What do you suggest I do when trying to help a friend start the forgiveness process so that she does not feel personally condemned?  In other words, the person might reason this way: Why is she suggesting this to me?  Do I appear overly angry or something?

A key is to realize that forgiveness is a choice and so you can start by gently having a conversation about your friend’s inner world relative to the injustice(s) against her.  Is she having emotional discomfort?  Is she restless because of too much anger?  Inner pain can be a great motivator for change.  If she tells you that her inner world is not healthy, then your providing a possible solution in forgiving may get her attention.  You will be able to ascertain her interest if she wants to discuss a solution to her inner pain.  At that point you can suggest forgiveness, but please be sure to discuss what forgiveness both is (a moral virtue of being good to those who are not good to you) and what it is not (it is not excusing, forgetting, necessarily reconciling, or abandoning justice).

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