What Does it Really Mean to Forgive Someone?

What Does it Really Mean to Forgive Someone? what does it really mean to forgive someone?
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Something I love to question about life is how much we cling to what I typically call “big words” without really delving into the deep implications of those words. Some of those words include compassion, “love,” self-love, and forgiveness, just to name a few. One word we often use is forgiveness, especially when someone has done something terrible to us, such as when our partner abuses us or leaves us.

After being involved with an abuser, this word can take many forms, such as “Is it necessary to forgive the narcissist for me to heal?” or “Can I forgive myself?” or “Can you forgive the abuser?”

In fact, last week while hanging out with my friends, one friend told me that he had forgiven himself for what he did in the past… but he was still blaming himself. I said, “If you’re still blaming yourself, then you haven’t fully forgiven yourself.”

According to Merriam-Webster, to forgive is to cease to feel resentment toward someone or something. It is essentially a deliberate act of choosing not to hold onto any feelings of anger or resentment towards something that was done to us or that happened to us.


So, forgiveness is never really about the other person; it is all about us because the anger and resentment are arising within us, not the other person. Forgiveness is more about releasing those painful feelings that connect us to the offender. It is not just saying it or forcing ourselves to do it.

Those who hurt us did atrocious things to us in the past and left scars or reminders inside us. They left emotional wounds that are punishing us from the inside. Those wounds make us feel stuck and limit us from moving forward.

When we see them or even think about them, we may blame ourselves or them for what we went through. As long as painful feelings connected to the past arise within us, we are still punishing ourselves by carrying that past baggage with us.

Forgiveness is not an upper-level experience because the offense that was committed still lingers in our subconscious mind. The moment we feel that we betrayed ourselves by letting them into our lives, we are punishing ourselves for what happened in the past.

Those who hurt us and those past experiences distorted our inner belief system and shook how we view the world. Those beliefs are imprints that we are supposed to deprogram as they separate us from connecting to our authentic selves. The self that is not defined by what they did or what we did in the past. As long as there is unprocessed internal pain, we still have work to do so we can break free from those negative beliefs and move forward in life.


In conclusion, forgiveness is not tied to the other person or even to them forgiving us; it is more about letting go of the anger we have towards ourselves. No external forgiveness or even going back to them will take it away; the only way is to process the pain or the original source of anger in our lives. External forgiveness may offer temporary relief, but the scars they inflicted will still be there. So, forgiveness is all about self-forgiveness and letting go of the past so that we can transcend to a life where the past does not define us as a person.

Through forgiveness, we will be able to release ourselves from the burden of carrying the pain and the negative beliefs that have been limiting us for so long. It’s not an easy journey, but it’s a fulfilling one. Be brave, go easy on yourself, and face those uncomfortable emotions that arise when you think about the past. You deserve forgiveness, and only you can set yourself free.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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