Heard an intriguing idea about Forgiveness from Fred Luskin PhD, director of Stanford Forgiveness Project. He said “Forgiveness is our resolution to the objection of life.” Luskin goes on to say that “Forgiveness is making peace when you didn’t get what you wanted.” Ouch.
Stripped of any religion, or deity based reasoning, his idea pointed out that it is our mistake, so we need to fix it! That’s right – its OUR mistake, not the “guilty” party’s doing.
I definitely gotta’ put on my big boy undies to live up to that one! This breaks most of our Momentum that we are used to feeling when we’ve been wronged. We want revenge, or an apology. But, the reasoning does make sense, read on.
Just take a minute, to stand back, to see “How” were you wronged?
For example, take an event that 99% of people would share the opinion – “This should NOT happen.” When it does- it crushes us. We stick a Label on it as “Unfair. Cruel. Insane. Ask anyone!” We doubt we can forgive the “guilty” party. But again, HOW were we wronged?
Our EXPECTATIONS for Life were shattered, that’s how. Our desires and hopes were ripped apart or unsettled. Our “Objection to life” is what happened. The Unexpected, the Horrible, the Unwanted happened. “We can’t forgive that!”
Like ANY stress, it only arrives because of MY broken expectations of Life.
It was my false belief in an expectation. Therefore, I regain my Power and I fix it.
Tough one to swallow, I know.
This idea of forgiveness is Tougher in my opinion than what some religions try to teach. It does not take the approach of looking down one’s nose to say “I’m a bit better than you – so I’ll… forgive… you“. No ego involved in this new approach. It means keeping two humans “even”, there is no “wrong-doer”. There is only a broken hope, or desire.
Ever hear of “vis medicatrix naturae”? (Latin lesson for the day.) It means “the healing power of nature”. The body can fix itself.
That’s what Forgiveness needs to be. Just as my body will repair and heal over when something has “surprised it” like falling off a bike. My body doesn’t continue to bleed and focus or whine about the terrible nasty concrete that hit it. It knows it has to heal itself. Just as I have to adjust and fix MY perception. If I want to continue growth I need to fix myself, not the concrete that offended me.
Remember that old adage? – “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” I can hold onto my label of “Being Wronged” (even if it is a world-wide agreed upon label- its still just OUR Expectations and Desires)- but that only affects me, not the other person.
- I will keep my power to feel good. Unexpected, unwanted, or “evil” labeled things may happen. It is only my wanting that is affected.
- I will not give away my ability to feel good to anyone.
- I forgive because I want to heal myself and feel good again.
- I forgive because we are all human and have our own wants, and they are bound to oppose each other at some point.
- I will forgive because I accept Life, with every surprise – wanted or unwanted.