How many times have you been told to “Forgive and Forget”? And now how many times have you heard “Easier said than done?” Marry the two together, and you have the reason why forgiveness is still such a difficult thing to tackle.
From childhood we’re taught that forgiveness is a good thing, but whats never discussed is how difficult it is to get to the point where you can let go of that muddy feeling. No one teaches you that the feeling for revenge or to make your position known to your offender might actually be a hard-wired animalistic reaction, and that letting go of grudges is by no means the natural reaction. In other words, if it was natural, we’d all be the masters of forgiveness and wouldn’t need religious texts, holidays, workshops, role models, therapists, and more to help us get there.
Even worse, we’re often taught that forgiveness is a common nicety; that forgiving those around your for transgressions or mistakes isn’t about you or them, but an effort to keep face in front of others, or not make the setting uncomfortable to those you share space with. From Pre-K when you got pushed on the playground, to the professional world where your colleague took credit for your hard work — you’ve always been pushed to forgive without exploring why, what it takes for a heatlhy forgiveness, and how to harness forgiveness as a strength for you, and not a weakness in front of others.
This week we’re exploring the linear trajectory of of why forgiveness is so difficult, how it is a learned and perfected train not innate to humans, and how the act can not only help you keep focused on your goals, but give you an upper hand when making decisions based on lessons learned.