I remember a colleague saying, "Kristin, timing is everything, and this is not the time," when I offered her a job that would require a move to another state. Her family situation didn’t allow her to move at that time, but she left open the possibility that the timing could be right in a difference circumstance. I thought it was a wise statement, not just about jobs but about most decisions in life. The timing has to be right.
The same can be said about choosing to forgive. There are times in your life when the timing will be right for you to forgive and there will be times when you are not yet ready to forgive. In my new book, A Forgiveness Journal: Letting Go of the Past, I teach a seven-step process to forgive. I know this process can work for you as it has for me, but I also know that the timing must be right for you. This is not a race to see who can become the most spiritually advanced the quickest. Source/God has all the time in the universe - in more ways than one! - and Source is patiently waiting for the right time to nudge you, to entice you, to motivate you to forgive. In my case, Source waited patiently for the time when I was desperate to find an alternative to feeling mad, bad and sad about a particular incident and person in my past. I was so weary of carrying grief, anger and self-recrimination, so tired of re-creating those feelings every time I remembered the person and events that hurt me, and so mad at myself for not being able to just forget about it. It took me nine months to get to this point of desperation, and then Source blessed me with the inspiration to create the seven-step process of forgiveness. I used it to free myself of the emotional entanglements that were binding my spiritual and emotional feet, releasing me to walk again with a spring in my step.
It may take you nine seconds, nine days, nine months, nine years or ninety years to be ready to forgive.
That’s OK - really OK. The first person you need to forgive is yourself - for not being ready to forgive within the timeframe that you, a mere mortal, think is right. It’s also OK to never forgive. Source does not judge you for that, nor should anyone else. God waits patiently for you to live in love, and forgiveness is a building block in constructing a life of love. You are assured of God’s love whether you forgive or not, so your decision to forgive is simply to assist yourself in this life.
I have a friend who is particularly good at being patient with herself, and at forgiving herself for not being ready. In her case, it was being ready to quit smoking. She tried to quit five times in five years, and each time except the last was unsuccessful. I watched her both during and after each of her failed attempts to kick the habit and was filled with admiration of the self-love she showed each time. "It’s OK," she would tell me with assurance. "I’m just not ready yet to quit smoking. I’ll be ready sometime." When the time was right, she quit smoking.
It’s that kind of patience and self-love we need in contemplating the decision to forgive. It’s OK, you’ll be ready sometime.
In the meantime, you might go ahead and purchase my beautiful book, put in on your bedside table, look at it every night before going to bed. In time, I know you’ll be ready to give forgiveness a try.