When you are ready to forgive
How Can I Forgive You?
Janis Abrahms Spring (2005) (book summary)
Forgiveness involves acceptance.
The 10 steps to acceptance are:
1. You honor the full sweep of your emotions
2. You give up the need for revenge but continue to seek a just resolution
3. You stop obsessing about the injury and re-engage with life
4. You protect yourself from further abuse
5. You frame the offenders behavior in terms of his own personal struggles
6. You look honestly at your own contributions to the injury
7. You challenge your assumptions about what happened
8. You look at the offender apart from his offense, weighing the good against the bad
9. You carefully decide what kind of relationship you want with him
10. You forgive yourself for you own failings.
There is another, higher level of genuine forgiveness, that involves working with the offender. The offender is irrelevant to the 10 steps of acceptance. If the offender wants to try to apologize, you can work out the dance for genuine forgiveness.