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The Heart of the Matter

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

“It took about 42 years to write this and about 4 minutes to sing.”

I happened across Don Henley’s Heart of the Matter song and his introduction to it on Youtube.

I think that captures the essence of forgiveness. This skill-- is a process, a decision that is made again and again. It can take a long time to get there.

Forgiveness is one of my favorite skills from RO-DBT (and the most difficult). I have seen how hard it is to wrap your mind around this learning and how vitally important it is for moving forward in life.

Choosing forgiveness is hard.

It is chosen for yourself, not another person.

It allows you to move forward and be present in this moment. What has happened, happened. There is no amount of anger, or sadness that changes what was. Being able to grieve the losses of the way you thought the world worked and finding ways to let go of the emotional intensity that keeps you stuck in the past allows for new ways of being in the world.

Forgiveness is sometimes the hardest when it is what you need to access for yourself, for your own past choices and behaviors.

Choosing forgiveness does not mean that you will forget what happened, put yourself in the same situation again, or be willing to be hurt again.

I am curious about a forgiveness theme song that you might have. If you feel like sharing, email me at

Here is the link to the song.

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