Rachel (30) thought she had forgiven Michael (35) for what he said about their mother as she lay dying in hospital. She really loved her brother and was shocked by the hardness that he had never seen in him before. She thought she had forgotten it. But on Christmas Day, when Michael and her father came in laughing from the pub, she thought to herself, “If you only knew what he said about Mum before she died Dad, if you only knew …” It spoilt her Christmas, and she was disappointed in herself, because she thought she had forgiven him.
If forgiveness is a conscious decision you make for your own benefit not to hold something against someone, it is possible for you to make that decision and still find that your feelings lag behind your conscious choice. We are not perfect. A decision to forgive can often be accompanied by discordant feelings. It doesn't mean you haven't forgiven. You don't have to feel forgiveness in order to make a choice about how to talk to yourself about something that has happened.
Forgiveness can be both a choice that we make at a moment in time, and an ongoing process that may need to take place on a daily basis for a number of months and years.
What do you think?