Neale Donald Walsh discusses forgiveness and how to go about it at length in the first book of his Conversations with God series (see tool 4.12). The way he describes it, though it may sound cliché, the road to forgiveness is one that requires you to take a worldview that we’re all one, we’re all the same. We are all parts of God, trying to meet our needs. We all have triggers and histories of trauma. So, when we can tap into that acknowledgement, we can realize that there is no absolute right or wrong in people’s actions, but that they are acting out from not having basic needs met.

To forgive someone means you learn to value them as a human being and acknowledge that they are damaged and hurt in some way. The old saying, to know you is to love you, is all about forgiveness. You realize people don’t take mean action against other people unless they are hurting themselves. Functional people do not engage in dysfunctional behavior intentionally.

If someone is abusive to you in some way, you can think about why they act out like that—how are their basic needs not being met. If you’re able to understand that, you could see that they are taking out their anger and hurt on you. That will allow you to forgive them. However, that doesn’t mean you allow them to continue to abuse you. Forgiven and allowing are two separate concepts. You can put up boundaries and forgive people at the same time.