Picture the person whom you resent in your mind. Where in your mental landscape is that person positioned in relation to you? Up close? To the side? Far away?  For many people, the image is close; sometimes even right up in their faces.

Now think of someone whom you once resented, but whom you no longer resent.  Where is that person’s image in relation to you?  Frequently, we position people whom we no longer resent, to the side or far away.  Family members may be positioned differently from old friends or bosses.

Now mentally, take the image of the person whom you currently resent, and relocate that image to the area where people whom you no longer resent are positioned.  If the image refuses to stay there, you probably have some objections to forgiving this person.

Forgiveness is one way to face the pain and distress of what other peopel have done to you.  Its purpose, though, is to allow you to walk in the beauty of God’s love.  Our goal in this life is to walk in love and to share love with those whom we encounter.

The last step to forgiveness is to wish the person whom you have forgiven well.  (Not at the bottom of the well!). Don’t define what “well” means.  We often don’t even know what is good for ourselves, let alone for others.  Surrender the person to the goodness of God, knowing that doing so is good for the person, good for your, and good for all of humanity.

Imagine a huge ocean of unconditional love. Where does that person need to be in relation to you in this ocean for you to also be at peace in the same ocean?  They might need to be beyond the horizon or in the next bay. How can you share the same ocean with this person?

Prayer: Everlasting God, help me live in the beauty of your love even in  the midst of the ugly things that have happened to me.  Make room for me in your ocean of love, and help me make room for them.  Amen

Adapted from books and videos by Episcopal Priest Rob Voyle who has written and counseled extensively in Christian forgiveness. http://www.clergyleadership.com/faculty/robBio.cfm