Huffpost Divorce

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Debbie Martinez, M.A. Headshot

Finally Forgive

Posted: Updated:

When every fiber in your body wants to hold onto the anger, pain and resentment, take a deep breath, step back, and then move forward toward forgiveness. Forgiveness is the only path to being free, at peace, and able to fully love again. People would say it's the only way back, but you don't want to go back; you want something better. Shift into a new way of being through the act of forgiveness.

We have all been there. That place where we feel the hurt to us was so egregious that we want to even the score. We feel like the other person got away with something, that there were no consequences and no justice. It eats away at us and consumes our every waking thought. We fantasize about what we will say to that person and to others. The more we think about it, the stronger and more powerful it becomes. This running dialogue can keep a hurt alive indefinitely. We did not get what we wanted, we resented it and played it over and over and over.

Not forgiving is hazardous to your overall well-being. How much of the good things in life are you missing by continuing to focus on this "injustice?" How many decisions do you make based on "getting back" at someone and not on what is best for you? When you choose not to forgive, you are letting the world know you are a victim. Conversely, when you forgive, you are telling yourself you are not. Which is more empowering?

Forgiveness is about you, not someone else. You cannot change the person who wronged you, but you can put the focus where you have control and can make a change, and that would be with you. Forgiveness does not mean you understand why they did what they did but that you have accepted it and found peace. It is about you, making the choice to forgive, taking back your power, and healing.

You cannot change the past, and you cannot undo those things that weigh your soul down, but what you can do is change the future by letting go of "the story" and suffering less. As R.T. Kendall says in Total Forgiveness, "Let the past, be the past - at last."