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Last Updated On:  December 15, 2020

How to Ask for Forgiveness: 5 different ways to guarantee a life of freedom and peace

By Coach Keya

how to ask for forgiveness

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It's important to know how to ask for forgiveness, not only because it's polite but because the relationship matters to you. You are forgiven when you forgive yourself. For the other to forgive you, you have to forgive yourself first. Also, you must ask in a way the other feels that you mean it and are sincere in your request. Don't say "please forgive me" just to get in the good books of the other.

Why forgive

To err is human, to pardon divine. I grew up knowing intrinsically that as human beings, we all make mistakes and so we must forgive ourselves and each other.

Coach Keya before making offering to Pele, the Hawaiian goddess

Coach Keya, after walking over the Kīlauea Iki crater in Hawaii

From my Hawaiian studies and practice of Huna and Ho'oponopono, I know there are three ways of making mistakes.

  1. By over giving - this is common when you love someone - you over-deliver. Elders do it with their young ones. Even lovers do it in a codependent relationship. Here, saying I am sorry is hard, because the one overdoing doesn't realize how they are crippling the other. The one in a codependent relation feels this is the way life is lived and love expressed. This needs deep work and you have to learn how to ask forgiveness of yourself, so you can be independent of your addiction to over giving in certain relations.If you are ready to let go of someone who is draining your energy, let's connect.
  2. By missing the path - when in a hurry or under stress this is a common phenomenon, you and I have missed the path quite a few times. In this case, you already know how to ask for forgiveness. Say I am sorry and mean it when you say it. Promise the other that you will remain mindful next time. Ask the other to help you the next time you err. Do something that you know the other enjoys to back up your words.
  3. Setting out with the intention to hurt - this is a minuscule percentage of the population, who wake up and leave home with the intention of hurting someone. This is where the law of the land comes into play and this article is not meant to support such acts. Your lawyer will let you know how to ask for forgiveness.

5 different ways on how to ask for forgiveness

seeking forgiveness

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It all depends on how deep is your hurt and the hurt inflicted upon the other. Maybe you don't have the time, or the words or the means or ability to forgive or ask for forgiveness. Following are a few tips that stood the test of time. It all depends on what works for you in your situation.

When you know on the inside like a puppy who knows it messed up, go ask for forgiveness. It's not that hard when you let go of any foolish pride. There are many ways, and here are a few sure shot ways depending on what you are comfortable with right now.

Usually, it's not easy to ask for forgiveness, even when you are feeling like it and know it is the right thing to do. It's called self-pride aka ego that keeps you or me from asking for forgiveness.

A few scenarios running through you is even they could ask for forgiveness. Or, why should I be the one always wondering how to ask for forgiveness. No matter what your internal chatter, if the relationship matters to you, be the large-hearted one and go say I am sorry, I love you, Please forgive me.

The following ways work for the second error (missing the path) mentioned above. When you make a mistake unknowingly or because of an emotional overwhelm you can do one of the following and rest assured that you are forgiven.

#1 Here's how to ask for forgiveness with flowers


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Nothing says it better than flowers. Flowers have a universal appeal. They speak a language like none other. Flowers represent beauty, fragrance, sweetness, softness, and purity. Flowers go a long way and say it gracefully without words.

When you are wondering how to ask for forgiveness, flowers will mute out all the wondering and wanderings through the word soup of your soul and let the other know what you mean.

Flowers aren't just for the fairer gender. You could give flowers to any man no matter what their age and you are bound to make their heart skip a beat and bring a smile on their lips.

Flowers have stood the test of time throughout ages and nationalities. All over the world flowers speak a language of their own. It says more than please forgive me. It says I love you, I care about you, I care about us, I made a mistake, and I want to make up because you are important to me.

#2 How to ask for forgiveness with a hug


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A hug goes a long way. It's two bodies uniting in a common theme of love and oneness. Ego dissolves and love rules. Borders and boundaries can't hold up when you hug.

A meaningful hug means the world to the hugger and the one being hugged. Children are calmed when they are held. When you hug someone you are seeking forgiveness from, they are hugging you back reciprocating your hug.

A hug releases happy hormones like oxytocin that beat stress. All it takes is twenty seconds. And, when you are feeling forgiven why would anyone quit the hug. So use a hug when you are wondering how to ask for forgiveness. You don't need words or flowers, just an act to initiate the act of forgiveness.

If the other person is still upset at you and won't hug you back, don't stop hugging until the other person feels better and hugs you back. Give the person time to process their hurt and return to where love lives.

#3 How to ask for forgiveness through a prayer

Forgiveness through prayer

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Sometimes the one you seek to forgive or seek forgiveness from has moved on. Either you have lost touch or they have moved on from the earth plane.

People move on physically leaving hurt lurking in the heart in the form of unforgiveness. You could still forgive the other and seek forgiveness from them through the power of prayer.

I am not a religious person and I know many who are not and yet it is a simple act of willing to forgive and move on from what hurts could begin with a prayer as a whisper or in silence. This is one of my areas of expertise. So let me know if you need help initiating this.

A prayer could be a silent moment when you ask the other to forgive you. In doing so, you allow them to move on as you do it too. It is a beautiful moment when you can be still and allow your heart to heal, and tears to wash away your pain from the hurt of the past. If you would like to learn more let me know.

#4. How to ask for forgiveness through action


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Do something so that the other person would believe you are seeking forgiveness. You have to know what's important for that person.

This works when you know what the person prefers and brings them joy. If they love a foot massage, don't start cooking or get dinner delivered from your favorite restaurant. Remember, it's what the other person enjoys. If they enjoy a good conversation, do what's needed to set the mood, and then start off with small requests which lead to a pleasant conversation.

The idea of forgiveness is for the forgiver and the forgiven to be one like when a river meets the ocean, or the sea reaches the shore. There is no line of demarcation, and all feels gentle and organic. Separation dissolves and oneness prevails. The idea of forgiveness is not to return to how it used to be, forgiveness is all about making it better for both of you.

#5. How to ask for forgiveness through a letter

Write a letter

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As a writer myself, this is my favorite way of asking for forgiveness. I write out many letters in my heart-space before I put my pen to paper or my fingers on a keyboard. There are many drafts to my letter before the final version gets delivered.

The best part of writing is the more you are focussed on seeking forgiveness, the more you write, the more words flow and the muddled up feelings keep dissolving and the metaphorical pond gets still and the water of emotions within you keep getting clearer with time.

To me, writing is like thinking, writing is like speaking.

Sometimes when it is time to ask for forgiveness, the person might have moved on and the act of writing a letter lets the essence of that soul-consciousness of the other know you are moving on and give them permission too.

The one you wish to seek forgiveness from also seeks forgiveness from you. Every relationship is like a two-way street. Who you love, loves you too. Who you want, wants you too, who you adore, adore you too. You get the drift. Go ahead, start that letter, no one is looking or will read your first draft if you don't want them to.

When you practice this art you will never wonder next time how to ask for forgiveness. Finally, in order for the other to forgive you, you have to forgive yourself first.

Compassionate heart in hands

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To connect, learn more on how to ask for forgiveness, and/or experience self-forgiveness book a clarity call now. I look forward to hearing from you.

Until then, stay safe and be well,

Signature Coach Keya

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