Is it the case that to forgive someone that I actually have to have positive feelings toward her? I have been in a rather neutral emotional state toward her for a long time. Does this mean I have not forgiven? And is it possible to just remain in this neutral emotional state for the rest of my life?

Please think of forgiveness as a process. This means that there are different degrees of forgiveness, which can range from diminishing some anger (and only this) all the way up to a love for the one who hurt you (in the sense of being willing to serve him or her). Having neutral emotions is movement, if you started with deep anger. This does not mean that you will remain there. Movement toward positive emotions regarding the person may take time and work. If you keep working at the process of forgiveness and are motivated to continue, I doubt that you will remain in this neutral state for the rest of your life.

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Categories: Ask Dr. Forgiveness

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