Chapter 7 Overview: Freedom Through Forgiveness

Chapter 7: Freedom Through Forgiveness

An Excerpt from You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey of Self-Awareness, Peace of Mind and Joy by James Blanchard Cisneros.

Forgiveness - Great Inspiring short video on forgiving family members, coworkers, strangers and your self.

Inspiring video on Forgiveness

Forgive your brothers and sisters and you will set yourself free. You will set yourself free from all that you thought they did to you. They need not ask for forgiveness to be forgiven. They might even believe that there is nothing for which they need to be forgiven. That is fine. Do not concern yourself with how they choose to experience reality, for it has no effect on you, unless you allow it to. For something or someone to affect you, you must first allow it to affect you.

You can also choose not to forgive your brother. But what good has such behavior ever brought to your life? You might be trying to consciously or unconsciously punish a brother by not forgiving him. But who are you really punishing? Who carries that judgment with him wherever he goes? My friend, you might not consciously recognize that you are carrying this judgment, but it does simmer below the surface, coloring everything and everyone with whom you interact. Little by little, these judgments add up and weigh you down. You may be quick to anger, feel tired or stressed, and not understand why. Comments to other brothers and sisters may become nasty and your patience may fade. All this is due to your attempt to punish your brother by not forgiving him. My friend, again I ask you, who are you really punishing?

Do you realize what anger can do to you? Max Lucado says it best in his book, “No Wonder They Call Him Savior:”

Anger. It’s a peculiar yet predictable emotion. It begins as a drop of water. An irritant. A frustration. Nothing big, just an aggravation. Someone gets your parking place. Someone pulls in front of you on the freeway. A waitress is slow and you are in a hurry. The toast burns. Drops of water. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Yet, enough of these seemingly innocent drops of anger and before long you’ve got a bucket full of rage. Walking revenge. Blind bitterness. Unharnessed hatred. We trust no one and bare our teeth at anyone who gets near. We become walking time bombs that, given just the right tension and fear, could explode. Now, is that any way to live? What good has hatred ever brought? What hope has anger ever created? What problems have ever been resolved by revenge? 22

Footnote / Acknowledgement

22. Max Lucado, No Wonder They Call Him Savior, Copyright 1998 (Thomas Nelson, Inc.)

This text can be found in the book - You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey of Self-Awareness, Peace of Mind and Joy.

If you enjoyed this, you'll really enjoy the book which is filled with inspiration and effective strategies for letting go of anger, forgiving, and embodying peace of mind and happiness.

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Comments (31)

I Forgive Talk About Something Everything Anything More Anymore I Interest I Like 👍.

Thank you Fritzie for being open to the message.

Peace. JBC

I have been struggling for a long time to forgive my sister for cruelty to me. I believe readingb this may help me to actually forgive but it will still be very difficult.

Nash, I really think that you state the truth when you say that some offences are so painful and violent that it is likely not possible to truly forgive the person who hurt you. There are very few people in the world capable of that. I also think (in fact I hope) that unless someone is a sociopath, there is probably a good chance that their concience is torturing them on a daily basis. Otherwise how does one learn from their huge mistakes. Does it help the victem to hate? Probably not….but it would take a person with the spiritual calibre of Jesus or Mother Theresa to truly free their psyche of fear, rage and mistrust.

Linda, you need to leave your husband. Some things I suppose need to be forgiven, but to stay with a man who molested your daughter and be a comfort to him in his aging years tells your daughter (and yourself) that you’re OK with what he did. Showing respect for yourself and your child will put you on the path to healing.

I wrote a blog to help people learn the how part of forgiving. I believe it is very much in line with what is taught in the book (which I am a huge fan of). It is based on my personal experience with forgiving after being molested as a child, and I think it might help some of those who have posted here to learn to make that step. The blog is at the information is in the forgiving section.


I have struggled with this for years, still working on it, the video still touches me, I have to watch every so often…….so hard to let go……..

After going to a Healing Mass I was healed of back pain. I went up to the alter and the priest laid his hands on my chest, pushing on it. I asked God to help me to forgive those people whom have hurt me. I began to get teared up so I left the church and felt the Love of God flood my entier being!

God was not satisfied with just healing me physically because there has been an ongoing healing of my spirt which will live on forever(in Heaven, please God).

