I have been wondering: Does the forgiveness process itself change my life, or once I forgive, do I then have to consciously and deliberately try to change myself for the better?
The answer is both. Our research shows that as people forgive, they become more soft-hearted toward the offending person. This can include compassion, empathy, and even love (service to others). At the same time, when people forgive, they then start asking a new question: What is my new purpose in life now that I have experienced the depth and beauty of forgiving? This can lead to a motivation to help others.
For additional information, see 8 Reasons to Forgive.