The emphasis here is on the word learning. The reason that people cannot forgive is that their anger has worn a deep groove in the mind, and like water seeking a downward slope, their minds find this groove so easily that new channels of feeling cannot be formed.
Forgiveness is a feeling.
We are used to thinking of it as a moral duty or as a sign of maturity. True as those things may be, if you cannot feel the experience of forgiving, you haven’t achieved the real thing.
Learning to make a new groove for your feelings is the key. Once again, the steps aren’t mystical. You can forgive anyone who has hurt you by taking the following actions:
- Choose the intent to forgive, even though your feelings are still hurt.
- Have the intention to let new feelings come in.
- Encourage even the slightest hints of new feeling.
- Experience the old hurt and anger, but always say, “This isn’t me. This is not what I want anymore.”
- Keep challenging the old hurt with reasons why it should be replaced.
- Be patient and let yourself experience both the old and the new feelings until the old one begins to fade.