Revenge and Forgiveness
3 CEC’s available through NASW-CT
Revenge is a very natural part of our being. It aims to right wrongs and restore a sense of justice and fairness into the world.
When we love, when we care, we may still seek revenge. We can still want to balance the score. However, love may temper our desire for revenge: we may want to hurt the other a little less than we have been hurt. At other times, both individually and collectively, we may wish to hurt the other more than we have been hurt.
Repairing a relationship through forgiveness is also a deep part of our being. Forgiveness used to belong to the realm of religion. Nowadays, the capacity to forgive is viewed as a potential of human nature – one of the keys to a good and flourishing life. Invariably, the need for revenge must first be acknowledged and honored in some way.
Deep process work often involves mourning and then a move towards forgiveness. For some of us this can be an extraordinarily difficult process. Forgiveness, a bridge away from bitterness towards a creative life, is a slow process, comprised of many steps taken over time. And while most transgressions are forgivable, some are not. These must find their place within our psyches in a way that allows life to go on without being held hostage to the past transgression.
Alexis Johnson, PhD
Ridgefield Community Center, Ridgefield CT
Date: November 4, 2011
To register please send $60 to Alexis Johnson, PhD, 96 Bouton Road, South Salem, NY 10590