Two years ago, my fiance cheated on me. He told me about it, told me he was sorry and would do whatever it takes to make it right. he has tried, I will give him that. But for some reason, I just won’t let it go. I do not know how. All I have done since that day is put him down and throw every single little thing he has done wrong in his face. I find fault in everything he says and does. I guess in a sense one could say I am trying to hurt him like he hurt me. I grew up in a christian family, but I have not always lived that life. I feel as if I am lost and do not know where to go from here. I do not want to lose him, because honestly he is a great person. I know God has a plan for everyone, and everything happens for a reason. How do you forgive someone? How do you just let go of the anger and move on? I need to know and I have prayed and prayed. How do we move on and forget what has been done to us? I know Jesus did, and I wish I was that strong. I told him once that I did forgive him, but I really haven’t. I don’t like lying. I need to forgive him.

Forgiveness: It is easy to preach about but difficult to practise. I followed the truth and reconciliation summit in South Africa. Many of those raped, mutilated, orphaned and e.t.c gave testimonies about their suffering and the perpetrators asked for forgiveness. Yes it was really touching and almost too good to be true. People went back to their homes ‘set free’. Then i started asking myself, what are they really free from? The perpetrators no longer lived in fear of being punished. The victims were disarmed of the anger and rage that they had been living with. But did that bring healing to the sufferers? No. Did forgiveness make the pain go away? No. Did forgiveness bring back the dead? No. Did forgiveness take away the HIV from victims of rape? No. They all continued on their road of suffering. But for the perpetrators it was back to business. They only have to put on a sad face when they meet their victims, but out of sight life was normal. I have read about this subject in the Bible, and i find it difficult to teach. When we forgive, does that mean we forget? If it meant that, then there would be no need for Easter. Jesus forgave his killers, but every Easter, Preachers make us go through the agonising sermon on how the lamb of God was slain. Likewise many victims around the World have vivid memories about their suffering, they never forget, they only pretend to have some kind of memory loss. But can a woman who was raped by 12 Soldiers sit next to them and say i have forgiven you all, let’s have a drink. Can they genuinely share laughter and pretend that nothing happened? What is the true meaning of forgiveness?

I found out ten months ago that my husband of 15 years whom i love still. The father of my two youngest 9 and 13 help raise my older 3 whos father committed suicide over 17 yrs ago leaving me widowed with three very young children. Then I met my husband now and I felt like the luckiest woman and it turns out that of our 15 yr marriage he had sustained an affair with his own blood sister for ten yrs of our 15 year marriage. They had a very sick baby, which I am the Godmother. My sister inlaw was like a daughter in whom I trusted with my life. We built a successful family business and bought our dream home. Everything fell apart and my world shattered when on Aug 8, 2007 I was told the truth. But after all was said and done, after so much pain and heart break within 48 hours I had forgiven them both. But it seems that my soon to be ex husband has taken my forgiveness and wiped his feet with it.

The gift God gives us to forgive is a passionate one…as He gave His Son on the cross to forgive us of our sins, the worlds sins burdened upon one perfect savior… a lesson of love , compassion and the ultimate act of…forgiveness…Thank You dear Lord for your self-less-ness and for teaching me the greatest act!

It’s so hard to forgive a man, who say lies about us, who put us in charge of things we haven’t done… cause he is aligned to money. it is so humiliating, and I aske me – how to meet him? Yes, I know, he is Gods child as I ….. but??? I can find no answer, how to deal with.
Hope you could say me a way?

How do I find forgiveness for my self. My husband molested my daughter from a previous marriage and I did not find out untill 8 years later. I never left my marriage and I should have for both my daughters sake and mine. I am still in this marriage 25 years later and still no happier, my daughter does not forgive me for not leaving him and I don’t know what to do anymore. Please somebody help me.

You’re picking a guy who betrayed you and your daughter and hurt your daughter over your daughter. Linda, you can forgive someone and not have anything to do with them. Forgive him yes, but that forgiveness is for you not for him. What you don’t do, is forget.

If youre walking down a dirt path and a snake bites you. You can forgive the snake, but would you continue to walk down that same dirt path knowing there was a snake there? Would you make your daughter walk down that same path?

Forgiveness doesn’t mean you forget or that you leave yourself vulnerable to the same thing happening. Forgiveness is for your own benefit to no longer carry around the anger which causes physical damage to yourself because chances are you already sustained more suffering than you should have with what was done by someone else and by forgiving them, you are no longer letting what they did cause you further harm.

But yes, if you haven’t, leave the scum bag that hurt your daughter and ask your daughter for forgiveness because staying with him is giving him power over your daughter still and continuing his abuse. And by staying with him, you are showing your daughter that you love this monster who hurt her, more than her. Don’t you think shes suffered enough?

