As kids, we generally learn that forgiveness is just a word that you say. When you forgive, it’s like letting the other person off the hook. They say they’re sorry and you hug and make up. But what does that really do? Do we feel differently? Does that make the hurt go away? Generally not.

What really happens is we take that anger and we hide it, because we are not “supposed” to feel it anymore. We stuff the hurt, anger and resentment down as far as we can and try to move on in our “normal” lives. Of course, if we admit that we still feel angry, then we feel shameful or guilty because we were “supposed” to have forgiven. . Those emotions build and compound through the years and can lead to sickness, conflicts, even violence. Some people who have been deeply hurt can develop addictions, distrust and intense negativity. It can affect every area of your life – relationships, work, health and how you feel about yourself.

Do you need to forgive? Can forgiveness help you?

Forgiveness can help anyone. Everyone has been hurt. It’s a normal part of life. Forgiveness can help if you are experiencing trouble in relationships, feel like you have unfinished business with someone, have resentment, limiting beliefs, feel like you are stuck, feel like a victim, have health issues, have low self esteem, even if you just feel dissatisfied with your life.

Forgiveness can help you get out of a victim mindset because it puts you in a position of power. You are taking back accountability for your life. Forgiveness is a process of release and transformation.

Most of all, forgiveness is a choice. You can choose to forgive, or not to forgive. If you want to stay the same, with all the same feelings, thoughts and actions, then there’s no reason to forgive. If you want to let go of the old, negative emotions and thoughts and replace them with peace, joy and even love, or if you want to be able to trust again then forgiveness is what you are looking for.

Let’s clear up some misconceptions about forgiveness…
Forgiveness makes you stronger, not weaker. It does not mean you lose or give in.
Forgiveness can’t be done with just words – it’s a process that you have to DO.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean you are more vulnerable, it doesn’t expose you to more hurt.
Forgiveness doesn’t have to be done all at once, you may only do a little at a time.
Forgiveness is not restitution – you do not have to tell anyone or “make up.”

Forgiveness is a Gift you give to yourself. It clears your energy, gives you back your personal power and can free you from any emotional ties you have with your perpetrator. Forgiveness has nothing to do with the person you are forgiving, it has everything to do with you.

When you hold on to anger and hurt, you sentence yourself to prison. A prison inside your own body. Your relationships suffer, your physical and emotional health suffers and you are miserable. It blocks your success. Even though you may feel justified about holding that person responsible, you may be depressed and anxious; and you operate from a state of disappointment; nothing that person can do is enough to remove the injustice. You begin, or continue to build a wall around you, forsaking caring and trust for anger and resentment.

Because you are holding on to negative emotions, you are, in fact giving your offender control over your body and your life. Your life energy is spent replaying the event over and over again, reliving the pain and wondering what could have been different. You can’t feel joy because the anger and other negative feelings are clouding your perception. Consider now how much energy you have wasted in your life, hanging on to these old, negative feelings? Think of what you could have done with that energy had you forgiven long ago…

Forgiveness releases you from your prison. Forgiveness is the eraser of anger and guilt. Forgiveness is the greatest single healing element in life, balancing your emotions, your body and your mind.

Author's Bio: 

Tracey Burchard is a Certified Hypnotist, Instructor and Life Coach. For a powerful forgiveness experience, visit her website for the new audio release Radical Forgiveness. It’s a step by step process that will help you be free from the ties of anger, hurt and resentment and move forward to a life with more peace and love. Visit and download your copy today!