Forgiveness is something on which we all need to work,
but it is a process that takes time and courage. It is easy to
SAY you forgive someone, but actually DOING it – if
you’re honest with yourself – is another matter. One of the most useful models for forgiveness that I have encountered comes from the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. In Step 8, an individual identifies the wrongs of his or her past so that they can make amends to everyone they’ve hurt and repair the damage they’ve done; then, they devise a plan for creating healthy relationships moving forward.
Here are some helpful tips used by those in recovery to
making amends with others:
Discover how many people you have hurt and how you’ve
hurt them.
Pay attention to what you discover about yourself along the way.
Don’t be defensive and blame people for how they’ve
treated you. Forgive them, because without forgiving
others, you cannot forgive yourself.
Avoid judgments of others. Be objective when evaluating
your defects as well as those of others.
Be incredibly honest, even if what you discover is painful to accept.

Finally, you don’t need to be a member of AA to engage this process of forgiveness and healing – maybe just a simple note, email, or phone call can help heal a broken relationship if both parties are open to doing so. And remember Sirach’s advice, “Forgive your neighbor’s
injustice [and] your own sins will be forgiven.”