Create a list, taking no more than five minutes, of all the people you have not forgiven for their words and actions that have negatively impacted your life.

If you recall someone who has done only minor things–that’s okay–list them, too. This is your chance to get ’em.

After five minutes, consider that the list is finished.

Ask Yourself:

(If you have to, it is okay to merely pretend that you know the answers to these questions.)

Why did I forget to list certain persons that only now come to mind?

Did I feel guilty while doing this list? If so, why? If not, why not?

Were there certain people that should have been on my list, but I just could not bring myself to do it?

Did making this list strongly evoke some of the feelings I have about these people?

Is there a part of me that is always, subconsciously, carrying a grudge or festering or actively rerunning negative memories?

Is there a relationship between forgiveness and my physical well-being?

If I am not on this list, why not? Or, if I am on this list, how can I forgive myself for everything, now, immediately?

What would it feel like to forgive myself? Can I practice at least having that feeling while I am trying to forgive myself?

If I could forgive, completely, all of those on the list and never again think about their past actions, how would that change my life? If there were such a button I could push that would magically accomplish this, would I push it? Should I? Could I?

What is the way, even if I do not do so, to “push the button?” How much effort would it take? Would it be worth the price? What is it costing me to not push it?