Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

The gift of forgiveness:

Forgive and forget. It's easy to say, but often hard to do.
By Beverly Goldsmith
Date: July 26 2014
Editor Rating:

While forgiveness is good for the soul, there’s another benefit from being a forgiving person – it’s good for your health.

No one wants to keep reliving the moment when someone said or did something unkind, or carry around hurt feelings, or grudges. It’s downright unpleasant. What we most want is to gain emotional freedom from a hurtful experience - to forgive and forget.

Make a pearl

When someone gets under your skin or rubs you the wrong way, stay calm. Employ the wisdom of the oyster.

When a foreign substance slips inside an oyster shell, the oyster’s natural reaction is to cover it up - not try to expel the irritant. This ‘covering’ process protects the oyster. It also leads to the formation of a beautiful pearl. 

The act of forgiveness is like employing a protective ‘covering’ for the mind.  This ‘mental cover’ isn’t to hide a hurt.  It’s there to protect - to prevent a hurt from festering and spreading in one’s thinking. It stops it from bursting out into anger, retaliatory words or hurtful, unkind reactions.      


  • When hurt, don’t react by chewing over what happened, or reiterating to yourself and others what you “should have” said or done.
  • Tenderly wrap layers of love, compassion, mercy and forgiveness around the person when you think of them.
  • Gently bind up wounded emotions and make a pearl - make something beautiful out of adversity.

Forgive, not excuse

The act of forgiving someone is not about absolving them of responsibility for their wrongdoing.

Wrong is inexcusable. You aren’t expected to love, defend or forgive unkindness or hatred. Wrong is wrong.

Forgiveness is about refusing to condemn a person, or perpetually attaching hurtful behaviour to them. Mercy acknowledges that each one actually has within them a loving, good nature, and the power to change their thoughts and actions.

There’s a story about an individual who was hell-bent on persecuting others. Before he could do more harm, he had an epiphany - a sudden realisation of the wrong he was doing. His thinking and nature was transformed. He became a changed person and went on to do good things for others. 


  • Mentally separate the wrong from the person.
  • Condemn wrong when it occurs, but lovingly forgive the individual.

Take the forgiveness challenge

Actually being able to forgive and forget a hurtful experience can be a challenge.  However, healing a hurt does get easier with practice.

Think of forgiveness as a choice that you make – as being your decision. This is decisional forgiveness. Or, think of forgiveness as a change of heart, where your attitude softens, and you free your heart. This is emotional forgiveness.


  • Think of someone who’s wronged you, forgive them, then move on.
  • Give up dwelling on past wrongs. Forgiveness is about your peace of mind.
  • Relinquish keeping a mental score of wrongs, or wanting to get even with someone.
  • Forget past hurts. Erase them from your mind.
  • Choose to forgive and free your heart. 
  • Decide to give someone the gift of forgiveness. It’s a gift freely given.
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