In the first film I created, Leap!, forgiveness is one of the topics discussed by myself, DanMillman and other authors, scientists, psychologists, etc.
I discovered forgiveness has many interpretations and benefits.
Hi Dan. What is forgiveness to you?
Forgiveness involves different things for different people. For some, it’s saying the words, â€œI forgive you.â€ For others, whether or not the words are ever spoken, forgiveness is a heartfelt wave of compassion, a moment of understanding, a recognition of the difficulties and human limitations and frailties of another who as wronged or betrayed us in some way.
Frankly, I don’t much like this whole idea of â€œforgiving others.â€ There is an arrogance to this idea: â€œI forgive you for having wronged me.â€ â€œI forgive my parents for having wounded meâ€ and all that. If we observe ourselves very carefully and realistically, we may notice that our most important order of business is not in forgiving others, but in asking forgiveness. This seems to me the more worthwhile goal to pursue.
Why should someone forgive and what are the benefits of forgiving Dan?
Someone once said that â€œresenting someone is like letting them live rent-free in our head.â€ I also like the words of Jimmy Buffet: â€œBreathe in, breathe out, move on.â€ Life’s too short. The fact is that people mess up. You do. I do. It’s all part of being human.
When someone forgives, are they condoning certain actions?
Forgiveness has nothing to do with playing the role of victim. It is simply the recognition that something or someone hurt us. The experience leaves open the possibility for healing that relationship nonetheless but acknowledging their role (and ours) in what happened.
I find the 12-step program a good model in this whole area of forgiveness. When we wrong someone, we need to take specific steps of acknowledging, specifically, what we did, and then making amends and doing what we can to correct or compensate for it. This completes the healing that involves forgiving self and others.
Must someone forgive if a person continues to hurt them?
If someone wrongs me once, it’s their responsibility. If they wrong me in the same way a second time, it’s my responsibility. It takes two to tango. So by all means, turn the other cheek. Once.
What if someone doesn’t want to forgive?
Then don’t. But recognize that we may resent and â€œpunishâ€ others, and in doing so, we also punish ourselves in the process.
What if someone forgives and doesn’t forget?
I like the idea of â€œforgive, but don’t forget.â€ Forgiving is learning and rising above â€” not ignoring what happened. The idea is to grow wiser and more compassionate.
How do suggest someone forgives others?
As that little green guy, Yoda, might say, â€œThere is no try. Just do, or do not.â€ And there is no how. We forgive others, we learn and let it go, or we do not. Either way, there are consequences to ourselves and others with whatever path you choose.
While filming Leap! we talked in length about how to forgive ourselves. Can you speak about this again?
This question could have and perhaps should have been the first one you asked, because it is often as difficult or even more difficult to forgive ourselves than to forgive others. Once we find compassion for ourselves, it is easier to find compassion for others. Anne Truitt wrote, â€œIt takes kindness to forgive oneself for one’s life.â€ So there is no â€œhowâ€ to forgiving oneself. It requires the same compassion, understanding and insight to recognize that we are perfect but not yet perfected â€” that we make mistakes and continue to learn as we stumble towards the light.
Dan Millman is a former world-champion athlete, university coach, martial arts instructor, and college professor. His 13 books, include bestsellers such as Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior and The Life You Were Born to Live. The feature film, Peaceful Warrior, starring Nick Nolte, was adapted from Dan’s first book, an autobiographical novel.
See Dan and iKE in the film that questions everything: www.leapmovie.com
–The TRUTH for me “Post Enlightenment” is that “I” still need to wear pants in public. I thought TRUTH was going to wake up within me and allow me to possibly float around as some sort of energetic being. No such outcome…yet.
Learn more at: www.avaiya.com