This is Part 4 of 4 in the series Forgiveness: One of the Hardest (And Most Important) Things We Can Do for Ourselves and Our Relationships.
Forgiveness (and the underlying grieving required) is one of the hardest (and most important) things we can aspire to do, in part because of how it touches so many vulnerable places within us. Whether a relational infraction is little or big, the work of forgiveness (of working through our pain) is the same: We have to learn how to let our self matter, without trying to make the other person matter less. This distinction is both a hallmark of real forgiveness and a necessary prerequisite to reconciliation. In essence, we cannot healthily move towards reconciliation until we have worked through (or at least begun working through) the pain and grief of forgiveness.