Sometimes we think of forgiveness as an all-or-nothing kind of thing –
once done, forever done. But forgiveness is most often a process in which we make progress one step at a time.
Willing is not the same as wanting. We may be willing to forgive but not want to. The injury done us may be so painful and fill us with such rage that forgiveness just can't be all-or-nothing. What we can do, however, is start. We can start thinking one forgiving thought a day. We can resist one hateful, resentful thought a day. We can continue further by acting out, however small that action may be, a forgiving action every day. The process can continue as we make a list of all the reasons why not forgiving is hurting us more than it hurts others. It can go on as we learn to pray for those we are trying to forgive.
All of a sudden we will find that the inattainable forgiveness has been accomplished. But of course it wasn't sudden at all.
Earnie Larsen & Carol Larsen Hegarty
Days of Healing, Days of Joy