As human beings, we like balance. When things aren’t “even,” we feel out of sorts; our sense of equality keeps tugging at us, demanding we “level the sides.” This really isn’t a mystery in a metaphysical, egoic sense, because we live in the yin-and-yang of is/is not, yes/no; up/down; light/dark. It’s the way we experience this reality: through opposites and balance.
In healthy relationships, we look for that 50/50, give-and-take sense of equality. We look for it in our work lives, in our communities and our families. We recognize it with children on playgrounds or between world leaders on the global stage (sometimes they’re difficult to distinguish…)
When we feel wronged or injured by another, this imbalance seems to cry out for some kind of fixing from the offender: an apology, restitution or some recognition of the harm done before we can move on. Once offered, we add this to “our side” of the scales and feel balanced again. It’s fixed; we can forgive now.
But does it have to be this way?
Waiting for a “fix” from something or someone else delays our own happiness and weakens us. It gives power to the offender; our personal peace is held hostage by another’s behavior.
When we realize personal power can never be taken away – it can only be given away – we understand we don’t need to “fix” anything to move on; forgiveness doesn’t release the offender – it releases us.
Taking our power back “levels” the scales, helping us realize that “fixing” is not a condition for forgiveness – it’s the result.