Sophia: And please recall that you do not practice any virtue in isolation from the other virtues. As you practice forgiveness, you should practice justice and patience and wisdom, for example. Here is a general rule to follow as you begin to examine who wounded your heart: You need not forgive everyone who has ever been unfair to you, at least not right away. Focus on those who have actually done some damage, who have actually wounded your heart. As you examine your life, you will remember many people who let you down, insulted you, embarrassed you, and disappointed you in some way. It is legitimate to forgive each of them in time, but for now focus on those who have hurt you deeply enough that you can say, “Yes, that person, by his or her actions, has wounded my heart.”
Inez: I’m feeling kind of overwhelmed at the moment.
Sophia: What is it that seems so big to you?
Inez: The mountain of people. When you’ve lived a while you build up a lot of wounds. Where to begin?
Sophia: We can take it systematically, one person at a time. I recommend that we first make a list of all who have seriously wounded you in your life, from early childhood on to the present time. You need not forgive everyone on that list prior to your turning to forgiving Sterling. Although it may be in your best interest to first forgive certain people, such as your mom and dad or others in your family when you were growing up. These patterns of interactions and the wounds from them can and do make a difference in how we react to other people now.
Enright, Robert D. (2012-07-05). The Forgiving Life (APA Lifetools) (Kindle Locations 2140-2149). American Psychological Association. Kindle Edition.
Enright, Robert D. (2012-07-05). The Forgiving Life (APA Lifetools) (Kindle Locations 2135-2140). American Psychological Association. Kindle Edition.