I'm kind of out of synch on doing things but I was reading the reflection for Day 8 on deciding to forgive and there was a discussion on that idea last night on the conference. I apologize as I don't remember who made the comment, but it was about how one "shifted" inside when they made the conscious "decision" to forgive. I thought that was really interesting and I was reflecting on that last night and this morning. I'm trying to wrap my head around it because I don't think "deciding to forgive" makes us forgive. I think forgiveness is a complicated equation with many factors. I think you can consciously decide that you are going to continue a relationship with this person. That is a willful act. But it doesn't flip the "forgiveness switch." I think about times I've genuinely accepted someone's apology but I still felt "funny" with that person in my gut. I still felt hurt and angry even though I decided to continue the friendship. But things felt different; things were different. I truly believe "Time" is a critical component in forgiveness. One needs time to process things. Time for the emotions to fall to a lower level and time for things not to feel so raw and for the hurt to subside. The old saying, "give things time to let the dust settle," I think is true. I think with time the high emotions fall and eventually you can stand on them and use them as part of a foundation to rebuilt that relationship into a new relationship. So making the decision to forgive, I think, is the first step--it gives us permission to forgive, permission to be vulnerable and open again, but there is a lot of work after that point because the "forgiveness" doesn't come instantly. Just some thoughts rattling around in my head.