I sometimes just don’t feel like forgiving. What do you suggest when I feel so “blah” about forgiving?

Forgiveness includes our feelings, but it includes so much more than that. As a moral virtue, it includes all that the other moral virtues, such as justice and patience and kindness, include: one’s will to engage in the virtue, one’s thoughts, and how one behaves.

When your feelings are “blah,” please focus on your will to forgive. Your will usually is stronger than your feelings. Also, try to focus on your thoughts (“I forgive Person A for…..”). Try to cultivate thoughts of the inherent worth of the other person, seeing him or her as worthwhile, not because of what was done to you, but in spite of this. Finally, try to behave in a forgiving way even if you do not feel like it. A smile or a kind word to the person is a step in the forgiving direction.

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Categories: Ask Dr. Forgiveness