Forgiveness … Why is it so Difficult?…

Forgiving is THE ONE thing to do.

Letting go of old grudges, Letting go of negative emotions that don’t serve us today. We all know that to forgive is THE one positive thing to do…


We find it so difficult.

It is to forgive unconditionally which is such a difficult task. One that we all struggle with.

Today I would like to discuss why it is so….

The main reason people have to not forgive is because they think they are right to still be upset. That they have the right to be resentful. That they were wronged and therefore should be upset. Yet time flies and people remain upset and angry and resentful LOOONG after the offending events took place. It seems when you talk to them that the events still define them, that it happened yesterday, yet when questioned, they will tell you that it happened a while back.  It is as if they are stuck in a time tunnel, continuously reliving the same event and experiencing the same emotion time and again. And while they know that they should let go, they feel that they would not be the same if they were to let go, if they were to forgive. That they would not be right or that they would not have been wronged, that in a way it would make those events right!?

I know I have in the past hang on some stories a little too long because of what it would make me (or the events) if I was to let them go. There is this fear that if one forgives then in a way one will forget!

But can that be?

Can you forget something that happened in your past? Can you “erase” a past, especially a heavy one? I don’t think so…
Yet I did find it so difficult at time to let go and when I look now at my reaction then, I can see the fear, the fear that people would judge me, or would not believe me if I was detached emotionally from the events.

The Dalai Lama has completely forgiven to the Chinese soldiers for all the atrocities that took place against his country and his people, even his family. Yet, has he forgotten?

I don’t think so. He does not arbored a hatred towards the Chinese. Yet he still works tirelessly to free his country and his people from Chinese occupation. He did not forget, yet he forgave!

So what else make it so difficult for us to forgive?

Our negative emotions be it anger, resentment, feeling victimized, feed our 6 human needs and as such, we became addicted to those emotions. As you know, if you have read some of my previous posts, the theory of the human needs assumes that there are 6 basic human needs and that all human action will feed one or more of those needs. If an action feeds more than 3 needs at once,  people get addicted to that behaviour regardless of whether or not the behaviour has a positive or a negative impact on the person’s life.

So what needs are met generally speaking when one holds anger or resentment about a traumatic event that occurred in the past?

Well for starter, Resentment and anger are always against something. So by definition by separating yourself from the rest because of what happened to you, you feed your need for significance. Clearly there are better ways to meet that need, but this is it.

When one feels angry or resentful, one feeds the need for certainty. One is certain in the moment of feeling angry or resentful that he or she is entitled to that emotion.

There is also the need for connection. When one has a serious problem or a trauma in the past, and talks about it, it is human nature for others around them to feel empathy and sympathy for the ordeal the person went through, creating an instant connection between people.

So in short, this hypothetical person experiencing this anger or resentment, feeds his/her need for certainty, significance and connection. 3 needs met, they are addicted!  This anger and/or resentment is as part of their personality as their joy or playfulness or shyness.

It has become an habit. And people don’t really want to change because change is scary. They have had a large amount of uncertainty through their ordeal already, they don’t NEED another change, especially when the final results are not really clear.

People will ask questions such as but if I am not angry or resentful, then who am I going to be? If they don’t see either the danger of being continuously angry or resentful or the benefit of letting those emotions go, consciously or unconsciously they will resist the change.

I see quite often people resisting by saying but what I am supposed to do if I don’t feel that anger. It has become a hurtful companion, one that people tolerate because they don’t know better.

The unknown possibility makes the change impossible.

Using an EFT coach, one can heal the emotional trauma related to the events, no matter what they have been and how long ago it has been and can also work toward building an exciting future, exciting consequences of letting go.

Yes! it is possible!

People don’t forget about the past, they just get unstuck and get moving towards their exciting future without a heavy emotional burden.

Don’t be afraid to let go of negative emotions, they are costing you more than you think….

If you have someone that you find it difficult to forgive, then, don’t hesitate contact me for some help. Click here to book some time with me (free) to discuss how I could help you letting go of your past.


With care


Joelle @ Joelle’s Practice

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