To be honest, I think the big factor for me was my faith and my understanding that after all Jesus had suffered to offer me forgiveness, I could not refuse to offer it to others. But some was harder than others. The mean kids? They were kids, just like me. Kids don't really grasp the effects of their actions. The teenage boy? Sort of the same thing. He was most likely drunk, and who knows what kind of a life he might have had to endure. The family friend was tough. I got good and mad about that. But I also saw him for what he was after he had to step down from his position over an A with his secretary - he was a pathetic, unhappy, rudderless man who really deserved more pity than bitterness. Mom? Well, that's a work in progress. Her love for me overall generally balances out the crap...but strong boundaries help that.

I don't see forgiveness as an event, or even a feeling. I see it as a choice of thought. And sometimes that choice has to be made over and over before it "sticks." It's something that frees ME.

Ugh, Now I sound like a therapist!