If you heard that it was possible to forgive someone in an instant and let go of long-held anger and resentment, you would probably be skeptical. It would be hard to believe because you’ve dealt with those feelings all of your life and you know how long they can linger. But what you may not realize is that there are reliable, predictable and teachable components to the forgiveness process–and they have nothing to do with the person who hurt you. They’re all about you and the story you tell yourself.
Let’s try an experiment. Think of two people in your life: Someone who made you angry but you’ve since forgiven and still like and someone who has hurt you that you don’t like and haven’t forgiven. After identifying these two people, think of them at the same time. As you see them in your mind’s eye, notice how you represent them differently.