Forgiving is one of the hardest things to do when you have been hurt by others. It is easy to become so angry and frustrated with the person that hurt you that you don’t have it in your heart to forgive them, and this carries with you your whole life. Even if someone apologizes for wronging you, it can still be difficult to exhibit forgiveness.

Have you ever been on the other side and wronged somebody? Did you apologize, and was the person you wronged still unable to forgive you? Forgiving is a very hard thing to do but saying “I’m sorry” is even harder. If you apologize, it is viewed as a blow to your ego, and nobody wants to bruise their ego.

Forgiveness and apologizing go hand-in-hand. When you apologize, you remove a weight off of your shoulders by acknowledging your wrongdoing, and this, in turn, often leads to forgiveness. Whether apologizing has a long-term impact or short-term impact, it at least allows you to take responsibility for your actions, which can help the person you hurt heal and move past it.

Once you apologize, you have to question whether the person you hurt truly accepted your apology. Holding on to anger and resentment will not help anyone. Rather, it is dead weight on one’s shoulders that gets heavier with time. However, some people don’t have the mental strength to forgive, and if this is the case, it is nobody’s problem but their own. If you apologize to someone who is incapable of forgiveness, they will harbor the resentment and pain that came with the situation. You, on the other hand, will not because you said your piece and lifted the burden of your wrongdoing off your shoulders; you will be able to move on.

While it is important to forgive others, it is also important to practice self-forgiveness. However, many people struggle with self-forgiveness. Often people do or say things that have negative consequences on others, and in turn, they beat themselves up for allowing their actions to negatively affect other people. This is just as bad as not apologizing. If one continues to be angry with themselves for their actions and is unable to forgive themselves, they will always carry the burden of resentment and guilt.

Everybody makes mistakes and messes up. However, it is important to realize you have made a mistake and take responsibility so that you can move on. This is the only way one can free themselves from the chains of guilt and resentment. Once you take responsibility for your actions you are that much closer to leaving that negative experience behind you, regardless of what anybody else involved thinks or feels.

If you are still angry about something that happened a while ago, forgive the person who wronged you. You may not have the desire to speak to them, but in your heart, you should try and forgive them. When you finally let something go and forgive someone, you will be freed of the burden that the negative experience had on you.

The same thing goes for apologizing. As hard as it can be to apologize, telling someone you are sorry for wronging them will bring you great relief. It you get rid of all the negative emotions that you are harboring because of what you did, you will also get rid of the guilt surrounding the wrongdoing.

Guilt is an irrational emotion. Guilt is your mind telling you to feel bad about something you said or did, but nobody can truly make you feel guilty unless you allow them to. When you allow a person or situation to make you feel a certain way, you are giving away your power to that person or situation.

When you wrong someone, what you perceive to be guilt is really your conscience guiding you and telling you to think about what you did, allowing you to question if you need to address it or not. Thus, it is important to step into your power and apologize to the person you wronged. You will release all the pressure and anxiety you are feeling about your actions and repair the relationship, which not only benefits you, but also benefits the person you wronged.

If you owe somebody an apology or need to forgive somebody, step into your power and take care of it today. You will feel unburdened, empowered and you will be on your way to a more joyful way of living.