Forgiveness Is Our Superpower

persistent forgiveness Jan 17, 2024

Within us is the power to access daily peace, well-being and fulfillment of our greatest purpose, despite our hurts and injuries. The power is Persistent Forgiveness.

Often an afterthought, a footnote at the end of a life paragraph or chapter, forgiveness is exceptionally undervalued. When asked if someone has forgiven a particularly hurtful transgression, the immediate response is often yes, as if that is the expected or “good” answer. 

But with exploration, it becomes evident that forgiveness was not really considered at all; neither in positive nor negative terms. Forgiveness is a concept with which, seriously, we all need to get more comfortable.

At its most powerful, forgiveness is not just an action or a situational choice, but a daily practice. It becomes a comprehensive perspective that defines how we see ourselves, others, and the dynamic of the human race. The world is meant to challenge us, and it does.

What is tragic is that while we experience suffering from external sources, it is actually the internal paralysis of negative emotion that keeps us in a perpetual state of self-punishment to varying degrees. We may not realize that within us is the power to access daily peace, well-being and fulfillment of our greatest purpose, despite our hurts and injuries. The power is Persistent Forgiveness.

The confusion over forgiveness starts with what may be understood as our natural defensiveness. A strategy that is meant to protect us, but in truth hides a faulty self-perception.  When we are wronged in some way, we experience a sense of injustice and feel compelled to gather evidence that the “crime” was not our fault.

Concurrently, we are unconsciously using our pain as evidence of our own failing. Because if we were at peace with ourselves, aligned with our Intrinsic Worth, it would be relatively easy to process and release negative emotions. 

From a behavioral perspective, forgiveness is the process of intentionally releasing negative emotions. That’s it, but it is everything. 

So many of us (all of us perhaps at one time or another) find it difficult to forgive because we get stuck in our feelings. Negative emotion serves as a safety blanket, and as unpleasant as it may be, it is also comfortable, requiring nothing more than rumination of all that is separate from us, while avoiding our own insecurities.

At its deepest psychological level, all negative emotion directed towards others is a projection of the frustration we have with ourselves. So why do we choose to perpetuate a negative emotional experience, when we have the power to move on to a much better, sweeter experience by practicing forgiveness?

Perhaps we could argue that we are simply uninformed and certainly that holds true. What also is true is we are often so disconnected from our Intrinsic Worth, that rather than transcending our mistakes, we use our faults as additional evidence of our brokenness.

We may have an awareness of our internal critique. Or, our distorted sense of self may be so acutely self-loathing, so deeply rooted, we don’t bother to look for another path. Either way, when we place such destructive meaning onto our own mistakes, we use that same framework to judge all of the wrongs around us.

This inability or refusal to look past our own mistakes generates defensiveness. While our critical voice is often chirping in our ear, deeper feelings of worthlessness are usually subconscious or even deeply unconscious. Our perceived brokenness creates emotional fragility, and we become unable to tolerate the hurts of others.

Regardless of how we behave on the outside, if we are not practicing Persistent Forgiveness, we are internalizing the choices of others, actions that have nothing to do with us and most certainly don’t reflect on our value. 

Rather than recognizing what is happening, we float on the surface, reveling in the pain of our injustice. The extent to which we engage in this process varies greatly; from incident to incident, relationship to relationship, person to person. But the solution is always the same. 

There are never ending opportunities to be hurt by the decisions of the people in our lives. We can remain stuck in disconnect from our true self or we can choose to open our eyes to the value within and allow the problems of the world to gently roll away. 

Developing a strategy of Persistent Forgiveness changes our experience in big and small ways and when practiced regularly, the changes are profound. Once it is the framework from which we observe and operate, it becomes easier to apply to any situation. So how do we get good at forgiving ourselves and others when it seems so contrary to what we believe we deserve?

How do we change our well-established narrative of judgment to one of forgiveness? It starts with intention and awareness. Setting the intention to no longer define ourselves by whatever form of negative we experience. And then, working to stay present with our internal narrative, noticing versus merging with our thoughts and feelings.

Clearly, there are moments of deeper and more significant hurts, requiring additional time to process the corresponding emotion. We need to allow for this natural progression, but it is also helpful to access the knowing part of us, the part of us that is always noticing, without judgment.

Our Primary Awareness is always present, although we aren’t always joined to its wisdom. The more we connect to this wiser, calmer state, the more we are able to see the path to forgiveness.  At some point, this knowing part will gently guide us to the moment of release.

Adhering to the principle of Persistent Forgiveness is an amazing goal, allowing us to tap into our most profound wisdom and power. It can sometimes feel overwhelming to embrace such a concept but when we are aligned with our Intrinsic Worth, we begin to realize that so much of what we think matters, doesn’t matter.

Learning to  “hold on loosely” to everyone and everything can seem wildly unrealistic and completely beyond our abilities. And yes, we are human beings. We live in a world fraught with pain. We are creatures of emotion and will “feel the feels” when confronted with yet another upset or heartbreak.

Acceptance of our humanness is intelligent and expecting perfection is not necessary. Nevertheless, it is possible to choose to react to life’s hurts in a different way. One that illuminates the beauty within and around us, the shared yet unique journey we are all on.

One that allows for error without judgment, for justice without condemnation, and for grace without question. We are masters of our lives, and forgiveness is our superpower.

My loving suggestion is to make a list of mistakes or hurts that you have not forgiven; by others or by yourself. If you struggle to make a list, consider what resentment, bitterness or sadness  remains within and how these emotions might be influenced by a lack of forgiveness.

If this is still too difficult, start noticing opportunities for forgiveness in daily life, no matter how small.  What does it feel like to actively let go of frustrations and hurt?


You are light. You are love.