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Hey, it’s Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV, the place to be to create a business and life you love. And today is Q&A Tuesday, one of the best days of the week. Today’s question comes from Lindsey and Lindsey writes:

“Hey Marie. First, you rock.” No, you rock. “Second, I’m seeking some spiritual advice. Lately I’ve been struggling with resentment towards a particular person. I know I need to let go of it, but my gut is telling me not to trust this person because they’ve burned me before. I don’t want this to eat me up inside because I know it’ll just hold me back from becoming everything I’m meant to be. How do I let it go and move on when I’m so full of distrust? Do you have any suggestions about how to forgive without forgetting? Thanks so much, Lindsey.”

Lindsey, this is a fantastic question. Forgiveness is an important topic and it’s a vital spiritual and emotional practice. You know, as Nelson Mandela once said, resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies. Now, I personally get my inspiration from others who demonstrate forgiveness in incredible ways. So I think about that guy Louis Zamperini, the Olympic runner that turned war hero in Unbroken. He forgave the prison guard who brutally tortured him for years. And, of course, I also think about the families of those who were killed in the horrific shooting in Charleston who also forgave the person who murdered their loved ones. That’s like forgiveness hall of fame.

Now, thankfully, Lindsey, I don’t think your situation is quite as extreme, but still you feel hurt and you feel betrayed. And you’re right when you say that not forgiving someone, no matter what they did, will hold you back from being all you’re meant to be.

Here’s the big distinction I want you to get. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean that you instantly or ever trust someone again. Forgiveness and trust are separate issues. When you forgive someone it doesn’t mean that you condone their behavior and it doesn’t mean that you’re gonna tolerate any further abuse or lack of respect. And frankly, even if you fully forgive someone you do not have to keep that person in your life.

Now, Lindsey, you’ve already said that your gut is telling you that you can’t trust this person, and I think it’s wise to pay attention to that. Now, if you do choose to keep this person in your life, they’re gonna need to rebuild that trust with you and that’s likely gonna take some time.

Now, more importantly though, realize that forgiveness is not something that you do for the person who wronged you. It’s something you do for you. Want a little etymology? The Latin root means to give completely, without reservation. So think of it this way. When you forgive, you’re giving a gift to yourself. A gift of freedom, mental, emotional, and spiritual freedom. And here’s 2 steps to help you do it.

Step number one in this process is forgive yourself, especially if you’re having any thoughts like, “Oh my goodness, how could I have been so stupid? How could I have been so naive?” You’ve got to realize that this situation, like every situation, is an opportunity to strengthen your soul. You know, every time that I’ve been burned, after I get over that initial anger and hurt I always ask myself, “What can I learn from this? And how can I grow from this?” And when I ask those wise questions, what comes back are usually some really wise answers.
Step number two is to forgive the person. Now, I know that this is easier said than done and there are many, many different approaches to forgiveness. There’s a spiritual approach, there’s a faith based, there’s a psychological approach, and what I’ve seen to be the most important step in all of those approaches is willingness. You being willing. That slight little shift in energy from, “Nuh uh. Can’t do it,” to, “You know what? I don’t know how, but I’m willing to forgive,” can radically change everything. And a simple little prayer or a mantra that you might wanna practice saying to yourself is this: “While I don’t know how, I am willing to forgive. Please God, the universe, Smurf fairies, whatever language suits you, show me the way.” Because that simple willingness is often all it takes to melt the walls around your heart and begin to truly forgive.

Now, before we wrap up there’s just one more thing that I wanna say about forgiveness and, yes, it’s a Tweetable.

“Forgiveness isn’t weakness. It’s the ultimate sign of courage and strength.”

That was my A to your Q, Lindsey, and I really do hope it helps. Now I would love to hear from you. Have you ever wrestled with forgiving someone or rebuilding trust after it’s been broken? In terms of forgiving and forgetting, what’s worked for you and what hasn’t?

Now, as always, the richest discussions happen after the episode over at, and we have a lot of fun in the comments. So please go over there and let me know your responses now.

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Stay on your game and keep going for your dreams because the world needs that special gift that only you have. Thank you so much for watching and I’ll catch you next time on MarieTV.

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