The Importance of Forgiving Others

by Jayne Kopp on April 10, 2011

forgiving others, forgiveness

Forgiving others is one of the best things you can do, not only for them, but also for yourself.

You see, when you refuse to forgive others, you re actually hurting yourself the most. In fact it can and will eventually make you sick due to all the tension and stress you carry around daily.

Additionally, your attitude is often also affected and this can often be picked up by others around you as bitterness can speak volumes by the way you act, treat, and say.

Within the family unit refusing to forgive is particularly damaging. Small spats can turn into huge outrage and create unnecessary angst. Its particularly damaging to have a collection of tiffs that are being held onto by either party that each are going to have to re live every time there’s a wrong word

If you don’t exercise the power of forgiveness in front of your children, they are more likely to grow up with the same unforgiving habits as you. This often can even cause strife between siblings and other family members to turn into disagreements that can go on for years.

My Experience with Forgiveness.

I have to admit, I am pretty good at forgiving others. I rarely hold a grudge though I have had instances in my life where my nose has been out of joint for a while, but I have found the energy that goes into holding grudges is far too exhausting.

I feel better just accepting that we all make mistakes and I would much rather deal with my feelings by not taking things too seriously.

I have to admit however, that I am not sure how I’d be if someone hurt my kids though. I know some people can forgive the unforgivable and have to admire their strength in doing so.

As far as my current situation, I am currently unforgiven. As some of you know, I am divorced and in my humble opinion, due to mistakes on both sides of the coin. I have forgiven my ex husband, but he is so bitter that it not only tears me apart… but likely him too.

This has caused three hauls through the court system simply because he cannot abide to go with the flow and adhere to a legal contract we spent time, energy and money on to draw up in order to avoid what we have suffered.

His unforgiving streak has taken over his common sense and cost both of us thousands upon thousands of dollars and has proven that he is so bound by the bitterness that he can’t even see that these actions are clearly not in the best interest of the children.

It’s a real shame, and although it really hurts me even today, in the past has been very difficult to bear due to the distortion of the situation in his mind. Due to our difference in handling this situation, I do believe that I don’t hurt as much as I am sure he must inside.

I can only pray that a miracle will clear the fog for him as I certainly would like to see him be free and happy.

Steps to practicing the power of forgiveness:

Learning how to forgive others isn’t always easy. I think it’s particularly more difficult if you have a stubborn or proud nature.

The first step in learning the power of forgiveness is to put stubbornness aside.

Secondly, I think it is a very good idea to summarize what that person meant to you before the disagreement and the value they added to your life.

Third, pay close attention to the way you feel when you think of them. If you can feel that knot in your stomach or your adrenaline starts to rush, common sense has to prevail that you are not doing your health one scrap of good.

You simply have to ask yourself… is it worth it or is life too short?

Think about the possible reasons the person acted as they did. Were there personal issues or other problems that may cause them not to think straight?

Could their actions or words against you been in error, (a genuine mistake) or was it a complete and utter temporary lapse in judgment?

Was there something you did that may have caused their action?

Sometimes is not possible to come up with reasons why, therefore one must balance the benefits of simply forgiving and releasing the heavy burden… against carrying it and feeling the continual restriction around your rib cage.

Forgiving does not always take place instantly either. You first must decide; plan to forgive the person and then be prepared to work on it.

Visualizing the benefits and the way both you and the offending party would feel sometimes adds motivation to do what it takes. Besides, let’s face it, most people do not like remaining unforgiven.

You might have to spend much time working towards this, and even re-affirming your intent to do so a few times daily.

After a while it does become easier and once you have conquered the challenge you will notice how much better and relaxed you feel.

It can help you let go of tension and stress and free the soul so as not to become ill, drive yourself potty, and instead move forward to better enjoy life and keep it simple.

Always try to be the bigger person if possible and take time out to analyze fairly.

You will find that learning how to forgive others truly will lift a very heavy load from both your shoulders and your conscience, not to mention free the other person from the probable stress of knowing how you feel.

If you need help getting your head around practicing forgiveness, contact me. It’s something I know a LOT about!

Have you had experiences similar to mine? How has forgiving others helped you if so?

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Devesh April 15, 2011 at 8:06 am

Hi Jayne,

Love this awesome post and your personal story. Great work on relating this post with your personal experience. I agree with the importance about Forgiveness.

I’m sorry to hear that your situation is not getting better and wish you blessing in your relationship.

Thanks for sharing this awesome post Jayne. Great Work !



Jon April 14, 2011 at 6:37 pm


Great topic and yes, life is too short to hold grudges and not forgive. I’ve found peace in forgiving quickly. That doesn’t make you weak and it doesn’t mean you should hang around if you’re being abused (in any way). It just means you should forgive them in your heart and move on.

The main way this has helped is having a lighter heart. You don’t carry that weight or resentment and anger around with you. Once you allow yourself to forgive quickly that burden is lifted from you and the offending party.

