Forgiveness is tricky. It’s very difficult to get from a place of anger and resentment to forgiveness. The best way I know how to forgive is to try to find empathy for the respective person or people–attempting to put myself in their shoes and see the world from their point-of-view. This is, of course, a process and it takes time, patience and fortitude (and the amount of time is commensurate with the level of resentment), but it’s usually worked for me.
I jinxed myself. Friday night we were entertaining another family at our house. My daughter and I were affectionately snuggling and hugging. One of our guests (the mom, also a mother to a daughter) made a comment about how she hopes to one day be as close as we are; and in response my daughter or I said that although we may fight, I make it a point not to yell or raise my voice at her. JINX!
With children, apologies are so simple. Usually a grown up–a parent or teacher, for example–say when it is called for: “say you’re sorry for hurting Johnny’s feelings.” Oh, OK. And then it happens, perhaps begrudgingly or with a pout, and 1-2-6 it’s over. Everyone is back at the sand table playing next to one another until the next infraction.