When we give up the hope that the past could or would have been any different, we are then able to truly let go and no longer be held hostage by the past. As you know and accept that it could not be any different, we start to feel free, now this does not mean you condone a certain behavior or make a wrong right, it means you are giving yourself permission to accept what IS and what WAS.

If you’re holding a grudge, that grudge is holding you too, not forgiving is actually poisoning you, and by giving up the hope of rewritting what actually was and is you accept what has happened has happened and then you shift. YOU become a source of hope to other peoples need to forgive and be forgiven — by giving yourself forgiveness, you give hope to all.

The most difficult forgiveness most of us will encounter is the need to forgive ourselves, even when we think its about someone else, its very often more about us or entirely about us. Take a good look at the things you are currently upset about, give an honest assessment to the inception of those angry, sad or painful feelings. Once you have established any area you are feeling an upset, forgive, forgive forgive. Yourself, others, whomever, and send them love and light even if it feels a bit funny or wrong, the more you see them basking in light and love the happier you will be. Sometimes that “them” is ourselves too, so send yourself that same love and light. A great little exercise to try is looking into the mirror into your own eyes and saying I Love You repeatedly 30 times, do this with a smile, do this to forgive and sometimes you will find that is enough to feel lighter and more forgiving to everyone around too.

Originally published at medium.com