I feel to offer an insight that has been of the greatest value in my life to forgiving, it is so simple and it works. We can have a judgement on ourselves that when we have experienced pain we must forgive yet what we do not do is allow ourselves to feel the emotions whatever, hate, anger, grief, around them, they are not the true essense of who we are just trapped life energy that is calling to be expressed, in words, tears, whatever, in a quiet place. In my own life it has been such a priceless gift and when the emotion is honoured without judgement you will feel such compassion towards the perceived people that have hurt you. Even Jesus lost his cool. Be real, remember we are emotional beings and the more you connect with your true essense you will feel more loving yet my own experience to say I will never feel upset or angry again is not realistic and out of balance. sending my deepest love to all.

My surprize link took me to forgiveness, I have spend over the years much time in this area and did not have a conscious feeling that I had not covered this but but faith said I offer up all forgiveness today of my past and life, I felt it is not so much forgiving others it all stems from self anyway. Loved your site and will be telling my friends. A did have a insight which has been with me for a while, we do not need to create from pain and stuggle, life is meant to be easy. I have for the last 10 years followed love and it has been wonderful. thank you all, choose life, choose the greatest gift, love, it never fails.

C.F. Henderson (Reverand)

I added the title because people need to know that there are ministers with unforgiveness of self and others in their heart. I read your review of chapter seven and some of the other inspirational notes and found myself. For the past three days I have been speaking of and hearing about self forgiveness and the freedom it brings. I found the review to be soooo inspiring and the audio review to be so relaxing. Thank you and God bless you.

All I have left to do now is to forgive. What? Forgive my husband of 23 years for having a 3 1/2 year affair with someone just down the street? I am still “married” to him in the legal sense and we are living together as a married couple. He says he loves me and treats me like a queen and his angel. He has proven to me that he is sorry, but if I forgive him I feel that I would be throwing away my morals. I don’t know how to forgive such a life that he was leading.
HELP. In The Mitten State.

How does my friend forgive her older brother for molesting her? She was molested pre-teen and again as a teenager. She has to see him on holidays. Now she has a daughter. It’s been over 20 years and everyone acts like he has never done wrong. Yet she hates him and doesn’t want her daughter to think he’s okay. Please help.

I am trying so hard to find it in my heart to forgive my daughter in law for having an affair, leaving our son and taking the grand babies and moving far away.

Thanks for being here. I think that I have just had an attack of anger, resentment, and self-pity. In the process of discharging emotions, I am questioning my sanity regarding a very elderly mother, a sister who has “checked out”, but gives a great deal of advice, and my own lack of success at finding a constructive way to talk about the sadness, the resentments, etc. I do use the 12 step programs for my sobiriety, and I know that there is much strength in those programs…I am feeling stuck, and do not want to be stuck in self pity, anger and resentment, it is pretty lonely in “here”, feel like I am “wrong”, alone, and “crazy” with these emotions. THanks, Sharon

I’m just in my teenage years…but even though I’m just 14 its still hard for me to forgive the ones I love, the ones that hurt me so much. It’s hard….I would always talk to my God and say to him “Father why can’t I forgive those that have done me wrong….can’t you do it for me?” But very soon a realized that God wasn’t the one who was going to live with this pain and anger inside of him for the rest of there lives. No matter what I had to forgive…I had to let myself be free….

My heart goes out to you. I understand how something like this can bring discouragement and pain into a family.

However, I would like to encourage you to pray for your daughter-in-law, and begin thanking God for workin in her life. First to draw her to Himself, and next to soften her heart and bring healing into her life. This may sound very simple to you, but when we attempt to change a situation such as this aprt from trusting the Lord, we only add wood to the fire. God sees your pain, and HE is waiting for you to come to Him, trust Him, and let Him bring about the changes in the hearts of those involved. I truly believe you will see lives united once again . I will hold you in prayer tomorrow in my morning prayer time.
You will see changes if you just trust God to bring them about.

