What Nelson Mandela Said and How It Can Set You Free

I am so excited about this, even though forgiveness has never been my strong suit. However, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that forgiveness is what sets us free. This is why it is the core of just about every spiritual tradition. Why? Because without it, there is no transformation. There is no freedom.

This is the lesson Nelson Mandela taught us. When he was asked how he could forgive the people who imprisoned him, he replied with, “When I walked out of the gate, I knew that if I continued to hate these people I was still in prison.” He knew forgiveness was freedom.

This is the reason I am constantly working with my coaching clients on how to forgive. I use several tools, but there is one in particular that I use daily. “Why?” you might ask. Because through the course of any given day I have plenty of things to forgive myself for, and if I don’t, you bet I’ll end up repeating them. Over the years, my list has decreased. I take this as a good sign. My clients love this tool. They fondly nicknamed it the “Forgiveness List.” It is really called the Let Go and Know List because it helps you to let go of any situation you are holding onto, resulting in ultimately forgiving yourself and others.

Here’s How-to Use the Let Go and Know List

1.     The first thing you do is to get a sheet of paper. Draw a vertical line down the center of the page, creating two columns.

2.      Label the first column “What Am I Letting Go of and the second column “Who Needs to Know (this means, list whoever is involved in the situation).

3.     Let everything you are thinking and feeling come out as you answer the question, “What Am I Letting Go of,” and write it down in the first column. Do not edit. It is important to include absolutely anything that comes up: fear, doubt, anxiety, situations from the past, regrets, what you aren’t liking about yourself… It is important to release whatever negativity is there. You want to allow yourself to get to the point where you are taking responsibility for anything you may have done now or in the past. When we do this, it frees us from holding onto the situation any longer and creating similar experiences in the future.

4.     In the second column, “Who Needs to Know,” you write down anyone who is involved in the situation. Definitely you need to be on this side, as well as any other parties that may have been involved.

5.     After you have completed the list, you fold it in half and write the following on it (you can also create your own): “I forgive myself. I forgive X. Thank you, Creator, for transforming ALL negativity to love and light.” Say this out loud or silently to yourself. Your intention is to release this energy.

6.     The last step is to burn or shred it. Complete this process in one sitting; do not leave this lying around the house for someone to find. This process is for you and you only.

Feel free to repeat this process whenever you feel the need to forgive. You will find you are able to easily return to your spirit’s natural state of clarity, peace, and neutrality.

I encourage you to take advantage of this transformational tool on this auspicious day as people all over the world are thinking about, talking about, and practicing forgiveness. This means there is a collective group consciousness around forgiveness. This global intention can help you forgive yourself and others, maybe even in ways you believed you couldn’t. Set yourself free. Yes, you can. It is up to you.

Thank you, Mr. Mandela, for showing us what is possible. If you can do it, so can we.

For more reading on forgiveness, I recommend these books:

Radical Forgiveness, by Colin Tipping, is an amazing book that will radically change your perspective on what forgiveness is all about. It changed mine.

Oh, and I can’t forget to recommend my book, Spirit Led Instead, as it has another transformational tool called “Forgive for Good,” that, when applied, can change your life.

Many Blessing for Forgiveness in your Life,



Download your free chapter of Spirit Led Instead now.

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