself

Why You Need to Forgive

You don’t have to approve, condone, or accept unforgivable behavior. The benefits of forgiving are so that YOU can feel better as soon as possible.

FORGIVING is one of the most profound and beneficial things you can do for yourself. I believe that in forgiving we actually can free ourselves from the person or situation instead of feeling stuck.

Forgiving allows you to release emotions that can have a negative effect on your life, your relationships, and even your health.

Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself and here is why. Practicing forgiveness is essential to your health and overall wellbeing. Learning to forgive will make you a happier, stronger person who is able to have better relationships.

As good as forgiving sounds in theory, it can sometimes feel like one of those things that is impossible to do.

What is Forgiveness?

I mean, exactly what is it? It’s not an action, nor can you just wish it to happen in an instant. Forgiving is a total pain in the ass. Kind of like giving up sugar…We know it’s good for us but is it even possible?

Unfortunately, forgiving isn’t always easy. Sometimes I love the feeling of righteous anger.

And wouldn’t forgiving somehow be letting the person I’m mad at off the hook? I’ve thought at times that I would never forgive someone—that they don’t deserve forgiveness.

And you know what? Maybe they didn’t.

That part of the equation simply does not matter. Forgiveness is something YOU do, for YOU. Period.

Sometimes it allows a relationship to grow and progress. Sometimes it allows you to let go of a relationship. That’s one of the most interesting aspects of forgiveness—it works in either situation.

Forgiveness and Relationships

I feel strongly that forgiveness is important whether that person remains in my life or not.

Forgiving someone does not mean that person has to stay in your life. And if you want them out of your life, forgiving actually helps with the process.

Because, guess what? When you hold on to your anger at a person, you hold them in your life. Yes, the act of holding onto that angry energy keeps them at some level active in your mind and in your life.

Even if you don’t see them, you may keep attracting people like them. Trust me, that is not what you want.

On the other side, forgiveness is essential to preserving family and real friendships.

None of us are perfect and we have all thoughtlessly hurt another. I have seen families and friendships torn apart over anger, hurt feelings, and an unwillingness to forgive.

I’m not talking about the horrible “unforgivable” things some people experience.

I’m talking about more mundane yet wounding things. We all know siblings that haven’t talked in years. We all know children who haven’t talked to their parents in years. Or parents who refuse to talk to their children.

Sometimes, removing yourself from someone’s life is what is needed.

Yet, I find it terribly sad and such a waste, when the anger is over something someone said or did that hurt but is something that could be potentially discussed and used as a basis to grow from.

The Health Benefits of Forgiveness

Forgiving is good for YOU! Chronic anger has detrimental health implications.

Staying actively angry for long periods of time can actually affect your heart, pain levels, and even blood pressure. Some studies say that forgiving can even extend your life!

Forgiving helps you attract and maintain better relationships. When you are in an unforgiving mode, you are not attracting your best relationships.

You might actually keep attracting poor relationships. Being able to forgive helps you cherish and preserve your good relationships.

Forgiving helps reduce stress and anxiety and helps to clear your mind of negative talk and emotions. This improves your mood and sense of well-being and allows happiness and contentment to be your primary emotions.

Thoughts on Forgiveness

Forgiving starts with the intention to forgive. You have to want to forgive.

Unlike, say fixing a leaking faucet, the way towards forgiveness is a little more intangible.

There are many things you can do to facilitate it but in general it’s more of an attitude and way of being as opposed to specific actions.

Forgiveness is a process and it has its own timeline. It can take time for the healing to take place. But with an intention (sometimes that is ALL you can do at first) to forgive you will reach that place.

Forgiveness doesn’t require the participation of the other person at all. This is by you for you.

Forgiveness doesn’t require an apology. In fact, the people you MOST need to forgive will most likely never offer you an apology.

Understand that even without forgiving, you may never get closure. With forgiving, you may never get closure either. You can get peace of mind though.

Even if the person you forgive never wants to talk about what happened—it doesn’t mean they haven’t thought about it. People have different tolerances for discussing situations that are painful or shameful.

