Learning to Forgive

The emphasis here is on the word learning. The reason that people cannot forgive is that their anger has worn a deep groove in the mind, and like water seeking a downward slope, their minds find this groove so easily that new channels of feeling cannot be formed.

Forgiveness is a feeling.

We are used to thinking of it as a moral duty or as a sign of maturity. True as those things may be, if you cannot feel the experience of forgiving, you haven’t achieved the real thing.

Learning to make a new groove for your feelings is the key. Once again, the steps aren’t mystical. You can forgive anyone who has hurt you by taking the following actions:

  • Choose the intent to forgive, even though your feelings are still hurt.
  • Have the intention to let new feelings come in.
  • Encourage even the slightest hints of new feeling.
  • Experience the old hurt and anger, but always say, “This isn’t me. This is not what I want anymore.”
  • Keep challenging the old hurt with reasons why it should be replaced.
  • Be patient and let yourself experience both the old and the new feelings until the old one begins to fade.

Adapted from Peace is the Way, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 2005).

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


Frances Darcy
Frances Darcy2 years ago

We can all forgive many wrongs without too much soul searching , indeed we do it all the time, but there are those who were so badly wronged and hurt that I could not even contemplate how they would begin to forgive.And that in itself, must be so terrible, and so painful. We all STILL remember even trivial things which hurt us as children,eg., name calling and being excluded from games, and we STILL remember the ring leader and although a long, long time ago we would be quite pleased to think he/she got their come-upperance.So what must it be like for those so badly wronged ,that to even think of forgiving, they have to relive their horrendous experiences...perpetuating the wrongs...Yes, for our own sake we have to forgive but for those who justiifablly cannot, my heart goes out to you...no-one should have to go through what you are suffering.

Monica May
Monica May2 years ago

necessary advice

Terry V.
Terry V.2 years ago


Fiona T.
Fi T.2 years ago

Forgiving is harmony and tranquility

Penny Bacon
.3 years ago

Very good advice, thanks for the article.

Winn Adams
Winn Adams3 years ago


Patricia H.
Patricia H.3 years ago

thanks for sharing

Kath R.
Kath P.3 years ago

I've learned to forgive but have never forgotten what was done.

J.L. A.
JL A.3 years ago

good tips

alex lllllll
alex l.3 years ago

i still can't let go of some things, but i have learnt to forgive to some degree. i've found that trying to understand why the person did what they did really helps me to forgive them. if i can try to see it from their perspective at all, it can help.
when i can't understand - like the person that abused me so terribly when i was a child - i just keep trying to forgive a bit at a time. i kind of hate him more for that though. it isn't just what he did to me, but all of the negative emotions he left in me, and that develop over time i as fully come to understand what he did to me. there are somethings that get worse with time.
i know that forgiveness is supposed to help me, but i am not sure i can forgive someone who deliberately broke my body, and left me to have to live with it. the injuries get worse when they are of a certain kind. i will never see him again, but i will always have problems walking because of him. how do i forgive someone who did that to me, and took no responsibility? i can only keep trying to not wish him ill, and hope the rest comes.