Do we have to forgive when we can't seem to forget?

Updated: Sep 27

Forgiveness can seem like an insurmountable request after having experienced trauma or injustice of any kind. Sometimes I personally have found some larger wrongdoings easier to forgive than some of the slighter misdeeds encountered which has perplexed me regarding the inner workings of my tolerance and ability to move forward.

Forgive. To break this word down means to give as though you had before. What seems to be a simple concept can be mind-bending and heart breaking to consider after going through "the wringer".

Why forgive? Forgiveness does not set the other person free or exempt them from the consequences of their actions. Forgiveness sets You Free. It allows your mind to escape the rabbit hole of asking "Why", "How", and the many "What if's" and "Should'ves" that quickly follow suit. Your beautiful brain is only made up of four components, nerve cells, glial cells, myelin that coats them and cerebral spinal fluid. When ever we have a thought a whole network of cells work together to complete it. By exercising forgiveness you offer your tired brain cells the opportunity to form new networks which will move you towards new thoughts, feelings, desires and a new life.

But how does one start the forgiveness process when something unforgiveable has happened?

First you have to decide that you want better for your brain and heart. After that it is an exercise of becoming conscious of and redirecting your thoughts.

I was fortunate to live in Hawaii when I had to go through my first divorce. Like many heartbreaking stories the end of my marriage ravaged my heart and destroyed much of my faith and trust in humanity. I was deep into the healing arts world at this point in my life and I was conscious that the anger, disappointment and hurt I was going through could bring lasting harm my physical state. I choose to seek out ways that I could redirect or transmute these negative feelings. In Hawaii they have a process referred to as "Ho'oponopono". Pronounced Ho-O-poh-no-poh-no. Translated it means to set what went wrong right. This process can bring harmony to all circumstances.

To engage in Ho'oponopono you basically recite a four line mantra. "I love you. I am so sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you." These statements vibrate with the highest degree of love. To say I love you is wonderful, but the other statements express love combined with empathy, respect and responsibility, which opens the door of your heart wide open as well as brings abundance, peace and possibility to you.


Following is the full Ho'oponopono prayer:

thank you Vanice Toassa for sharing her translation


"Divine Creator, Father, Mother, Son all in One. If I, my family, my relatives and ancestors, offend your family, relatives, and ancestors, in thoughts, facts, or deeds, from the beginning of our creation to our present, We ask your forgiveness. Let this clear, purify, release and cut off all negative memories, blockages, energies and vibrations. Transmute these undesirable energies into pure light and so it is.

To clear my subconscious of all the emotional charge stored in it, I say over and over again during my day, the keywords of ho'oponopono: I'm sorry, forgive me, I love you, I'm grateful. I declare myself in peace with all the people of the earth and with whom I have outstanding debts. For this moment and in your time, for all that I do not like in my present life: I am sorry, forgive me, I love you, I am grateful. I release all those I beleive to be receiving damage and mistreatment because they simply give me back what I did to them before, in some past life: I'm sorry, forgive me, I love you, I'm grateful.


Even though it is hard for me to forgive someone, it is me who asks that person for forgiveness now. For this moment, all the time, for everything I don't like in my present life: I'm so sorry, forgive me, I love you, thank you, I am grateful. For the difficult relationships to which I only keep bad memories: I'm sorry, forgive me, I love you. I am grateful.


For all that I do not like in my present life, in my past life, in my work and what is around me, Divinity, cleans in me what is around me, Divinity cleans inme what is contributing to my scarcity: I'm sorry, forgive me, I love you, I am grateful.