This is a process of love—this transformation of the self that we are participating in. We are learning how to love more genuinely, more deeply, and more selflessly—which is all redundant if we understand that there is only one kind of real love (the genuine, deep, and selfless kind). We are learning how to show our love more effectively to our children so that they feel our love. And long before children came into the scene, we’ve been fine-tuning the way we show our love to our spouses/co-parents-to-be so that they, feel our love and know that it’s true. As we walk this road of self-improvement, it becomes more and more apparent that we cannot do this love thing if we are not willing to participate in the forgiveness thing. It goes hand-in-hand. And it’s a daily exchange. No one will ever be so perfect, so right-acting that they never do anything to disappoint us. We get to choose how we make an issue out of the things that negatively affect our feelings (meaning that we don’t have to make an issue out of every little thing but that we have a choice in the battles we fight with the people we love). And what this means is that we will find that we will end up letting go way more often than we actually make an issue out of things. Of course we don’t ignore or deny real wrong-doing. That is a leg of our journey that we have since travelled—and moved on from. But once mutual respect is there, we can let go of most if not all of the trivial grievances we encounter in our day simply because we have put things in a proper perspective. Whether it’s our children or our spouse/co-parent, we can love them with overflowing love because we aren’t holding anything against them—even past real offences. We still address things that need addressing in the present, yes. But we let it go at the get-go so that there isn’t any carry-over in the day-to-day (or even in the moment-to-moment). If we are holding on to offences, large or small, in hopes that that will somehow motivate our loved ones to take action about it, then we are doing things backwards (which almost never, if not always never, works). Forgiveness is the evidence of the fact that our love is a genuine, deep, and selfless one.