As I mentioned last week, forgiveness is a process and a choice. Forgiveness requires desire, action, and intention. So how do you do it? One way is to write a letter to the person you are forgiving, share the emotional pain that they caused, and decide to let go of the negative feelings rather than seeking retribution. Maybe you decide not to share the letter with the person and instead share it with someone close to you instead. Or maybe you feel compelled to share it directly with the person who hurt you. Either way, the process of forgiveness is moved forward through the writing, sharing, and releasing of the thoughts and feelings. However, there is no “light switch” transformation that occurs from this exercise, instead expect that the intensity of the emotion lessens and the healing progresses. Forgiving oneself can also be addressed in the same way and can be equally as powerful. Self-forgiveness helps with self-esteem since those that continually beat up on themselves for mistakes have a hard time generating self-confidence. As I watch Olympic athletes deal with mistakes, I’m reminded of the importance of letting go and moving on from our imperfections. This often separates good from great athletes. Can you let go of your mistakes, flaws, and imperfections which we all have? We are all a work in progress and need to continually forgive ourselves and others in order to grow, mature, and maintain healthy relationships. Forgiving empowers the forgiver and enables positive healing. By forgiving, you release yourself from the misery that you have allowed past events to create in your life now.