In organizational and personal relationships alike, there are moments
where the only way to move forward is to forgive. While it is the right thing to do, it isn’t always easy.
Why is it hard to forgive? Our human consciousness has difficulty living in the
present moment. We don’t let go! We have evolved to protect ourselves,
trying to prevent repeated exposures and being hurt again.
Why should we forgive? It clears us from the burden of living with grudges.
When we forgive, we can deepen our relationships and create our own
happiness and have peace of mind.
Why not seek revenge? Retaliation further deteriorates the relationship. As
Confucius said, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves,”
explaining how nothing positive ever comes from holding onto anger. And in
the workplace, grudges create a hostile environment makes everyone unhappy.
It’s like being stuck in quicksand and the only way out is to grab ahold of your opponent. Also, this forces other people
to “take sides.”
How do I start the process of forgiveness? Accept the initially uncomfortable feelings and make an active decision to forgive the individual and possibly even let them know that you forgive them.
Feel compassion for the offender. This will then allow you to reflect on the
situation, release the negative feelings and move past it.
Remember forgiveness doesn’t always mean resolution but it can facilitate understanding and empathy between two people.