Forgiveness is one of those ideals that I think many of us aspire to. We want to be the person who is “big enough” to let it go. To forgive. To move on. And with the little stuff that life throws at us, we can generally do that. Be the Bigger Person. Suck it up. Not make it a big deal. Get past it. Forgive. Move on.
But BIG things? The really big, black, bad things that someone has done to us? Well that’s a whole heap harder to get past. If someone has been an absolute sh*t to us then forgiving becomes very tough indeed. We can carry that weight of unforgiveness around in our hearts for a VERY long time. Why? Because if we forgive, it somehow makes their behaviour or choices okay. We might in some way be endorsing what occurred, and we sure as hell don’t want to do that! We don’t want the wrong to become a right. Wrong is wrong. So, we don’t forgive. We resist and resist. And we carry that weight of resistance around with us.
That weight in our hearts can get heavy and tiring. And it can block us from good stuff coming in. It can make us too scared to speak up or love again or make that bold choice. It becomes an anchor dragging behind us even though the sh*tty experience that created it is long gone.
And yet, we know somewhere, deep down, that if we could forgive and release the experience it would be better for us. Lighter. Freer.
But how do we forgive, or even consider it, when they are so wrong, wrong, wrong? How do we forgive when we are IN THE RIGHT, godammit?!
Here’s the thing.
There’s continuing to fight The Corner Of Rightness v’s forgiving and releasing the experience.
Look at continuing to fight the Corner Of Rightness. What benefit does it get us? Well, it keeps us feeling right. And on the moral high ground. It’s nice up there. It feels kinda good. However. It keeps us STUCK. It keeps us stuck in the sh*tty experience of The Thing that we can’t forgive. Which doesn’t serve us at all.
What does forgiving do? Forgiving drops us from fighting The Corner Of Rightness so hard all the time. Why is that important? Because fighting The Corner Of Rightness ultimately becomes a pointless activity that doesn’t change the other person’s behaviour – it just entrenches us in justifiable miserableness. So it just makes us stuck. Yes, you have every right to be upset/furious/betrayed/utterly miserable by that experience – but at the end of the day – you are still miserable.
So what’s the alternative? I forgive? I drop trying to force rightness. I just drop that completely. And you know what…that doesn’t make him/her any less wrong. He still has to carry that burden of wrongness. The wrongness doesn’t just evaporate. It’s still out there.
It’s about knowing I don’t need to be constantly banging the drum of rightness to make someone else wrong. If they are wrong, they are wrong. If they are a liar, they are a liar. If they are a thief, they are a thief. I don’t have to keep asserting they are. If that dog is black, I don’t have to keep pointing out the blackness of the dog, or indeed the dog at all. The dog is just out there, being black. It’s nothing to do with me, that blackness belongs to the dog, not me.
So – I stop. I stop banging The Drum Of Rightness. I don’t need to be banging it the whole time to make someone else wrong. If they are wrong, they are wrong. That’s enough: I can withdraw my energy from that situation.
Forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person’s wrongness. It is not something you give to them to make their wrong okay or right. It is something you give to yourself. It’s the removal of banging the Drum Of Rightness of justifiable misery so you no longer have to be miserable about it. It doesn’t make them right. It just means you can change your focus to banging the drum of rightness in your own life – focus on what you have, and want to have, that feels right and good, and energising fun, clean and fresh. Forgiving is about focusing on what’s going right with you, independent of someone else’s wrongness. It’s letting the wrongness just fade out there into the atmosphere, and bringing your attention to creating the life of a Bigger Person with a Bigger Life.
Is there something in your life you need to forgive and be that bigger person?