But as you and other comments have stated, it isn’t easy. Thank you for writing about what matters.



Heather C Stephens April 14, 2011 at 12:20 pm

HI Jayne,

Love your post and love your personal story too. I must say that forgiveness is something that comes rather easy for me as well.

I had some pretty rough experiences in my pre-teenage years, and I think that had I not had a forgiving nature, my high-school years would have continued to be difficult…but instead I was able to easily forgive the “mean girls” in my school and focus on other things that were good in my life.

No one has ever really hurt me or one of my family members, so I guess my forgiveness has never really been put to the test, but with my stubborn streak, I can imagine that it would take some work.

Amazing post…Great job!


Jayne Kopp April 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Thanks Heather, I agree that it’s easier to move on and focus on the positives rather than holding bitterness.

I don’t think I ever really gave it a thought until these last few years. Thankfully I avoided the ‘mean’ crew for the most part I hear you though about that scenario.

talk soon



Emmanuel April 13, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Hi Jayne,
It’s all true, I have also and to understand the power behind true forgiveness. It gives you the freedom to actually do what you want. It might prove difficult at first but when it becomes a part of our system, there’ll be nothing holding ur back.
I’m sorry about what you still have to grow through.


Jayne Kopp April 14, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Hi Emmanuel, thanks for your thoughtful comment. You are right it does give you freedom… and can be difficult in some cases at first. Thanks for your thoughts… it’s amazing what makes you stronger!



Mavis Nong April 13, 2011 at 3:43 am

Hey Jayne,

Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m sorry to hear that your situation is not getting better but I encourage you to change it in your heart.

Forgiving others is absolutely important. We need to stop holding grudges and set ourselves free.

All the best,


Jayne Kopp April 13, 2011 at 10:33 am

Hi Mavis, thanks for stopping by. Yes, forgiving others is huge in setting, not only the other person free, but us too.

Life is far too short to hold grudges. It is a complete and utter waste of energy.

See you soon speedy!



Marcus Baker April 12, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Hi Jayne,

Bravo!! I can see why when you read a recent post of mine on forgiveness that you saw the instant connection, not only between our posts but also our thoughts on this topic.

I love the way you write Jayne, especially becasue you so often relay your own perosnal experiences.

On the subject of stubborness…. Oh my I could write books about this. I think one of the most empowering things anybody ever said to me once was when you recognize that the stubborn gene is raising its head then pause and ask yourself… ‘Would I rather be right or happy?’

What is so funny about this is that I still have to ask myself this question sometimes of course and I always think I am going to choose ‘right’ but the moment I finish the question my heart always, always, always chooses ‘happy’.



Jayne Kopp April 13, 2011 at 10:36 am

Hi Marcus… I always feel a connection between you and me. Its funny really, but I feel like I’ve known you for years! LOL

I often know exactly what you’re going to say as I read your posts. :-) before I even get to the part I’m expecting.

Yes the stubborn gene… Me and ‘Gene” are good friends. Sometimes it’s tempting to be right (darn it!)… but happy is more fulfilling!

Thanks for your compliments Marcus. I will see you soon. I did send you a message on FB. Thanks so much for sending me the gift!

see you soon



Stacy | Grow With Stacy April 12, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Hi Jayne,
Forgiveness is very important because it releases us from the bondage of unforgiveness. I have seen some people hold onto unforgiveness very tightly and they are miserable. They think that they are doing themselves a service but they are really doing a disservice to themselves – and the ones around them.

The situation that you describe with divorce and blended families is a prime example of a place where forgiveness is needed. Things can get really ugly very fast in those situations or they can be beneficial for all. My parents are divorced and for the most part put aside their feelings for my sake, to the point that my dad and stepdad get along famously. Imagine my surprise when I got married and became a stepmom into a situation not unlike the one you are describing. I found myself getting physically ill due to allowing myself to succumb to the stresses involved. I had to learn to let go, to forgive for the sake of my own health.

Thanks for sharing,


Jayne Kopp April 13, 2011 at 11:05 am

Stacy, ‘bondage’ is a really good way to put it.

Funnily, I am not one to hold a grudge. I find it far easier to have mercy on those who act against me.

Being physically ill is a definite probability if we are not willing to let things go. Life is far too short to have strife in life.

Thanks for the comment



Jason Yormark April 12, 2011 at 11:12 am

I have definitely learned the hard way that the power of forgiveness is pretty amazing. It’s actually pretty stress relieving to allow yourself to forgive others. I think it just comes down to giving yourself the time to digest certain situations enough to come to a place where your forgiveness is authentic and not forced. You’ve got to believe it yourself for it to really prove beneficial.


Jayne Kopp April 13, 2011 at 11:07 am

Hi Jason, I liked how you said we need to give ourselves time to digest certain situation. That is very true.

