06/06/2013 03:35 pm ET Updated Aug 06, 2013

The True Meaning of Forgiveness -- the Oprah Way

Recently I bought a new car with satellite and all of a sudden it seems that day time talk shows have entered the front seat of my car -- much to the dismay of my teenage children.

On one of Oprah's more recent talk shows she was discussing forgiveness and her definition was life-changing. After many years dealing with people in divorce/relationship endings I know that this is one area many people struggle. Forgiveness is freedom - but how do we get there? You can advice people that when they hold a grudge it only hurts them and that letting go will give them a huge sense of peace, but unfortunately so many angered souls just cannot do it. I have spend endless hours trying to move people off of their self destructing position only to hit the brick wall over and over again. I have now concluded that there are some that would truly rather see the other suffer then let it go. This phenomenon truly fascinates me.

With all the self-help books and opportunity for counseling - I am not sure we have made that much progress. I know that I get to see those at their worst and possibly my perspective is a bit skewed but I am not so sure it is. It seems that while we can intellectualize what has happened, we cannot forgive it or let it go. There is no wonder why people go out and attract the same scenario again - it makes total sense. We know that we are attracted to the energy of another person and if we have not cleared the "stuff" from the past relationship we will attract the same energy all over again - just in different clothing perhaps.

But Oprah hit it bang on. She was talking about a quest for forgiveness and she said that this definition was life changing to her and since I have heard it - it has been life changing for me.

Consider this... forgiveness is letting go of the hope or wish that the past was any different - WOW !

So lets break this down. Sometimes we have a hard time forgiving others but the hardest person to really forgive is ourselves. We fester because we cannot let go of something we created in our past that was not inline with our dreams or wishes and having to suffer the consequences of what we created is a hard pill to swallow. So we project our bad fate onto others. We rethink and reenact the past in our minds. We obsess about what could have been and we drive ourselves, and everyone around us, crazy.

So here it is - clear and simple. The past was exactly as it should have been, let go of the wish that it could have been different and start with a clean slate. The other option is that you continue to carry the hope of the past gone by preventing the future that could be.

Be strong, be brave and be you!