Forgiveness is not about condoning bad behavior. It is about understanding it and letting go of the anger for something that happened which was almost inevitable based on the ignorance and lack of consciousness or competence of the perpetrator.
It shouldn’t have happened… in an ideal world. But this is not an ideal world.
This process allows us to step away somewhat from the negative emotions, acknowledge that perhaps what happened was unfortunate or wrong and yet it played out because the person knew no better. That ignorance and stupidity played a larger part perhaps rather than evil committed with full knowledge and enlightenment.
So this is how it goes. Ask yourself:
If they knew better (at that time) would they have done better? Be honest about ‘know’ – don’t say ‘well EVERYONE should know better’ get really clear on whether THAT person at THAT time had the skills, understanding or knowledge sufficient to fully comprehend the nature and consequences of their acts. Understand that most people – if they have this knowledge and ability – DO in fact use it to be better people.
So if your answer is YES – are we perhaps dealing with a psychosis (ie they ‘know’ but indeed have faulty brain wiring or a disorder which makes normal, healthy thinking and process impossible – so then your answer should really be NO) or is it full and intentional bad behaviour with full knowledge and ability. In this case it may take a lot more to forgive – and that process is not covered here today. However, it leaves a question – would a normal, functioning, competent person knowingly commit an act in full awareness of all the outcomes?
If your answer is NO – then . . .
If they didn’t know and weren’t at a level that they could do/be better – could they have actually behaved differently?
If not – really get clear about it – internalise that – let go, forgive and move on…
You may still need to process the trauma and hurt but it will be easier from this standpoint
All rights reserved © Melanie Harvard – the uncommon coach TM