Forgiving is Not Liking

let go of hurtForgiving is Not Liking

The word forgiveness normally comes with a whole load of baggage. Because of its religious connotation, a lot of people think one should forgive in order to be considered righteous. This is not forgiveness. It’s pseudo-forgiveness.

When we talk about forgiving a debt or pardoning someone, we are not really forgiving them. We are just letting them off the hook.

Letting it go or trying to forget or move on is just another form of denial. It is not forgiveness. The toxic energy of the grievance remains in the body and will likely come out, in the end, as a disease.

Another assumption that attaches itself to forgiveness is that to be able to forgive them, you have to like them. That is not so in the least.

Even if you despise the person (the human being and his or her personality etc.), you can still forgive them. That’s because the process of forgiving is not about the other person. It’s about you. You do the forgiveness for you.

This happens in spite of your own very human and justifiable feelings of disdain. In the end, it comes down to whether you have the capacity to see beneath the unlikeable, despicable character manifesting in front of you and recognize the divinity in him or her.

This is not easy and that’s why we have created tools, like the Radical Acceptance of Another Worksheet, to help us shift our perception of the person so we can understand that he or she is the way he or she is because that’s exactly how he or she is meant to be.

As I wrote in my first book, Radical Forgiveness: “There are no exceptions. If you can’t forgive Hitler, you can’t really forgive anyone.”

Just as you don’t need to like them to forgive, neither do you need to stay around them if they remain emotionally or physically toxic to you. While you need to move away from them (and in Hitler’s case, wage war on him), it doesn’t stop you doing the Radical Forgiveness work on them.

Like all the worksheets, it asks that you be honest. Begin where you are and accept how you feel about the person. In other words, accept your humanness. Even if you don’t end up liking the person one bit better after having done the worksheet, the work will have been done at the energetic level anyway. You may find yourself feeling a little differently about them – neutral, perhaps, with very little energy left one way or the other.

Because the real goal of Radical Forgiveness is all about healing the illusion of separation, you might also consider the possibility that the other person is offering you the opportunity to heal that myth of separation, both within yourself, between you and him/her, and between the world of spirit and the world of humanity.

By recognizing the divinity in the other person, no matter the horrible things he or she may have done, you are connecting more deeply to the Love that is behind everything.



P.S. The Radical Acceptance of Another Worksheet mentioned in this blog are available in PDF form when you sign up for Free Stuff at If you have past and present relationships to heal, or want to prepare for a new one, take a look at our new Expanding in Love Online Workshop, and choose a free bonus gift for a limited time.

12 thoughts on “Forgiving is Not Liking

  1. Jasmine

    Hello Colin,
    I have a problem. Two years ago My husband and I were having tea with a friend, let’s call her Anne. She suddenly began to cry and said she owed the bank $10,000 and had to pay a huge interest rate for that. She cried so much that I said I would give her $1000 as a present. Then before I knew what was happening, my husband said we would lend her the money without interest. I agreed without thinking properly about it. She thanked us very much. Later she told us she owed other people $6,000 so we gave her that money as a present to help her. She said she would find work and pay us back. She is a very talented Naturopath and can give seminars, etc. so we believed her. Now, two years later, she has no work and can’t pay us back the money. She sits around at home and does nothing. If she had declared herself bankrupt she needn’t have borrowed the money from us, but she wanted to keep it a secret from her husband. (She is separated from her husband but he lets her live in a beautiful house with their daughter and son-in-law).Her husband is well off with 2 houses. Everyone around her is ill or having terrible accidents. I want to break off my friendship with her and get her out of our lives. I feel bitter now about having lent her the money (I know I shouldn’t!) I expect our Souls arranged all this!
    Please can you advise me what to do? What would you do if you were me?
    Thank you.

    1. Colin

      When feeling remorse over something I have done, I do a Radical Self-Forgiveness/Self-Acceptance worksheet. I would suggest this for you, along with doing a Radical Forgiveness Worksheet on your friend.

      1. Jasmine

        Thank you for answering my question. I shall do as you suggest. I am still connected to her by the money she owes us. Perhaps this problem will soon be solved in some way. I trust it will. Thank you again,

  2. Erika

    How can i forgive myself. I learnt to feel guilty as “a god catholic”, and i have allowed many people hurt me because of that. Now that I know the truth, how can I re-start being Me?

    Thanks a lot

  3. Alexandria

    Wow, this is so directly applicable to what I am experiencing at this moment towards someone. I have done many worksheets on him and sometimes feel I’ve let it go and others I get really upset and feel so resentful towards him – like I have just felt again this morning. This post has just helped me to no think of it as ‘letting go’ but as ‘accepting’. I can allow myself to still hate him (at least for now) but accept what he did and the person that he is.
    I think I often feel from Radical Forgiveness the book that I have to accept I wanted what happened/is happening and that he has done nothing wrong – and thinking he did something wrong is judgement and therefore no raidacal forgiveness can happen.

    Can I reframe that a little (after reading this post) and choose to dispise what he did and who he is but accept that his behaviour is consistant with such a perosn and I accept that such people exist and what I really need to do is forgive myself for choose to have him in my life – rather than forgive him for what he’s done, because he was just being him??

    That could be the exact same thing but expressed in a way that I can digest…

  4. Jana Lynne White

    In 1983 at CFOX radio in Vancouver, I hosted and produced a show called “Coping: Strategies for Living in the 1980’s.” The strategies were all based on being conscious but we couldn’t discuss consciousness in mainstream media a mere thirty years ago. Now ‘strategies for conscious living’ are being sought out and responded to. Way to go, Colin.

  5. Brian

    Jasmine, I would just learn from this experience. Don’t just lend that much money out to anyone. Next time offer her a solution to get more money like donating plasma or working a 2nd job or both. Anne should have had the chance to suffer for her wrong choices. That is how she will learn.

    1. Jasmine

      Brian, I have learnt a very important lesson – never to lend anyone money ever again, only to give it, but even here I shall be very much more careful and not give money to individuals but only to environmental organizations, etc.
      I have hindered her learning path by lending her this money but I didn’t know that at the time.
      Yes, you are right, she really should have got a job, even one where she wouldn’t have earned much money, better than doing nothing. Thank you for your comment.

  6. Tricia

    This is so good Colin. The person who I have struggled with and have shared it a lot with you in these comments, has reached out to me again. I have ignored her. I dont have to like her. I dont have to reconnect or be friends. But I do love the growth I am experiencing and the lessening of my PTSD when I hear of her in the news and this is the result of MY OWN spiritual growth. It is not dependent upon her or how she is treating me (which had been the case for so long). Your paradigm shift is crucial. I am sharing this with someone who wants to become a spiritual healer for narcissists. She should know about your work. Thank you!

  7. Jackie

    Coling – You are indeed radical…….I just love this post…….its awesome!!
    Thank you for touching my life so much!!

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