What Is Forgiveness And Why Is It Important For Your Life

In this new article you’ll learn what is forgiveness and why is it important.

As you look back on your life, do you condemn yourself for the mistakes you have made? Do you feel angry with or disappointed in yourself for the things you have done?

If so, you are not alone.

Most of us feel bad about something from our past. The negative feelings prevent us from moving on with our lives. Instead, we spend our time in sadness, depression and anger.

What Is Forgiveness And Why Is It Important

Everyone has done something regrettable.

Most of us look for someone to blame and punish for these mistakes. We tend to hold grudges against ourselves or others. We allow past mistakes to haunt us and follow us throughout our lives.

It is hard to think of these past mistakes with compassion. We want to strike out at the person who did wrong, even if it is ourselves.

Yet we can forgive ourselves and others for all these unfortunate incidents. We can let go of the past and move forward into a better and more fulfilling life.

A life spent in self torture is not inevitable just because you have said or done something wrong. You can forgive yourself.

All you need are the right tools and information.

Then, you can use these tools to conquer your self-blame and start making healthier, more productive choices.

The first step in forgiving yourself is to understand what the word actually means. The explanations used in this chapter are based on the way experts use this and related words.

These professional insights can help you refine your understanding of forgiveness.

While people use the word “forgiveness’ in a variety of casual ways, psychologists have developed a definition that describes forgiveness more precisely. To understand what forgiveness is, first learn what it is not.

What Forgiveness Is Not


Denial means that you do not accept the fact that you have done something you know is wrong. You do not forgive by denying you have done something you regret.

You know you have, and any amount of self-talk to the contrary is not likely to convince you that it did not happen or have a significant impact.


“Pardoning” is commonly used for forgiveness. In fact, most standard American Dictionaries list “forgive” as a synonym for “pardon.”

However, psychologists who study forgiveness make a distinction between the two. From the perspective of research psychologists, pardon is a legal term.

It means to end imprisonment or any other governmental punishment for a crime. Therefore, you do not pardon yourself when you practice self forgiveness.

However, you use pardon correctly if you speak in a strictly metaphorical sense, such as when you release yourself from self-punishment.

SEE ALSO: How To Overcome Unforgiveness: [New In-Depth Guide]


An excuse is an answer you give to the question of why you did something.

Some of the answers you give are actually reasons, because you have applied sound thought processes to understand the true causes of your actions.

However, more often than not, the first answers that come to mind are less truthful and more self-excusing.

When you find yourself saying “But it is not my fault!” you need to examine those answers carefully to distinguish between phony excuses and real reasons.


It is impossible to forgive yourself if you condone what you did. If you condone it, you are saying that you did not do anything wrong.

Your actions were “okay” and there is nothing to forgive.

As you read this article, you can learn to assess your thoughts and actions and decide whether or not they are acceptable. And, if they are not, you can learn how to forgive.


It is sometimes possible to forgive and forget.

Once you accomplish the act of forgiveness, the issue might become so unimportant to you that you no longer think about it. In most cases, though, it is far better to forgive and learn.

Then, you can take your new knowledge with you into a brighter future.


Forgiveness is not reconciliation, although it may lead to a stronger relationship with the person who wronged you.

In the case of self forgiveness, you might forgive yourself and still feel negative feelings about yourself (1).

These are leftover feelings from the time you spent not liking or loving yourself because of what you did. You can conquer these negative emotions and gain a better sense of self appreciation.

What Forgiveness Is

A Decision

Forgiveness is not a feeling that comes automatically when you do or someone else does something wrong.

It comes as a result of making a decision – a conscious, deliberate decision to release the negative emotions toward the person who has wronged you.

A Response

When you hurt yourself or are hurt by others, it is normal to react in some way.

You have thoughts and feelings about the issue, and might take some action toward the person who hurt you.

Forgiveness is a special response to wrongful deeds. It is all about choosing a more positive answer to the mistake.

An Attitude

Once you learn how to forgive, you can begin to make it a lifelong habit. You reflect it in the way you think, feel and behave when you are hurt.

By having a forgiving attitude, you can change your life and the lives of the people you care about most.

A Process

Forgiveness rarely comes in a blinding flash. More often, we forgive a little at a time.

Do not be discouraged if you do not immediately feel completely healed. You can continue working on forgiving yourself until the task is complete.

SEE ALSO: How To Fall In Love With Your Partner Again: 10 Inspiring Ways

A Skill

Ironically, it would be easy at this point to start blaming yourself (2) because you have not forgiven yourself or others.

You might ask yourself, “Why can’t I forgive? What’s wrong with me?”

What you might not realize is that forgiveness is learnable. It is a skill you can cultivate and nurture until it becomes an easy decision, an automatic response, and a lifelong attitude.

Make a pledge to be compassionate with yourself as you work through the process. Promise yourself you will learn the skill of forgiveness.

A Behavior

Forgiveness is not just about the way you think. The actions you take when you decide to forgive represent another important part of forgiveness.

As you read this text, think about how you want to behave after you have forgiven yourself.

An Emotional Change

You reach the point of emotional forgiveness when you no longer feel the resentment, bitterness or anger over the hurt that you or others caused.

You feel happier, more peaceful and stronger. When you accept forgiveness, the emotional change allows you reap rewards of both mental and physical health.

How Is Forgiving Yourself Different from Forgiving Others?

When you forgive others, you have to do it on the basis of your own perceptions. You cannot base it on the other person’s intentions.

The truth is that no matter how well you know the person, you can never truly know what goes on in his or her mind.

You cannot know precisely what caused them to do what they did, so you must forgive them regardless of their innocence or guilt.

Another difference is that the person you forgive might or might not agree to put the mistake in the past. They might keep blaming you and punishing you for years.

On the other hand, when you forgive yourself, you know your own mind and emotions. You can analyze why you did something.

Once you understand the source of the problem, you can accept it and make a plan for handling similar situations in better ways.

In addition, you can decide to put your mistakes in the past and leave them there.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about what is forgiveness and why is it important. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here