Barriers to Forgiveness, Part 6: Presuming that You Have Finished the Process

“Ahhh…..I’m glad that’s over!!”  How many times have I heard that….and even said it to myself.  We sometimes fool ourselves into thinking that if we go through a forgiveness process, such as the one Barriersoutlined in the book, The Forgiving Life, then all is well and we are healed.

Yet, because forgiveness is a process that takes time, we cannot presume that if we go through that process once with a particular person in mind, then the journey is over.  Forgiveness is not that simple for the deep injustices of life.

I was talking with a psychiatrist friend recently and he said this: “Sometimes I tell my patients that they will have to be working on the process of forgiveness for the rest of their lives.”  He was not implying journey 4that they will never reach the goal of forgiveness.  Instead, he was suggesting two things: a) Even when we have forgiven, the anger can creep back into our hearts and that is the time to open the door once again to forgiveness and b) As we forgive, we go deeper into its meaning and in new discoveries about the process; thus, as we continue to develop we have not finished forgiveness or perhaps forgiveness has not yet finished with us.

So, do not grow discouraged if you have been slammed by injustice.  The road to forgiving will get easier and more familiar…..but at the same time you may be on that road for the rest of your life.  Take heart because this is not a burdensome road.  What happened to you may be burdensome, but the process of discovery about whom the other person is, about who you are as a person, and about humanity itself is filled with fresh and healing insights.  After all, when you walk the path of forgiveness, you are walking in love.  This is not such a bad path to be on, right?

Enjoy the journey of forgiveness.

Robert

4 thoughts on “Barriers to Forgiveness, Part 6: Presuming that You Have Finished the Process

  1. Samantha September 13, 2014 / 2:57 pm

    Never thought about forgiveness this way before. I guess forgiveness is not finished with me yet! Thanks for the valuable insight.

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  2. Neva September 15, 2014 / 7:41 pm

    Samantha, I agree with you. I never had thought this way before and it is both a comforting perspective and a scary perspective. It is comforting because it gives me permission to heal without the pressure to get it done before it is time. It is scary because of all the time involved. It seems to be a truthful perspective.

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  3. Chris September 18, 2014 / 8:00 pm

    This barrier ties into the one on pride. We may presume we are finished because we see ourselves as very successful forgivers who do not need much time to accomplish the task.

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  4. Oiefa September 22, 2014 / 7:36 am

    I never thought about this before. I guess we can fake ourselves out thinking all is well and all is finished when it isn’t. This ties into your later blog post about perseverance. Without perseverance we can fake ourselves out even more.

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