We recently began a short series to talk about the power of Gratitude and Forgiveness in our lives.

Last week, we gave you some tips and suggestions for adding some gratitude into your life. And, today, we’re sharing some tips about what forgiveness in action could look like.

Before we get to that list, we wanted to take a moment to first talk about why forgiveness is so important. According to a Mayo Clinic article,

The act that hurt or offended you might always be with you. But working on forgiveness can lessen that act’s grip on you. It can help free you from the control of the person who harmed you. Sometimes, forgiveness might even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy, and compassion for the one who hurt you.

So, how might you start to move forward to forgive someone? Below are some suggestions that top the list.

Write a letter to the person who hurt you. But, don’t hit send.

  • List the ways you were wronged and the many ways that those wrongs have affected you.
  • Tell them what you wished they had done.
  • Tell them how it’s continued to impact you.
  • And end it by writing that you’re forgiving them and why it’s good for you and your heart to do so.
  • This letter is for you, not for them, so there’s no need to send it.

Interrupt your recurring replay of the hurt.

  • This can be quite a challenge until you realize that replaying the hurt only wounds you over and over again.
  • There’s a quote from Nelson Mandela who’d spent the majority of his life in prison, “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
  • We want to support you in letting yourself and your heart out of prison.

Reflect on times you’ve been forgiven.

  • We have all hurt others at some time in our lives and it can be a powerful lesson to reflect on times you’ve been forgiven and what that has meant to you.
  • Think about how you felt, how the other person communicated with you, and any learnings you took away from the situation.

Forgive them.

  • You may decide to write a letter, find ways to interrupt your ruminating, and/or reflect on times you’ve been forgiven. Whatever you do, we hope you’re able to get to this step.
  • Whether you forgive that person in your heart and mind only, or decide to meet with them face-to-face, you’ll be releasing the power and weight of the hurt.

Much like forgiving others, being able to forgive yourself is also powerful. If you’re ruminating on times when you didn’t show up at your best, consider using some of the steps in our Leader in You® framework to help you move forward.


  • Ask yourself, “Was my behavior in alignment with my goals?” The answer is likely “no” if you can’t stop thinking about it.
  • Consider what your goal is (maybe it’s a goal for how you want to show up in the relationship).
  • If you were to respond in a way that’s in alignment with your goals, what would that look like?


  • Ask yourself, “What was I afraid of in that situation?”
  • Reflect on the behavior that was messy and how you showed up.
  • Consider how you might show up if you did feel safe, and what the new outcome might be.


  • Ask yourself, “What are the possibilities to forgive myself?” It may be that you’ve already forgiven yourself after doing the above steps.
  • Consider how you might take ownership for your actions and have a conversation with the other person to apologize.
  • Enter the conversation with a we frame of mind. Try to hold compassion for yourself and the other person at the same time.
  • Get clear about your actions and what you intend for new behavior moving forward.

if you’re struggling with forgiving others or yourself, seek support. Consider finding a therapist, counselor, coach, support group, or even online/book guidance from the work of people like Rick Hanson.

We know that practicing gratitude can be challenging when life is hard. We also know that practicing forgiveness can seem ridiculous when you’ve been wounded. AND, practicing both are good for your happiness.

Let us know how you’re doing… your journey matters to us!

We’re here for you if we can be helpful.

If you’d like support
with Gratitude and Forgiveness,
personally or professionally,
contact us today.