My daughter in law has over the past two years, seperated, devided and split up my family. She has developed and instigated deep devision between my son and myself, and also it seems deove a wedge between my daughter and my son. This situation now has resulted in no contact at all with my son. The purpose I belive for this is jealousy as she does not wont to share her husband with any of his family, or friends. She has spread malisious lies about my daughter saying that she obtained her high flying job by deception, that she lied on her CV about her time spent at University. But this is an untruth as the CV does state the years spent there but my daughter-in-law is telling people that the CV states that a 1st Honors was accieved.She tells us how many years of very hard studey she had to endure to gaine a 2ND honors in music. This distortion of fact is to me another show of jealousy. She calls herself a christian, and her father is a Vicor,but from what I now know she has not one ounce of conpassion. We asked our son well if your wife does not wont to know our family will you come and visit us, and his reply was” Do you wont to split up my marrage” From being a very close loving, supportive family, in just two years from her inclusion, we no longer have a son, and our daughter does not know her brother. My daugher-law was adopted and does seem to have very deep rooted physiological problems conected with this.She has shown signs that she can not for give, her rule in life is she gives everone four chances and then your out,one of these chances may only be a strong diferecne of oppinion.She hates me with avengement and now holds a list of my wronge doings which she tell me are around about eight. If it were possible I am still prepaired to at least try to make this relationship work, and we have tried all three of us.

Good for you! That is exactly how we walk by faith. When I’m hurt or wounded in some way by someone, God always ask me “what are you going to do with it”? I too, have learned to “let it go” and let God do the changing. Way to go!

I have a situation with my younger sister . I realize I need to forgive her because she is just a sick person. I have realized that I am part of the problem with my own low self esteem issues and fears. I am willing to look only at my self. I lack assertiveness in many situations especially family ones where anger can quickly boil up. I see the problem as partly due to that and my fears. Forgivness is necessary in order that God can receive Gods Loving Forgiveness as it says in the Lord’s Prayer. “Forgive us our Trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” I am going to take an assertiveness training class as soon as possible to try and work on myself. I realize that I cannot change others. It is important though that I learn to get my needs met in situations where my passiveness will later lead to poisoness angry feelings and holding a grudge has never worked for me even though it might seem to feel good at the time. Forgiveness. My lesson for life .

Dear Reedflute03,

I wold like to thank you for your message. I have a friend, who oftens treats me as if she doesn’t want me around. Sometimes, mean-spirited things are done or spoken. I realized that my own issues of low self-esteem have contributed to this. I will hold anger in until it explodes. I see through you message that forgiveness is not just an option but a choice that should be made for our own benefit as well as those who have hurt us. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said: No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.
Thank you.

I am still bitter and angry over an argument that happened in 2003 between me and my adult nephew who drove me out of his mother’s house. I even cursed him for rendering me homeless and depressed. But with God’s grace I found a crisis centre shelter where I lived for a few months. While I was there, found a job and eventually made enough money to get a place of my own. In the process I made many new friends, experienced different things and am more sympathetic to people in need. In a way, being driven out of his house was a blessing. I am a more independent person than before. But how do I get rid of this anger and bitterness that I feel towards my nephew?

James Blanchard Cisneros

My friend, I will share a thought that is foreign to many people in this world: nothing occurs / happens to you, that is not in your best interest. If you were to allow the memory of this thought to enter your heart and soul, distress, anger, and bitterness would be impossible.

My dear friend, when it comes to your nephew, do the opposite of what has not worked for you. If when you think of him, bitter and angry thoughts enter and pollute your heart and mind, then choose not to play the ego’s game any longer. For bitterness and anger is the ego’s solution to your bitterness and anger. The ego’s solutions sound sane only to an insane world. Stand in front of a mirror, look deep into your eyes, and say, “I will no longer support anger and bitterness as solutions in my life. I will no longer carry within, sustain and maintain these energies. Father (God), today, right now, I release them to you, let them dissolve in your loving light. Father, today, right now, with all my heart and soul, I release my nephew’s actions to you, through you, help me, forgive him. Father, let me now see him as You do.” Say this as many times as you need to, let these words come from within your soul.

Now every time you think of your nephew, whenever thoughts of anger and bitterness pop up, stop them, and replace them with a prayer of love and forgiveness for him. Yes, from now on instead of playing the ego’s insane game, you will remember what you truly desire, peace of mind and joy in your life, and by offering them to your nephew you will experience them within. For you and your nephew are one, and what you do or think of him you will experience yourself.

My friend, would you hold bitterness towards someone who was a part of a process that helped you “make many new friends, experienced different things and become more sympathetic to people in need…and become a more independent person than before.” Is this a person who is deserving of being cursed, or is this a person who is deserving of being thanked?

As ‘A Course in Miracles’ states “It is as sure that those who hold grievances will suffer guilt, as it is certain that those who forgive will find peace.” My dearest sister, forgive your nephew’s error and you shall set yourself forever free.

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