Forget Forgiveness

I’m no fan of the word forgiveness. I’ve wondered if the path to it is a bit like a solo mountain trek on foot. It has breathtaking beauty, but – the plain awful pain of the path can also have you fearing you won’t come out of it intact.

Author/Researcher Brene Brown has observed there is grief in forgiveness. I was struck the first time I heard this, because when hurt is deep it can feel like a treacherous trip. Sharp-edged rocks, hard work, people only able to relate from their own vantage point. You feel alone unable to see over the next peak. It’s easy to feel misunderstood, angry, sad, overwhelmed, and generally insignificant.

I’ve made some peace with this forgiveness idea – after some deep dark nights. I did it by tossing out the word forgiveness. It’s passed around like something to achieve and I felt a bizarre pressure to try to make simple work of it. It’s used in a shiny, tidy – even trite way, too often, in my estimation.

You hear it’s for you and not the other person. But, that also means the weight of it is on you. Besides that, people get strangely invested in whether or not you’ve reached this benchmark for their own assessment of you. It’s, frankly, odd.

I found my personal solution in four steps: reality, release, and respect. From that, I have found relief.

I dwell on accepting the reality of what is and I consciously hand it over to the universe to release it. At that point, I focus on the idea of grace instead – a kind of respect. What a relief.

I recommend it. It works.