Indignation and retribution are easy; forgiveness is difficult.
Our natural inclination is to lash out against those who we think have wronged or cheated us. We want the wrong doers to get what’s coming to them. We want justice.
I’ve often wondered what the actual difference is between justice and revenge. My conclusion: justice is revenge codified and restrained. Justice seems more civilized, more rational, because it keeps us from going too far and unleashing our rage and wrath.
Instead, why don’t we rise to a higher level and just, “Fuhgeddaboudit”?
I believe forgiving is righteous because of the 3 R’s involved: Restraint, Reframing, and Reconciliation.
Restraint keeps us from making bad matters worse.
The inclination toward wrath and rage might make us feel better in the short run, but the retribution usually has collateral damage. In the end, the escalation spills over onto others who enlist in the cause of one side or the other. When we step back from the edge and lower our weapons–whether they be words, blades, bullets, or bombs–we can find the frame of mind to understand what is happening and why.
Reframing looks past the surface wrong and seeks to understand both the heat of the moment and heart of the matter.
Viewing the situation from all points of view leads to a deeper understanding of the real and imagined intentions of those involved. More often than not, we find those whom we swear intended us ill, had no such intention. Although they were acting according to their selfish interests, they were not specifically trying to harm us. Reframing is a time to learn, understand, and grow, and it leads directly to the third R.
Reconciliation is complete and absolute forgiveness because it brings the offending party back into full relationship.
Reconciliation calls upon our highest goodness to rebuild relationships instead of building higher walls. Reconciliation is the ultimate, “Fuhgeddaboudit,” and only the offended party can grant that.
If our best effort is to settle for justice, then we have to settle for something less than our best selves.
The INPowered leader shows the way to reconciliation–ultimate forgiveness.
This holiday season give the gift that keeps on giving back. Reach out to someone with whom you are estranged because of unforgotten wrongs and tell them, “Fuhgeddaboudit.”