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Occasionally I pop in and watch Oprah’s Life Class, which is now on the OWN channel.  Several seeks ago she did one on forgiveness.  I watched it twice and then took copious notes the second time (this is not a verbatim transcription).  I am going to type those out here.


Forgiveness is such a big topic; really who among us has no forgiveness work left to do?  So, the material may flow a little, may not be as linear as you may want but I’m sure everyone can cull something useful from it.  I may insert my own comments.



Forgiveness really means letting go of the past, of our perception that we need to hold a grievance for the rest of our lives.  If we hold onto our grievances we will never really be happy.  It’s really a willingness to see the person in the light of love rather than in the action that happened.  It means letting go of the past that we thought we wanted.  We can’t really change that past so it means releasing the negative perception of it and coming back to the present.


Me talking here: I think when they speak of holding the other in the “light of love” it’s seeing them as who they really were and are meant to be.  Not the sideways kick you got in the gut from them, but the person who plopped down to earth with all good intentions, full of delight and curiosity and a reverence for even the smallest things.  A child could spend a moment with a marble and convince you they’ve found God in it.  Seeing that person in the light of love.  Sometimes it even helps to have a young picture of them, actual or in your mind.  When you gaze on that face you see nothing but beauty, good intention, love and connectedness.  As in the lyrics to a song: see me beautiful, it’s all I really am, and all I want to be.


Now Oprah speaking:


Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be different.  I think for many of you, you think forgiveness means accepting what has happened to you. Well, it is accepting that it HAS happened to you, not accepting that it was OK for it to happen.  It is accepting that it has happened to you and now what do I do about it?  Again, forgiving is giving up the hope, not holding on, hoping, wishing, that it could have been any other way than it actually was, giving up the hope that the past be any different.  And when I got that, I think it took me to the next level of being a better person because I don’t hold grudges for anything or any situation.  It’s letting go so that the past does not hold you prisoner, does not hold you hostage.


And here’s Terri McMillian (famous writer/Oprah guest)

Here’s Terri M. now – saying she lost 100 pounds emotionally when she decided to give up suing her ex.  She said – when I called my ex and told him he was free, I was free at that moment.  Anger and bitterness is an emotional termite.  You can’t let anything in.  I had to let all of this go in order to be happy.  At the end of the show Oprah describes what Terri M. told her on the phone.  She was sitting in the car and she had been feeling this angst, this rage, this anger and there was a moment where she let the car window down and she could actually feel the presence of the anger as an energy field leaving her body and leaving the car.  Terri said the truth is, that was God at work.



Oprah describing a funny moment: she used to hold grudges.  She sees someone she was holding a grudge against going into Tiffany’s on Michigan Avenue AND laughing and she’s like, I can’t believe she’s all happy, not even is she laughing, but she’s going into the Tiffany store while laughing.  That was a huge aha, enlightening moment for me, I’ve used it to apply to everything else in my life, not to hold onto grudges, not to hold onto what somebody did tell you, not to hold onto what your Momma should have done, not to hold onto to what you shoulda, coulda, woulda been but to live in the present moment.  Letting go of what has happened to you and BEING ABLE TO LIVE RIGHT NOW WITH WHAT IS HAPPENING TO YOU MAKE A DECISION FOR RIGHT NOW AND MOVE FORWARD IS HOW YOU ACCESS THE POWER THAT WE ALL HAVE WITHIN US.


Letting go of anger, releasing anger allows beauty to come back into your life.


Next a woman who didn’t speak to her (habitually angry) father for 8 years who she described as toxic and bringing no good to her life.  She says forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself.  After 8 years, she gave up that little pocket of hate and she was complete.  Forgiveness was a gift to herself, as well as her children. Oprah responded: the truth is you don’t forgive for the other person.  That’s what holds so many people in the space of unforgiveness because you think I have got to now do this for you.  You forgive for yourself.


Forgiving is letting go of the hope that it could have been any different.

Accepting it for what it was

And be willing to move forward with your own life, and that’s the only life you have control over.


And that is the great lesson of letting go of the past

Letting go of the anger so you can be free

Letting go of the anger so you can get the mud out of your wings

Letting go of the anger so that you can accept the power that is within you

And allow that power to move you forward


Me again…I love that description of letting go so you can get the mud out of your wings.  Whatever we hold onto is like an energetic sludge weighing us down.  Just the mere idea of letting it go makes me feel lighter.


Forgiveness is really up for me this year.  I begin with self-forgiveness.  In another modality I study Feng Shui astrology aka 9 star ki astrology, I am in the energy of yang wood for the year.  Wood has much strength, as well, it has a backside and that is its challenges.  Self-judgment is one of my challenges. I like to spend each year now of my life returning to my roots a little less encumbered, releasing anything that slows me down.



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