Forgiveness has been on my mind as of late. I think, on occasion, we are all having to reach into a dusty corner to find it, especially these days. We are all frayed around the edges, frazzled in our core, and frankly just a little bloody sick of the whole isolation thing. But we also have been given this gift of time and well…with time…we spend it reflecting on our lives.  We think about our species, the planet, culture and social issues, and of course, the regrets and joys of our own lives.

We reflect on what wrongs we have committed and what wrongs have been committed to us and we seek to forgive.

But forgiveness, despite what you may have read, is certainly not something you can polish up and pin to your shirt.  It is not a badge only the enlightened and woke wear.

It’s something laboured over, it’s something we grind and mould and digest.  It’s something we need to conjure from the places we have refused to go.  Bravely, we can step into it.  We walk through the rawness of this dimly lit place.  We use our ego as our torchlight and dive deeper into what it means to forgive.

And frankly..sometimes…it’s just not there. Forgiveness isn’t something you can just think and therefore it is so.  Forgiveness has to be found in that labour, in the grind, in the pit of your stomach. So if you can actually admit you don’t forgive- bravo…  Because you know what?  Some shit sucks and will always suck.  No amount of time will help you forgive, no matter what you have become because of it and no amount of enlightenment can make it go away.

Sitting with that idea is where the big juicy work actually begins. Admitting you cannot forgive, means you have stopped trying to trick yourself into believing you are above it. It means you are just being you, all angry and resentful and protective.  It means you have started…

You have begun your journey with resolution.

Imagine, you are sitting with all your hurt,
you are sitting with your anger
and heart brokenness.

You are not trying to clamour over it to find the light,
but you are sitting there in your dark corner,
Acknowledging your true self, for who you are.

Sit there…until you are lucid and comfortable.
Sit there warming yourself on the fire of false beliefs
feel your body wrap around your broken heart.

Feeling yourself nurture the hurt,
the pain and anger of it all.
Lick the wounds of your deceit

Descale it
Bath it in milk and honey
Honor all that you are

And you will rise
Not forgetting and moving on but
with a resolved heart

A knowing that you are whole In all that you are,
not just your optimism and light
But with the tender and beautiful dark bits too.

Resolution is healing when forgiveness cannot be found.
Resolution is accepting all of your feelings
Resolution is forgiving yourself for not forgiving


Sarah Hines
Sarah Hines
I met a man one blurry night in Manhattan, and little did I know, he would be the soil in which my passion for grief work was to be planted. He had been rejected by his family for his life choices and was preparing for death without them. Helping him through his struggle to come to terms with his love for them and in turn his forgiveness while going through treatments, rejection, and coming to terms with his own death and grief was an unimaginable amount of stress and it literally set me in activism mode. It was shortly after his death, I completed training in Palliative Care Home Hospice. I volunteered in men’s homes for 5 years before the medications became reliable and being gay wasn’t always breaking family ties. Some of the most amazing times I have had in my life have been in the homes of dying. Strange, yes.. but so beautifully honest and raw. I then completed the Children’s Palliative Care Training and dove into the heartbrokenness of dying children. It is in these years I really came to understand just how fickle death can be and how much we embrace death and our grief. It seems that in times of what we would consider the most unimaginable, we are able to find glimmers of beauty, cracks of light and the nourishment in tears. Over the last 20 years, I have carried on with my education in a variety of ways including Coach and Leadership Training, Orphan Wisdom School and Grief Groups. My connection into corporate grief has been slow. It’s something that most organizations do not want to think about. I am inspired by those that see value in bringing grief work into the way they lead teams through uncertainty and the trust this work builds.

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  1. Forgiveness can set you free, yet it can also be the most difficult thing we allow ourselves to do. As well, not everyone feels that freedom even after they have forgiven something difficult… The memory is always there, a complicated event that hurt so bad. It remains in the shadow of forgiveness no matter how hard you try to bury it. Thus the saying, it’s easy to forgive, but hard to forget. Unfortunately there are times when painful events are unavoidable, negative situations that challenge our resolve and personal doctrine. I don’t blame certain individuals who can’t forgive, because some acts are simply too deep and complicated. We should never cast judgement, and we should allow them that right to choose whether or not to forgive. It’s that person’s business alone to decide for themselves. If harboring a grudge brings personal comfort, it’s not my place to point a finger… A very complicated topic Sarah, but worth taking that deeper dive. Great article!

  2. Sarah,
    This is such a beautiful and powerful perspective! I feel I have bought into the notion that if I could not forgive then I was not ‘enlightened’ and just had ‘more work to do’ on myself. Your insights here give us permission to start with and be ok with:
    “Resolution is healing when forgiveness cannot be found.
    Resolution is accepting all of your feelings
    Resolution is forgiving yourself for not forgiving”.
    Thank you and Thank you!