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If there is one word that has made the biggest difference to my life in 2015, it is ‘forgiveness’.

Earlier in the year, I started a deliberate process to discover all of the areas of my life and past that I have not truly and deeply come to terms with.

Each day, I discover new triggers or interactions that are connected with my past. And each day, I go through the process of finding the source of bad feelings and bad memories.

Then I make a conscious choice to forgive people – to forgive whatever others might have done or said that triggered my bad feelings. I choose to forgive myself. And, with forgiveness, I let go of the negativity that I held. I let go of all the negative associations – of anger, bitterness, resentment, disappointment, fear and discomfort.

Out of all that I have done  to improve myself over the years, forgiveness and letting go have been the most powerful processes of all.

From what I have seen, felt and experienced with others, I am pretty sure that there is nothing that can’t be forgiven. True forgiveness is a skill that can be learnt and applied to anything and everything.

You may throw up your arms in horror at this assertion. How can I forgive a terrible thing? But I ask you – what good does it do to not forgive? Who is hurt most by the darkness you keep inside?

When you start to understand that holding on does nothing but bring suffering to you and those you love, then it is time to take responsibility and do something about it.

The most incredible thing that I have learnt during this process is that the small life experiences, not just the big ones, can have a lasting impact over time. From the tiny isolated incidents when I was young, when a child said something hurtful to me in the playground, or the teacher who shouted at me – there were literally hundreds, perhaps thousands, of experiences that had remained undigested. Accumulating, and affecting me. Each one of those experiences had some ongoing impact on me in some way. Many of them, deeply damaging.

It hasn’t been easy. I have shed tears, raged with fury and spent a lot of time in uncomfortable memories. But by going down this road, I feel far more at peace now than I ever have before. The process is ongoing, but the power of forgiveness is a vital skill, making an amazing difference to my life, my relationships, and my world.

Letting go just has to be one of the best things I have ever done.

  • What – or who – do you have to forgive?
  • What have you held onto for long enough?
  • How does holding onto something help you, in any way?
  • What if you let go?
  • How will your life improve?

The power to do this is in your hands.

Give yourself the gift of forgiveness this Christmas.


P.S. Share your forgiveness stories in the comments section below.

P.P.S. If you want some help on this read Letting Go by David Hawkins

P.P.P.S. Join me on our Big Adventure into the unknown this April.

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  1. Thanks Mark. Do yo have any tips on how to forgive what’s your process?

  2. I totally agree with Marc.

    It’s not easy to let some things go and forgive but the only person left damaged by darkness is you, no one else.

    I have forgiven a lot this year, I have forgiven a numerous amount of people who have lied about me, turned my life for my family upside down and made me a very depressed, anxious and I confident person. It’s not over and they are still trying to do things to affect me but i have forgiven them. They are the ones who need forgiveness and need help, not me.

    If we all could forgive could you imagine what a beautiful world it would be?

  3. I spend much of my marriage feeling frustrated and annoyed with my partner, who is not for changing in my eyes. It has been going on for years and years. We survive each other most of the time and I know that it is a choice of mine to stay with it. I understand that.

    I have been moved by the words of George Pransky, who, in his useful book ‘The Relationship Handbook’, “It only takes one Mr Jekyll to move a marriage towards health”.

    It is an opportunity for forgiveness and understanding that I need to explore, for, self-aware as I am, actually changing mindset is much easier to say than do.

  4. Forgiveness is surely a gift you can give yourself. If you can’t you will only continue to drink your own poison.

    My personal tip is, if it feels to hard to forgive, start by acting like you forgive, & gradually it will come.
    Thank you Marc
    Warm wishes & the best of everything to you & all your tribe this Christmas x

  5. Marc,

    Half the job is done in the journey of discovery about what we hold on to. Peter Block (Community: The Structure of Belonging. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2008) has three great questions to ask of ourselves: “What’s the forgiveness you are unwilling to offer?” and ” What’s the resentment you hold that no one knows about?” followed by “Why does this matter?”. I think if we can name the beast, somehow it lessens its hold on us.

  6. As they say, hanging on to resentment is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.

  7. Thank you Marc. I love this post. It’s full of powerful insights on positive principles like determination, openness, courage, compassion, acceptance and ultimately forgiveness, and the challenges of living them day to day. It’s not an easy path to follow, but it is a fast path to peace. Imagining a world view framed in forgiveness is one part of an amazing journey and I’m thrilled you’re sharing it with us. Looking forward to hearing more. Love what you’re doing! I always come away learning something new and fascinating.

    Very Best – Mike

  8. As a mum of young children, I have plenty of opportunities each day to forgive myself for the way I react to their age-appropriate behaviour in my age inappropriate way (ie losing my temper at them losing their temper!) The longer I resist the urge to forgive, the more angry and upset I get, which leaves the whole family feeling angry and upset. By letting go of the need to be right, and accepting that the most important thing is that I am compassionate and forgiving, to my family and to myself, the whole drama subsides, the stress levels decrease, and I can laugh about the ridiculousness of it all! Then start again

  9. PS thank you Marc for a wonderful year of posts!! Wishing you a peaceful Christmas and a wonderful year in 2016!

  10. Forgive.
    Move on.
    Life is simple.

    Thank you for such a great post Marc and wish you and your family a marvellous Christmas!

  11. Forgiving others is a walk in the park in comparison to forgiving oneself. Any suggestions for that.

  12. I’m getting a little better at this lately. What helped me was to separate ‘forgive’ and ‘forget’. The two used to be fused together in my head – and that made forgiveness very difficult. Without the ‘forget’ bit, it became easier. It seems obvious with hindsight, but it is not impossible to say ‘this thing happened, it can’t unhappen, but I understand why it happened, it was a mistake, I can accept that’.

    This made it easier to forgive myself too. I can say ‘I did this thing and it was wrong – but that was then, I’m not the same now. I know more. I understand why I did it then, and I don’t want to do it again … so I’m better now.’

  13. I agree with you, Marc. Forgiving is one of the most transformational experiences. Several years ago (while suffering from an illness) I started reading a book, which I would have probably not read if it was not for the state I was in. The book was advising on following some practices for forgiveness. I decided to follow them although I did not think that I have much to forgive. The effect was amazing. After repeating numerous times to myself I forgive and I want to be forgiven thinking of specific people and situations, I felt all of a sudden relieved, light and happy in a manner I don’t remember ever being. That experience taught me how much we all hold and I do everything possible to forgive and not hold anything inside me. That opens great opportunities to learn more about other people and other points of view that would remain unknown to us otherwise. Altogether, forgiveness opens us to learn and be more aware, it helps us move to a higher level of consciousness and wellbeing.

  14. Jackson Flowers says

    I am forgiveness acting here
    Casting out all doubt and fear
    Setting men forever free
    With wings of cosmic Victory
    I am calling in full power for
    forgiveness every hour
    to all life in every place
    I flood forth forgiving grace!

    I have memorized this from a chakra book. Forgiveness sets the soul free and disentangles you from situations or people karma- wise so bad things stop happening.

    It stops the cycle of pain and addiction to pain.

    I have said this affirmation for forgiveness hundreds if not thousands of times. While you say it you can imagine/visualize people or ideas or things in your life you have the intention to forgive.

    Of course forgive yourself first. I’m interested in combining the self love algorithm with a self forgiveness algorithm.

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