Over the course of this post and the next, which I’ll publish tomorrow, we’re going to take a look at forgiveness. We’re going to examine how it’s both a decision and a process. In today’s post we’ll focus on the fact that first, forgiveness is a decision that must be made.
Let’s talk about what forgiveness isn’t. It’s not an emotion. You don’t all of a sudden have a feeling that you want to forgive. Instead, it’s a conscious decision you make. Forgiveness is a decision you make with your rational mind. You decide to overcome your feelings of anger and disappointment.
I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. The decision to forgive is just the first step in a longer process that we’ll discuss in more detail in tomorrow’s post. For now I want you to realize that it is important that you get to a point where you can make this decision. It’s the all-important first step towards forgiving those around you. Without making the decision to forgive nothing is going to change and the process of healing can’t begin.
It’s important that you realize that this has to be a firm decision you’re making. It’s easy to say “I forgive you” without really meaning it. Sometimes we say it because we think that’s what’s expected of us. Sometimes we say it because we think it’s the easy way out of an uncomfortable situation. But if we say it, either to ourselves or others, without really meaning it, nothing will change.
For real change to happen and for the process of forgiveness to truly begin, you have to mean it. The motive behind your decision to forgive is also very important. You have to choose forgiveness for the right reasons. While forgiveness isn’t an emotion, you have to feel it in your heart. Once you choose to forgive, and you embrace it, you can start to heal. You can learn to forgive the wrongs done to you and the pain others have caused you. You can forgive for the things and people you’ve lost as a result of the actions of others. You may have to remind yourself for a while of this decision of forgiveness, but once you make this whole-hearted decision, you’ve taken the first all-important step in the process. Are you ready to make the decision to forgive? If so, don’t forget to stop by tomorrow when we’ll talk about the process of forgiveness.
ACTION FOR TODAY:
Go through the rest of your list. Are there people just not worth trying to make amends with? Whether bridges have been burned and you have no way to contact them or meeting with them will put you in a dangerous situation, keep note of who these people are. We will address them in the upcoming days.