I am not a person who holds grudges. I find it far to exhausting and damaging. You do have to have a strong sense of self though sometimes in order to see where others don’t.

thanks for stopping by. It is lovely to meet you.



Oliver Tausend April 12, 2011 at 11:10 am

Hi Jayne,

thanks for sharing your insights and your personal experience. Forgiveness is very important when we want to live our own life and not in automatic response to something someone did or said to us in the past. Let me point out that it’s not only about forgiving others, but first and foremost about forgiving ourselves. If we forgive everybody else but ourselves, we’re not even half-way through.

Take care



Jayne Kopp April 13, 2011 at 11:10 am

Hi Oliver, you are so right about being able to forgive ourselves first and foremost. That is where I really struggled for a while.

I did write a post on it the other day … Its amazing how much better you feel when you have learned to forgive yourself. (from experience!!) In contrast, forgiving others is simple.



Jane | Find All Answers April 12, 2011 at 8:15 am

Hi Jayne,

I believe strongly that forgiving everyone pays off for relationships and personal development. I first learnt about it from the Bible when I was a kid. Had hard times to practice even when I was a teen.

But now, I think I am practicing a lot of it. Occasionally sometimes I find the stubbornness you mentioned here to be the barrier. But later on I regret a lot and feel ashame.

Your post is a great eye opener.



Jayne Kopp April 13, 2011 at 11:12 am

Hi Jane. I think as we become more mature we realize the importance of forgiveness much better that we did when we were in Sunday School as children.

Life is far too short, plus we have digested many experiences that often do make us smarter and more aware of the human condition… even our own.

Thanks so much for your comment Jane. Hope you are feeling better.



Janet @ The Natural Networker April 11, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Jayne, aloha. What a beautiful and well done article on such an important topic. Though its unfortunate that you had to pay the price that you have to come by your knowledge, the advice you give will help others to move through the process more quickly.

No doubt you are right, Jayne, that your ex is hurting himself far more than you. Aside from the health consequences of his actions, he is ruining his present moments which in turns sabotages his future. At the same time, his treasured memories of his past with you and the children have been painted over with a hue of an entirely different color.

You second step is so meaningful, Jayne. If people think of your message here, perhaps that will help them view the person & the situation in a different light.

In this situation, Jayne, all that you can do is what you are doing’ that is hold the light of example for your children.

Best wishes for a great week. Aloha. Janet


Jayne Kopp April 11, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Thanks so much Janet for your thoughtful comment as always.

I love the descriptive way you shared your thoughts. “memories of his past with you and the children have been painted over with a hue of an entirely different color.” you are so hitting the nail right on the head.

Yes, I agree Janet, all I can do is pray and try to set a better example for my beautiful children. Kids are pretty smart thought you know. They have things figured out with no direction from me. Its a shame thought that they would have to waste even a second of their childhood on such things though….

Thanks for thoughts Janet, see you soon!


Leanne Chesser April 11, 2011 at 10:31 am

Jayne, I know the power of forgiveness as well and I forgive whenever I need to (forgiving myself too). It’s absolutely freeing to you when you release and move on. I’ve done this with everyone and every situation in my past, including divorce as well. I’m in a situation right now that does involve one of my kids and it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to forgive. I’m taking it baby step by baby step. Even just being willing to forgive is a start :) .


Jayne Kopp April 11, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Hi Leanne, I agree it is freeing to release all that negative energy. In fact, I do believe it is impossible to go on properly if you don’t.

I sure wish you well with your own situation. All the power to you for being willing to consider it.

Hope all is well.


Jeanine Byers Hoag @DressingMyTruth April 11, 2011 at 8:34 am

Hi Jayne! I so agree with you about the importance of forgiveness. It can be hard to do and sometimes, has to be repeated, but it’s worth it.

I’m sorry your situation isn’t better and hope you are holding the vision of it changing in your heart. If you are an energy healer, you also can send healing that way.


Jayne Kopp April 11, 2011 at 7:16 pm

HI Jeanine, thanks so much for your comment. Yes I am certainly holding the vision in my heart. I know the other party would never imagine that. Unfortunately when you can’t forgive it tends to cloud reality.

I am not an energy healer but I think I get the idea.

Thanks for your thoughts and comment, as always its great to see you.


Marty April 11, 2011 at 1:24 am

Yes Jayne, forgiveness is THE most difficult and THE most powerful emotion. It is the one thing that releases burdens. I spent many years carrying grudges. It is just ridiculous! It serves no purpose. I personally believe that lack of forgiveness is the sole reason that wars start.
I’m wishing you blessing and release in your relationship.
Take care.


Jayne Kopp April 11, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Marty, I am sure you are bang on there. The world is full of stupidity and daft people who can’t work together or forgive.

Holding grudges is a complete wast of energy and as you say, serves no purpose. (at all).

Thanks for your well wishes. I would have thought I’d be used to it by now… 6 -7 years already. What a waste!

Thanks again



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