How Do You Forgive?

Allow yourself to feel all your emotions: anger, disappointment, betrayal, hurt, and sadness about the person and situation. It’s important to own how you feel before you try to forgive.

Accept that no one is perfect. No one. Not even you. When we make mistakes, we give ourselves the benefit of the doubt. But when someone makes a mistake with us, we attribute bad intentions to them.

Acknowledge that you want to forgive. Even if forgiving feels like the LAST thing you want to do, voice your desire in your mind, on paper, or to a friend. Having this intention sets the healing of forgiveness in motion.

Explore your part in the situation. In what ways did you contribute to what happened? Sometimes we stay in a relationship too long and it ends in a messy way. Sometimes we have hurt the other person as well. It is empowering to look at our own responsibility in creating a situation.

Be curious about what you’ve learned from this situation or person. How did this painful situation help you grow?

Allow forgiveness to happen. There will be moments when the anger will be reactivated and you will feel like it’s just not going to happen. Let the anger come and go. Keep your intention to forgive in place and don’t get stuck in that angry place.

Take whatever actions nurture your forgiving self. Write, meditate, walk, listen to music, or create. If you have a wise friend who can let you vent without reinforcing an unforgiving stance, then go for it.

Find new activities or connections to take your mind off the situation. I use times like this to find new activities, plan a trip, start a new project reconnect with friends and family. Finding something to get excited about is a very effective way to transform the pain of being hurt into a something that adds value to your life.

Let this situation be a catalyst for growth and meaning in your life. Being hurt offers you a window into your own spirit and a chance to heal and become a stronger wiser person. While it may feel at times like it has broken you, it is doing the opposite. It is strengthening you and can ultimately be a gift.

Forgiveness is a Gift

It is a wonderful thing to realize that beyond the initial hurt feelings, you are stronger than than the petty things that come up in life.

Though they can feel huge at times—if you really think about it, most of them are not. By committing to forgiving, you commit to claiming your own power and the knowledge that another person cannot hurt the real you.

By forgiving, you become a stronger more resilient person. Choosing to forgive helps you be healthy and whole. Forgiving someone is not a gift you give them—it is the gift you give yourself.

Keep showing up my friends!

A Gift to Help You With Forgiveness

To help you with forgiving, here is a short, guided meditation on forgiveness. Listen to it as much as you need to help you process your painful situations.

Related Posts on Forgiveness 

No matter what your background or faith, entering the new year tends to have some kind of meaning to most people. We want to start clean. Learning how to forgive someone is a great place to start.
Is there a hurt that is getting in the way of your happiness? Spend five minutes a day listening to this relaxing guided meditation and learn the power of forgiveness in your own life. Forgiveness = Happiness. And happiness the best the revenge.
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Keep showing up my friends,



I'm a certified life and weight loss coach who helps women feel better and get the most out of their lives! The process of life coaching teaches you to love yourself and gain self confidence in a safe effective way.

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  1. Mary on August 11, 2019 at 9:57 pm

    Thank you for this beautifully organized, easy to read reference complete with a guided meditation. It is a great resource to share with those we care about in regard to forgiveness.

    • Sara on August 17, 2019 at 9:51 am

      Forgiveness always works!

  2. […] in any situation or relationship, forgiving is probably the most essential thing I do. In fact, forgiving is such a cornerstone to the way I live, I’ve written three posts about it and produced one guided […]

  3. […] The Gift of Forgiveness […]

  4. Natasha @ Salt & Lavender on May 28, 2016 at 11:34 am

    This post is a very good reminder! I admit I’m stubborn so I tend to have trouble with this. It’s about you more than the other person/situation, though… I need to remember that!!

    • Sara on May 29, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      Hi Natasha,
      I wrote this for myself; It really helps me keep on track. Thanks for reading!

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Hi, I'm Sara Garska and I'm so happy you're here! Big changes can happen with a shift in thinking. Over time, you transform your life into the one you always dreamed of having. As a certified life coach, I can help you create a life you love. Visit my life coaching page here.