This week I was reading an article about forgiveness from ‘The School of Life’ and I was moved by the street art I saw locally in a window which read ‘Forgive yourself’.

The Book of Life on Forgiveness

The picture of Nelson Mandela at the foot of the article reminded me of one of his famous quotations about forgiveness


‘As I walked out the door toward my freedom, I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred and bitterness behind that I would still be in prison’

Nelson Mandela

He set an example to each of us that each of us has the power within ourselves to forgive, move on and be psychologically free.

Some of us may actually find it hard to forgive ourselves. I think the school of life principles could apply here too. Could we take the courage to show empathy, compassion, acceptance and understanding without judgement to the people we are? to look at our motives behind what is so unforgivable and know we are not ‘bad’ people but people who have roots to our behaviour, the psychological reality of being human.

There may be something active you could do about this such as talking in confidence with a trusted friend to express your thoughts and feelings. You might want to write to yourself a letter of forgiveness and let it go in a metaphorical sense. Forgiveness could also be an ongoing active process where by you will still remember in your mind why you could not forgive yourself but you remind yourself that you have chosen to move on and leave your own psychological prison in which you were captive. Leave the door shut and don’t look back!

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