Occasionally, after beginning the process of forgiving, I decide I’m not ready to continue. Is that okay? Really, I almost feel compelled to carry on, particularly if I promise the other person that I will make an effort to forgive. Forgiveness is a very personal thing, and I dislike being forced to give it.

I want to politely challenge an assumption you have. You are still in the process of forgiving even if you have changed your mind and decided not to forgive at this time. Occasionally, that process leads us to take much-needed pauses.

It takes work to forgive, so please take a guilt-free break when you need it.

Consider it in this manner. Let’s say you are embarking on a multi-day cross-country bicycle journey. Have you stopped being on the journey after the first day, when you put your bicycle away and head to bed? Naturally, the response is no—you haven’t stopped. You are just at a point in your journey where you need to take a break.

Consider forgiveness in the same manner. There isn’t a race to the finish. Forgiveness, on the other hand, is a process that requires patience and downtime. You have a choice. Resist the pressure to be constantly vigilant when it comes to your forgiveness. If you allow yourself to take a break, recharge, and then go again, you’ll probably enjoy the journey more.

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