The Power of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a virtue that transcends cultures, religions, and ages. It holds within it the ability to heal wounds, mend relationships, and liberate individuals from the burdens of resentment and anger. The importance of forgiveness cannot be overstated, as it not only benefits the forgiver but also the forgiven and society at large.

One framework for understanding and practicing forgiveness is the REACH model, developed by Everett Worthington Jr., a clinical psychologist. This model provides a structured approach to the forgiveness process, allowing individuals to navigate through their emotions and thoughts toward genuine reconciliation. 

R – Recall the Hurt:

The first step in the forgiveness journey is acknowledging the pain and injustice that has been inflicted. By recalling the hurt, individuals confront the reality of their suffering and its impact on their lives. It’s essential to allow oneself to fully experience the emotions associated with the offense, whether it be anger, sadness, or betrayal. Suppressing these feelings can hinder the forgiveness process, making it crucial to confront them head-on.

E – Empathize with the Offender:

Empathy plays a pivotal role in forgiveness, as it allows individuals to see the humanity in those who have wronged them. Understanding the perspective of the offender can humanize them, making it easier to let go of resentment and bitterness. It’s essential to recognize that everyone can make mistakes and that holding onto grudges only perpetuates the cycle of pain. By empathizing with the offender, individuals can cultivate compassion and pave the way for reconciliation.

A – Altruistic Gift of Forgiveness:

Forgiveness is often thought of as a sign of weakness, but it is an act of strength and generosity. By offering forgiveness, individuals release themselves from the shackles of negativity and reclaim their power. It’s important to view forgiveness as a gift, not only for the offender but also for oneself. Letting go of resentment allows individuals to reclaim their peace of mind and move forward with their lives.

C – Commit to Forgive:

Commitment is essential in the forgiveness process, as it signifies a willingness to let go of past grievances and embrace healing. Forgiveness is not a one-time event but rather a continuous journey that requires dedication and perseverance. It’s crucial to make a conscious decision to forgive, even when faced with obstacles or setbacks. By committing to forgive, individuals empower themselves to break free from the chains of resentment and embrace a future filled with hope and positivity.

H – Hold onto Forgiveness:

The final step in the REACH model is to hold onto forgiveness. This involves letting go of any lingering feelings of resentment or anger and embracing a mindset of compassion and understanding. Holding onto forgiveness requires ongoing effort and self-reflection, but the rewards are huge. By choosing to forgive, individuals pave the way for healing, reconciliation, and a brighter future.


Holding on to pain, resentment, bitterness, and other heavy feelings can create high anxiety and depression in us. There will be times in your life that needing extra help to practice forgiveness and letting go is essential. If you’ve been stuck and finding it difficult to move towards forgiveness, an anxiety therapist can help you. Reach out today to see how we can help (813)333-1425.

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