The Forgiveness Process

But, of course, forgiveness is a process, an admittedly difficult one that often can feel like a rigorous spiritual practice. We cannot instantaneously force ourselves to forgive – and forgiveness happens at a different pace for everyone and is dependent on the particulars of any given situation. What we can do is create space for ourselves to forgive – and, perhaps ironically, part of that involves allowing ourselves to wrestle with our feelings of anger and pain to begin with. Once we are honest about our feelings, we can invite ourselves to consider alternative modes of viewing our pain and can see that releasing our grip on anger and resentment can actually be an act of self-compassion.

Telling the story, acknowledging what has happened and how you feel, is often a necessary part of forgiveness. Without that, we live in an artificial reality that is frozen in time, and sometimes woven from fabrication.

— Sharon Salzberg, Real Love, p. 196

Photo: Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, October 14, 2018

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