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How forgiveness can lead to a great release

By Joseph Pond

Shall I tell you a secret? One that will help prevent self-sabotaging? It's something that for many people is very necessary but extremely difficult. It's also extremely liberating.

I'm talking about forgiveness. Whether I'm doing life-coaching or therapy with somebody, eventually it comes down to forgiveness.

The subject is very misunderstood, so I want to explain a few things.

First, forgiveness doesn't mean condoning what somebody has done to you. If somebody or some group of people have harmed you in the past that was wrong - it shouldn't have happened. Forgiveness doesn't mean acceptance. It just means letting go.

Secondly, it's personal. You needn't tell anyone that you've forgiven them. I worked once with a woman who was abused by a relative many, many years ago. Her abuser was long gone, yet this incredible lady had held on to tremendous hurt and pain for many decades. I explained to her that she wasn't hurting the dead man, by this point she was only limiting herself.

Some people believe that holding on to the pain and anger can prevent it from happening again. I have to explain that it's not by holding on to negative emotions that we prevent future abuse. We can only protect ourselves by learning the positive lessons that life offers us. This particular lady was smart and realised that she was strong and resourceful enough to protect herself in ways which didn't impinge upon her God-given right to happiness. She forgave.

When you finally forgive others, you can then forgive yourself. Again, that doesn't mean that you'll accept the harm you feel you've done to yourself or others, it just means that you stop beating yourself up for it.

A way to do this therapy is to lie down and affirm to yourself, "I forgive". Then just be mindful of what or who comes up. As soon as a thought comes up - any thought - you repeat the affirmation, "I forgive". Repeating this often becomes more and more liberating.

This is a serious topic. For more help with this, I've recorded a meditation on forgiveness. Contact me if you want it.

Joseph Pond is a clinical hypnotherapist, an acupuncturist, and a mindfulness instructor. He is co-founder of Hypnosis Explorers NI and conducts workshops in hypnosis with PowerTrance. Reach him at or at Belfast Hypnosis/?ref=hl/?ref=hl

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