Forgiveness evokes a wide range of emotions from people… including anger.
How can you possibly forgive that? is a common reaction.
After going into countless organizations where it seemed as if there were just “people-problems” I learned that often frustrations from unmet expectations led to deep resentment and anger.
The remedy: forgiveness and love.
When I first identified this, it was 2008, and my client thought I was off my rocker.
He was a salty CEO who had a team of executives that were at each other’s throats and the ship was sinking fast.
What I asked him to do was unconventional and risky, and he wasn’t buying it.
After countless meetings, he ceded and agreed to move forward with what I refer to as Operation Forgiveness.
While I wish I could say it landed well with the directors, it was rocky throughout the process and led to him firing two (2) of the eight (8) directors and demoting a third.
In the end, the truth was messy. However, the organization got right-side up, cleaned of a great deal of toxicity, and beauty and humanity were unearthed that hadn’t been accessible before.
Over the past 10+ years since then, my style has been refined – and so has my research.
Forgiveness is often misunderstood as meaning you accept or tolerate the behavior.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
On October 3rd, 2019, emotions ran the gamut at the trial of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger who was convicted of murder for the death of Botham Jean.
Whatever your viewpoint is on the case which garnered national attention around policing and violence against people of color, what was clear was the power of forgiveness and love.
At the sentencing hearing, Jean’s 18-year-old brother, Brandt, asked the judge for permission to hug his brother’s killer.
Then he said to Guyger, “I don’t event want you to go to jail. I want the best for you. Because I know that’s exactly what Botham would want.”
Most people can’t wrap their minds around this.
Back to that initial question: How can you possibly forgive that?
Forgiveness is the only thing that has the power to change the past and the future in an instant.
Think about that.
It can heal wounds, create understanding, and allow for a very different path forward.
Examining our own resistance to forgiveness is a valuable exercise that often finds us being attached to our “rightness” and someone else’s “wrong,” and how we may have been injured or affected.
The act of forgiveness does not change the truth of the situation. There usually IS right and wrong.
However, by holding onto that position of how we have been wronged, we keep it alive and feed it with our energy, attention, and emotion… and it ultimately depletes us.
Given the cost, wouldn’t it be valuable to use that energy and focus for a better purpose?
You have a big mission.
Choose what will serve that mission.
The Upside Challenge of the week is to examine where forgiveness could change your past and future either in business or your personal life.
Imagine what it could be on the other side of that forgiveness.
Have the courage to judge less and forgive more.
The world needs you and your brilliance.