Let Forgiveness Flow

kristina leonardi
6 min readJul 18, 2023


Free yourself and others with this powerful act

Photo credit: Kristina Leonardi

The Fourth of July holiday was mostly a trip down memory lane for me, which was incredibly healing and heartening.

I’ve always been a saver. I keep everything, and because I grew up in the prehistoric analog world, I have a lot of photos. Back then my father, and then I, took pictures of everything using a camera and film! And I kept many cards and letters. Yes, letters where people sat down and wrote in their own handwriting (no such thing as email or texting back then) what was going on in their world, asking you to tell them what is going on in yours and, as I discovered, expressing love and affection that I was unable to receive at the time — whether platonic or romantic.

These old-world technologies, combined with new ones like the interwebs and social media, allowed for some time traveling that Doc Brown and Michael J. Fox would be impressed by. If you are interested in one of the fun, wild, heartwarming stories with a great ’80s musical score, see my highlight reel called Memory Lane on IG.

But the most surprising and profound experience was being able to find the name of and track down a person who I had felt I treated terribly decades ago. From time to time I would think about the situation with regret, and I was now finally able to apologize. The person was so magnanimous and gracious in their response that it released something I had no idea was subconsciously so heavy within me, and I cried on and off for the next 24 hours. I felt 100 pounds lighter and free as a result of being released from a jail I had apparently put myself in for an unreasonably and unnecessarily long sentence. What. A. Gift.

It was such a striking lesson in how we punish ourselves and in the power of forgiveness, of ourselves and each other. And the timing was uncanny because days prior I had come across a version of this story about Nelson Mandela and one of his guards. Now, if I felt that way about my *little* (but big for me) situation, it’s unfathomable to me how this might have felt for that guard. As I mention in my IG post, it was not lost on me that this occurred during the week we celebrate freedom, and I am now recounting it to you as we approach Mandela Day on July 18.

Spending time in the town I grew up in and going though all these artifacts — including things like old athletic awards from high school, college notebooks, elementary school reports, and artwork from when I was in kindergarten (check out some of them in my Random FunFacts highlight reel) — were a treasure map, a time capsule and a portal to who I am today. This opened up internal space and reinvigorated external connections, even if some were just remembered fondly in my mind.

It gave me a richer, more complete understanding and picture of my life so far and reinforced that the things I value in life are priceless, even if they might take up square footage! And I only scratched the surface.

Speaking of memories, they are strange things. What you remember, what others remember, what the actual “evidence” is, and how you interpret it are all so subjective and filled with gaps. It’s been fascinating (and gratifying for having kept stuff) to learn what I do or don’t recall of my past and checking in with others who were a part of it to see what their recollections are. These days, I write everything down in calendars, journals and take lots of photos and screenshots — so I can refer back and have an image to jog my memory, since the days just seem to evaporate and move faster and faster, blending into one another, with weeks often feeling like months.

So, I recommend if you can to take some time to slow down this summer and do a review of your life’s recent and distant past in whatever way you can — you never know what surprises it holds, what wounds it can heal, or what reconnections will spark joy. Perhaps your journey can also benefit others, the way mine did (especially with folks on my personal FB page!), by reaching out to or sharing with them, allowing them to revisit their own lives and build bridges with their own memories and relationships. And it can also help with letting go of people and/or things with clarity and integrity.

In an ever-increasing digital world and with the advent of AI, of which we ain’t seen nothin’ yet, what are going to be the things that make us human, that wake us up to the reality of why we are here, and more importantly who we are and who we are here with? And, how we interact with other humans, whether they are familiar or not …

I feel this is going to be the crux of the next several years or decades, so the more of us who can really dig into our lives and how we are using and experiencing them, the more we can maintain humanity’s advantage over a machine-made existence. We must deepen our hearts and strengthen the connection to our souls.

If this is something you want to explore, or you are at a crossroads, or are just feeling stuck and not sure why or how to move forward in your career or life, consider working with me one on one as a coach.

If you are looking for a tool to help you with that, check out my book (with affirmations like I FORGIVE MYSELF AND LET GO OF THE PAST and I CONNECT TO & OPERATE FROM THE HIGHEST & BEST PART OF WHO I AM) Say It To Make It: Affirmations to Empower Your Heart, Mind, Spirit and Soul. It’s a great way to nourish yourself, so grab a copy and add some positive vibes to your daily life!



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Kristina Leonardi is a nationally recognized career and life coach, speaker and author who for over 15 years has empowered individuals to make lasting professional and personal changes aligned with their true passions and talents while fulfilling their role in the world at large.With a holistic and personal growth-oriented approach, she has helped hundreds of men and women over the past decade improve their job performance, enter or re-enter the job force, change careers, better manage their time and stress, and live happier, more meaningful, balanced lives. Her specialty is working with people who feel stuck or are in transition and can help you clarify exactly what you want to do, identify blocks, issues, and patterns in your way, and offer proven ideas, resources, and action steps to get you there.

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kristina leonardi

Speaker,Coach,Writer.Very Tall. Expertise:People. All kinds, what makes 'em tick, how they fit into the world, how they can best connect to themselves + others.